Vertigo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Vertigo Reviews

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½ October 24, 2016
Just saw it for the first at the Aero Oct 2016. The musical score is incredible (except the standard romantic segments) and really makes for the suspense. Steward who is wimpiest actor of that generation actually ends up working out besides his overacting style
October 21, 2016
You never go bored with Hitchcock thrillers. Brilliant in every aspect.
½ October 19, 2016
Maybe my favorite Hitchcock movie? Brilliant all the way, featuring James Stewart, with all his special charismatics. Great storybuilding, with the everlasting Hitchcockian ending.
October 5, 2016
It starts off good, but once the whole mystery spectacle ends, we are left with James Stewart being crazily obsessed with Kim Novak. "Vertigo" might not be one of Hitchcock's masterpieces, but it is certainly one of his greatest efforts. He deserves a high five for creating the "dolly zoom" effect when James Stewart was dangling on the edge of the roof. The story might be ridiculous for today's standards, but that's what's wrong with today's films: they're not as open minded or creative as they used to back then. The ending was definitely a big twist, which superbly demonstrates Hitchcock's ability as a suspenseful storyteller.
September 5, 2016
What the hell did I just watch?!?! The first half drove me nuts with that crazy woman. Why do people fall in love after like a week? I don't get it. Then he becomes a crazy overly possessive, nut bag. Why she put up with that, I will never know. I know she loved him and all, but to change everything about her? NA! Hell no! And how she fall out that window? Window about a foot thick with a foot ledge around it and she just fall out like that? Come on!!! Very glad this movie is over, but I want my 2 hours back, that I wasted watching it.
½ August 29, 2016
"Citizen Kane" held the #1 spot on Sight & Sounds' "Best films of all time" lists for 5 decades. On top of that, it and "The Godfather" tend to be the 2 go-to films that moviegoers usually pick for the greatest film ever made. In 2012, however, Sight & Sound made the controversial and infamous choice of finally giving another movie its throne. That movie was Alfred Hitchcock's classic, crime film, "Vertigo". I'm not sure if I would rank "Vertigo" that high. However, it's still a very good film and it deserves recognition for a lot of reasons.

After a police detective named John Ferguson causes the death of a police officer due to his acrophobia during a rooftop chase, he retires from that job. He is soon hired by a former college acquaintance of his to keep an eye on his wife, because he fears that she might commit suicide as she believes that she is possessed.

Around the 80 minute mark, it seemed like the movie was about to end. It seemed as if the climax came to be, and the viewer thought that they knew what kind of film it was going to be. However, the viewer becomes shocked to find out that the film is continuing on. The viewer wonders: "What else do they have left to do?". At first, I thought that the movie was going to lose steam as the final third is, admittedly, a little bit slower than the rest of the film. However, the dream sequence gave me a feeling that I was not wasting my time. It interested me a lot, and I was curious to find out how the movie was going to end. This all led up to a shocking and unexpected ending which left a strong impact on me. The plot twist at the end made the film a lot better, and it encouraged me to watch the film again as I wondered how the movie was going to feel on a 2nd viewing.

Looking back at the movie, I noticed how John's acrophobia wasn't present in that many scenes. It was only present a few times in the movie. At first, I thought that it was a bit underutilized. However, after I thought more about how the plot twist at the end effected the film before it, I came to a conclusion that it did not have to be used more than it was. John did not have acrophobia, because Hitchcock simply wanted to add it in for suspense. It was put in the movie as it was essential for the movie's ending to work. If it were to be used any more times in the film, it would've started to feel redundant. Hitchcock did all of the primary tasks with that element without overdoing it.

The acting in this film was really good. James Stewart as John Ferguson did a good job as the lead performance. His performance was pretty solid all around. He provided all the emotions and reactions which were required for his role. Nothing more and nothing less. Kim Novak gave a really great performance as well. She played 2 characters who each had different personalities. When she was Madeleine Elster, she played a woman who looked hopeless and terrified. She was able to do it without sounding annoying or over-the-top. When she played Judy Barton, her role seemed more meaty and strong. She did a good job transitioning between both of these characters. As the movie continued on, I started to notice some subtlety in her performance. She clearly stole the show. They were great as the 2 main leads. I had no particular issues with any of the other actors and actresses.

The film is also pretty to look at. Views of the city and the streets are gorgeous. Some of the shots show dozens upon dozens of buildings. Those shots are overwhelming. Also, some of the other shots in different places around the city look nice as well such as the art museum and the graveyard. Also, it's hard to forget the opening scene where 3 of the characters were running across the rooftops with the evening sky in the background. Also, there's the haunting camerawork in the dream sequence which gives out an unsettling presence. Out of all of Hitchcock's films that I've seen so far, I like the cinematography in this film the most.

In conclusion, this was a well-acted and well-shot crime film which had a very memorable storyline and ending. Is it the best film of all time though? I wouldn't say so. There are deeper films than this one. "Citizen Kane" also has more layers to it and it's a more influential and important film. Also, I enjoyed "Rear Window" a little more than this one. However, this is still a really great film. I can understand why a lot of people like it. It's one of the best Hitchcock films that I've seen so far.
August 19, 2016
An intricate, detailed, complex story told at a pace that draws us in and allows us to savor every moment; a mesmerizing film that defies categories.
½ August 16, 2016
Meh, not really worth the time. Reviewing this in today's standards (as I am not a film student, but rather I enjoy good films very much).
August 16, 2016
Vertigo is indeed unpredictable and contains Alfred Hitchcock's iconic moments of suspense, but its reveal is rather mistimed, and thus resulting in it being one of the most overrated films ever made.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2016
Alfred Hitchcock wowed audiences for decades with an immense talent of deception and artistic flare, and perhaps no movie was a better showcase for those talents than his 1958 hit Vertigo. An impressive tale about obsession.

In honor of Alfred Hitchcock's birthday, I decided to re-watch Vertigo and reevaluate just how well it holds up upon repeated viewings. There's nothing quite like the shock of watching it for the first time, but I had a chance to dig my teeth into the legendary performances of James Stewart and Kim Novak while being dazzled by Hitchcock's meticulously crafted story.

One of the most impressive aspects about Vertigo is that it's clearly framed as a story about someone with Vertigo dealing with a peculiar case, but really, it's about obsession, and a man digging just a little bit too deep into a case. A theme that Christopher Nolan seemed to take into his film, Memento, in 2000. Vastly different stories, but similar execution from the director's chair.

An easy way to identify a film's tone is through the score, and Hitchcock always seemed to get the best out of the legend, Bernard Herrmann. His score here is both haunting and alluring. I love the way he balanced the score with the uncomfortable feeling we get as an audience watching Stewart's character obsess, along with the noir-ish love story that forms as well.

Amidst Hitchcock's mind boggling story are a few darn good performances by Stewart and Novak. Stewart, typically known strictly in likable protagonist roles, finds himself in a more complex and even unlikable alley. There's certainly times where the lines between protagonist and antagonist are blurred, but Stewart does a great job at rounding out his character. Novak, on the otherhand, plays a more mysterious role but nonetheless just as significant. Aside from the characters in Psycho, Novak may have had the most difficult time portraying just who Hitchcock desired for this role. If there was ever a Hitchcock blonde who deserved a Best Actress Oscar, I think it was Novak.

Overall, Vertigo holds up just as well as the first time I watched it, and perhaps even better in some aspects. There's a reason this film is at the top of so many greatest films of all time lists.

+Hitchcock's colorful direction

+Stewart and Novak were at the top of their game

+Herrmann's score

+Themes still hold up

½ July 30, 2016
Although alot of the plot in "Vertigo" is illogical, Hitchcock suspends the audiences disbelief, managing to create a haunting romantic atmosphere unlike any other film to date, while Bernard Hermann's lavish score orchestrates the films tension and suspense.
July 24, 2016
Possibly Alfred Hitchcock's best film. Vertigo is not meant to be taken at face value - to dismiss Vertigo as a suspense/mystery film is a crime! Every aspect of the movies is crafted to add to the dreamlike plot - color, costumes, sets, camera all add to the story.
July 23, 2016
Hitchcock's best film, Vertigo is a must-watch for film fans.
July 13, 2016
It's got some pacing issues and feels a little long, but it's excellent! Good performances, writing, directing and some great shots. Would definitely recommend.
½ July 9, 2016
Good, this is vertigo, the soundtrack is magnificent (like any of the Alfred Hitchcock film), photography is spectacular, the good performances, the script is Good, all of suspense is amazing, John's paranoia (James Stewart) the way Hitchcock uses the play of light to show the different feelings of our protagonist, his dreams turning his obsession, the feeling that there's something wrong permeates the entire film, his only fault is that at some point the film loses its rhythm and its acts are confused, but nothing is perfect. Vertigo is a great movie in every way.
July 6, 2016
Vertigo is a gripping, suspenseful and unpredictable thriller, and one of the best films of the 1950's. James Stewart was fantastic... he portrays his character's gradual change perfectly. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, right up to its shocking conclusion. In conclusion, this is an excellent film and a must-see for movie lovers.
June 28, 2016
I just, I can't forgive Stewart in this the way I forgive him in Rear Window. While the romance there is gross but background noise, here it's front, centre, and integral to the film, and watching Novak (who also has no idea what she's doing) go limp under the touch of the befuddled geriatric's liver-spotted fingers is decidedly unpleasant. I like a lot about this movie, from the slow pace to the gorgeous colours to the creepy atmosphere. But the actors, and that idiotic plot twist (and the exposition dump that reveals it) make it a hard one for me to love.
June 25, 2016

Vertigo spawns a very interesting mystery that is brought to a halt towards the middle of the film marking another Hitchcock movie that has a dense but troubling narrative as each half of the film has its own merits; The first half develops the mystery and the second part slowly develops a romance in order to finish the whole ordeal, none of which I found to mesh very well together.
½ June 25, 2016
Movies that you hear so much about are bound to make you question the hype as you watch them. And in modern cinema they've taken so much of the classics and worked them subtly into what we watch today, making the originals seem lesser. That being said, Vertigo still holds up as a very solid movie. Jimmy Stewart killing it.
June 23, 2016
Vertigo can get a little creepy and possessive at the end of the film, but until then, it is an undeniable classic. Director Alfred Hitchcock knows suspense and here, he demonstrates his immense skill. A suspenseful, thrilling, and occasionally scary film that really pulls you in and leaves you on the edge of your seat waiting to see how it all plays out. Though, as I said, the ending is not scary, but decidedly creepy instead of being charming like it may have intended. This holds the film back a bit, but aside from this, Vertigo is a phenomenal film that has certainly aged visually, but its story is just as good as when it came out.
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