Vertigo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Vertigo Reviews

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January 15, 2017
To love is to kill. Love is vertigo.
January 14, 2017
A confusing, unpredictable, yet beautiful film to watch, with a dark hidden message behind it. One of Hitchcock's best work and one of the best films of the 20th century.
January 11, 2017
Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' is the final product of excellent writing, captivating visual effects, and a story so uniquely unpredictable it will impress the viewer greatly. 5/5
January 10, 2017
OK it probably shouldn't have taken me 40 years to watch this. Never realised that it was actually about obsession. JS is excellently creepy.
January 8, 2017
Disorienting, dizzying, and quite unsettling at times... All the workings of a Hitchcock masterpiece, and this film rightfully can be considered a definitive example of that. It's not structured the way a thriller so often is, both nowadays and in the era when it was released, in that the pacing can be considered particularly slow at times. However, if viewers can get over that stigma, they'll find a highly captivating story of a traumatized detective hired for one more case, a case he is woefully unprepared for. Jimmy Stewart is brilliant as usual as the lead, Scottie Ferguson, bringing his every-man, sympathetic persona to a character that could have easily come across as a completely unsympathetic, unstable and unlikable individual had a lesser actor taken the role. Instead, as the case unravels and his fears and obsessions begin to take hold, Stewart's portrayal brings mixed feelings of pity and disturbance, an intriguing train-wreck that is a broken man trying desperately to keep himself together, and failing. Co-star Kim Novak is similarly brilliant as the mysterious woman that Scottie is asked to investigate, a woman he finds himself falling for, only to find he's fallen for what is quickly proven to be a deceptive performance, and not entirely a willing one on the deceiver's behalf. The mystery, as many will claim, is one that quickly solves itself before the film's climax, but this isn't meant to be a mystery film, it's a character study, one that shows just what past traumas, obsession, and fabrication can do to a person, and the ensuing consequences that can result from their attempts to deal with such things. It all plays out like a massive car pile up, a horrid sight, but one you can't take your eyes off of, and I mean that in the best possible way. Hitchcock at his prime was a master at pulling off this sort of thing, and Vertigo may well be the prime example of this mastery.
January 7, 2017
10 out of 10:

A very strange yet smart and unpredictable film that also is visually stunning.
January 3, 2017
A strange Alfred Hitchcock film that miscasts James Stewart in an aggressive role. Visually it is an interesting film, but I found it somewhat boring. (First and only full viewing - 9/27/2010)
½ January 2, 2017
This is considered one of the best movies ever, but after watching this I was disappointed. I was so much looking forward to seeing it but it wasn't worth it. The acting especially from James Stewart is good and he is trying but overall this is just an above average movie. The camera work is good.

During the first 30 minutes or so the movie just drags, and the pacing is so slow. It shows what we already know. Scottie has vertigo and is asked to follow his friend's wife who thinks she is a reincarnation or something. It is almost like nothing is happening and Scottie is just doing his job. It was during this time I asked myself that why was I watching this.

The character development is very poor excluding Scottie. His ex girlfriend had no role in this movie. She is just there. Nothing is told as to whh they broke up. We dont need a full background story but a simple explanation whould have done it. Many parts of the movie could have been edited.

Then we come near the 3rd act of the movie. 5 minutes into it the suspense is revealed like wtf. It didn't work for me. Again the pacing is somewhat slow until the end. The ending is very abrupt and it is just thrown at us. In some cases it works only if the overall movie is excellent and makes sense. I will be honest I wasn't expecting the ending but it doesn't work for me. Somethings are not even well explained.

I can't go into more details because it will give out spoilers. So overall you may or may not like this movie. But if your having a boring day, go for it.
January 2, 2017
Boring and Stupid. I finally go around to watching this film after reading that it had been ranked as one of the best (and, in some cases, the best) film ever made. It was a wasted two hours and fifteen minutes. It's slow moving. Boring. Ridiculous premise. And a really stupid ending. I generally enjoy classic films, but this one is a complete waste of time. I have no idea how it is even considered a classic, let alone one of the best of all time.
½ January 1, 2017
Vertigo is Hitchcock's undisputed best as a director, And James Stewart gives an ahead of his time, further proving him as an anachronism. Where the plot and story die down, the visual richness and immersive directing still soar. This film, however, has unfoundedly replaced Citizen Kane as AFI's best film.
½ December 15, 2016

I went in knowing nothing about the film aside from its outstanding reputation and its spiralling poster. Perhaps it was the hype surrounding a movie considered one of the best of all time, but upon watching the final few minutes with horror and confusion, I was left ultimately dissatisfied. I understand the thematic values of the film and the introduction of the dolly zoom, as well as James Stewart's turn to the dark side, but it was a very odd movie.

The first half is a slow affair of watching a former detective do his former job quite horribly. I guess in retrospect it's good to know he was being played a fool the entire time or else I'd still wonder if the person he was tailing had no awareness that the same car and man was twenty feet behind her the entire time barely making any attempt to conceal his actions, especially at the cemetery. Following him romancing another man's wife, which again absolves her of worse judgement for she isn't actually wed, it just goes off the rails and becomes a dark look at obsession.

Take away the twist "revelation," which was explained right away leaving no mystery to follow, and it remains just as horrifying watching this man obsess over a dead loved one and change a stranger, make her dress like her, and take her to where she died. He knew because of a necklace. What if that wasn't truly the case? This man acts like a monster. Remove the letter and confession and he still remains a monster; the only difference is that he's no longer right. How far would it have gone if it was a different girl he tried to change for himself? Would it still have come to the bell tower down the road if there was no necklace? He went down a deep dark path, and the movie abruptly ends with a terrible fate.

The fact that I'm thinking so much about the movie gives it some points, but there's quite a bit of this movie that just moves so slowly.
December 8, 2016
Part of best movies list that has been compiled from lists that I have found on the internet. I really enjoyed this movie. It was really good.
October 28, 2016
A very fun movie with interesting plot fueled with numerous unusual twist and turns XD
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.
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