Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 100
    If "Henry V," the first film [Branaugh] directed and starred in, caused people to compare him to Olivier, "Dead Again" will inspire comparisons to Welles and Hitchcock - and the Olivier of Hitchcock's "Rebecca."
  2. Deliciously witty and entertaining… A first-rate thriller, one that's likely to generate as much word-of-mouth as “Alien,'' “Carrie'' and “Psycho'' did in their time. [23 Aug 1991, Daily Notebook, p.F1]
  3. 100
    Dead Again does not come across as a Hitchcock knock-off, but as a motion picture that incorporates familiar themes and approaches while maintaining its own integrity and identity. Not once during the entire production is there an obviously stolen scene or camera angle replication.
  4. Reviewed by: Jill Rachlin
    91
    With its stylized black-and-white sequences and fast-paced melodramatic plot, this homage to film noir is both intense and purposely self-conscious.
  5. Branagh has mastered the tricky high-wire act of simultaneously kidding the conventions he is being absolutely faithful to, allowing us to squeal with both fright and knowing laughter. His is a film lover's film [23 Aug 1991, Calendar, p.F1]
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jul 18, 2014
    5
    Dead Again: 5 out of 10: On-screen chemistry is a funny thing. Some couples simply have it. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a cute believableDead Again: 5 out of 10: On-screen chemistry is a funny thing. Some couples simply have it. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a cute believable couple; William Powell and Myrna Loy in their fourteen films together are in my mind the silvers screens best pairing.

    On the other hand, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson have no on screen chemistry whatsoever. One might say despite the fact they were married, yet I would argue that too often whatever chemistry causes an off-screen couple to hook-up simply does not translate to the movies. In fact in many cases it seems to create a negative chemistry on screen. (Think Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.) Since Dead Again is at its heart a love story, the lack of chemistry is deadly. Branagh and Thompson play two couples. The first, filmed in beautiful black and white, are an angry World War 2 refugee and opera composer and his murdered wife. He goes to the chair for her murder and we flash forward to Branagh as a missing persons detective and Thompson as a crazy mute lady with amnesia. They may be connected to the previous couple and both stories are told alternately throughout the film.

    The film itself (in particular the black and white flashbacks) is gorgeous, yet Branagh as a director plays too many tricks for his own good. He cribs so liberally from Hitchcock that the film threatens to turn into High Anxiety 2 rather than an original work.

    Without the chemistry between the leads we are left with little more than a hundred film school in-jokes and a strange sci-fi mystical story that we simply have no stake in.
    Full Review »