Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 32
  2. Negative: 14 out of 32
  1. Fleder's forgettable thriller has a convincing edge, and Douglas remains unchallenged as Hollywood's most tremulous and disquieting dad-under-pressure.
  2. Smart, stylish and, most important, satisfying.
  3. A fairly nifty piece of suspense filmmaking, with a strong if relatively undemanding performance from Douglas.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Generates tension from the get-go, albeit of an increasingly unpleasant variety, on its way to a disappointingly generic climax.
  5. Murphy's screentime takes a back seat to Douglas', of course, but from that back seat she makes a very big noise.
  6. If there's such a thing as joyless competence, it's exemplified by the grimly sensational kidnap thriller Don't Say a Word.
  7. 63
    The movie as a whole looks and occasionally plays better than it is.
  8. Almost nothing new to offer -- despite its good actors, flashy visuals and well-textured New York gloss and grit. But there are teasing hints of another, better movie buried inside somewhere.
  9. I left the film wondering where at the Bellevue-like psychiatric facility that schizophrenic teenager obtained such a becoming brick-red lipstick.
  10. The movie has promise as a psychological thriller, but the filmmakers show far more interest in chases and shoot-outs than characters and ideas.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Until it collapses into a pile of contrivances, Don't Say a Word makes for a serviceable, workmanlike thriller.
  12. 50
    Heartlessly efficient kidnap thriller.
  13. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Don't Say a Word can be thought of as a case of Dial B for Boring.
  14. 50
    This by-the-numbers (no pun intended) psychological thrill ride is efficient and utterly soulless.
  15. The movie is just grindingly by-the-numbers: an uninspired brew of all the clichés of the kidnap-thriller genre, liberally seasoned with brutality, stirred at adrenaline-rush speed by a director with a heavy hand and very little imagination.
  16. 40
    This is nothing more than one more run-of-the-mill, surprise-free, suspense programmer.
  17. 40
    The oh-so-convenient convergence of plot threads at the climax make the film feel that much more run-of-the-mill.
  18. 40
    Director Gary Fleder can only fling the camera about and indulge in some familiar screen sadism (and no wonder -- his last feature was "Kiss the Girls") as he tries to squeeze a few thrills from material as desiccated as his leading man.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Don't say you weren't warned. There are instant clues that this ill-timed Michael Douglas vehicle is a dually unfortunate viewing experience.
  20. 38
    Maybe this is a psychological thriller after all: Every thinking member of the audience will be driven insane.
  21. A miler trying to run a marathon, a fair middleweight idea trying to deliver heavyweight thrills.
  22. You would have to have been born yesterday to miss the switcheroos and reeking red herrings planted in this pulp.
  23. Thankfully, after its terrific start, Don't Say a Word transmogrifies so totally into Hollywood hooey that it's actually a relief. I'd hate to see a disturbance in the karmic perfection of Douglas's pitch-pure mediocrity.
  24. Amid a rather routine plot and standard cop-show stylings -- just doesn't add up to much entertainment value.
  25. This all-day sucker put me to sleep -- though it's possible I retreated out of self-defense.
  26. Don't even try to make any sense of this --none of it elicits a moment of genuine concern.
  27. 25
    Maybe if the story weren't so ludicrous we'd care. Or maybe if the film just went overboard with its ludicrousness, we'd be entertained, but Don't Say a Word is merely boring.
  28. Confuses an empty and derivative stylistic bravura with formal cleverness, and a sterile, mechanistic sensationalism with emotional intensity.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie is a big, noisy mess, with a howler at its center: Overrouged psychiatrist Michael Douglas.
  30. 10
    A stupid, brutal and nonsensical picture.
  31. This noirish, sourish thriller left me unmoving as well as unmoved.
  32. The movie isn't exactly providing entertaining escape. In fact, the only escape on your mind is going to be the exit door.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. Mar 2, 2012
    The acting is good buy everybody involved but overall the movie is is just average. The story is just like every other thriller and goes through all the same steps like every other thriller. The movie is rated R but really didn't need to be so you wont be missing anything if you just catch this on TV. Full Review »
  2. Nov 20, 2010
    I was really expecting a thriller having to do with Brittany Murphy being insane, but it just becomes an old man solving being a hero. Not in the Sean Connery or Harrison Ford kind of way either. Full Review »