Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Some say that all houses have memories. For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts star in "Dream House," a suspense thriller about a family that unknowingly moves into a home where several grisly murders were committed...only to find themselves the killer's next target. Successful publisher Will Atenton quit a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby, and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson, a neighbor who was close to the family that died. Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle. (Universal Pictures)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 16
  2. Negative: 5 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Sep 30, 2011
    It's painful to watch a movie like Dream House - well-acted, beautifully shot and directed with extraordinary care and attention to craft - only to realize that the story, the alleged backbone, is absurd.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 1, 2011
    70 minutes into the 90-minute process, I was engaged. Then it all collapsed.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 1, 2011
    This suburban gothic is a logy, convoluted mess.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 30, 2011
    Dream House is the full magilla, with imaginary images, sanity questions, peek-a-boo startles and the usual are-they-real-or-not? characters.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Sep 30, 2011
    With its telegraphed twists and clunky pacing, the film would be unbearable were it not for the fine trio of Craig, Weisz and Naomi Watts, all more or less slumming.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Oct 1, 2011
    The story unfolds briskly in the polished mode of a classic horror movie, then tanks after a plot twist at the midpoint alters the mood and slows the pace. Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) directed an ill-conceived screenplay that could have worked only as camp.
  7. 10
    The real problem is, when the film blindsides us with a mystery we didn't know existed, we're already too busy not caring about mystery we knew was there.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Oct 11, 2012
    The fact that this movie tells you everything halfway makes it that much more compelling. It isn't a thriller in the sense of what is going to happen to next but rather it allows you to believe that such a scenario could happen to anyone and they will have no clue. The character is the story. Expand
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    I loved the movie, caught me since the beginning until the end of the movie. Don´t hear everything people will say. See for yourself and make your own conclusions. Expand
  3. Feb 2, 2013
    The trailer and poster are not as they seem. The movie looks like a drama and a film is highly recommended to view one Sunday afternoon.
  4. Oct 10, 2011
    It was a last minute decision to see Dream House. Although I was impressed by the trailer I was not too inclined to see it , but overall I am glad I did, since it has many worthwhile moments. It is difficult to say too much about the film without spoilers which I will try to avoid. It is an entertaining if slow film which starts well, blindsides you quite early on and then ends predictably. The main performances are excellent, and it is also well shot with some nice scenes. This makes for an engaging and intriguing film in many ways but it is just unfortunate that the story is not strong enough and the whole ends up less than the sum of its parts. A good (if not necessarily original) idea which maybe required a bit more work to make a really good film. Expand
  5. Jun 10, 2013
    I expected more but it was still good. The actors were ok. It is predictable but i liked it. However if oyu want to watch it it's not that bad. If you don't watch don't you wont lose a masterpiece Collapse
  6. Jun 15, 2013
    Dream House is a hard movie to review or even describe without revealing too many twists and turns of the plot. The film stars Daniel Craig (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as a writer who settles into a quaint home with his wife (Rachel Weisz) and two daughters, only to learn that their house was the scene of a horrific crime. When strange things start going bump in the night, the husband starts to uncover a connection to the tragic murders but only the pretty neighbor (Naomi Watts) seems to know what’s going on for sure. Dream House was directed by Jim Sheridan, the man behind such great films as My Left Foot and The Boxer, as well as so-so films like Brothers and Get Rich or Die Trying. Sheridan is a skilled director (even when he’s working with half-baked material) so technically speaking, Dream House is visually sound and richly textured in its disparity between the warm hues and glows of a family home, full of love, and the harsh, blue-tinted, snow-ridden world outside that home or, at times, the grit and grime of homes that have been overrun with rot and despair. The other strength of the film is its cast. Craig, Weisz and Watts are all skilled actors and keep a lot of the more ridiculous aspects of the story (more on that later) grounded in believable performances. Craig often stone-faced and grim displays some warmth and smiles in his role as a loving father, though he gets ample time to stone-face it as well. Weisz is good as a free-spirited wife and mother; she makes her character stand out as a unique and fully-formed person, while Watts is given a harder task, playing a pivotal character that has to be balanced just right to be believable at all. Watts almost pulls of that balancing act, but not quite. Guys like Elias Koteas and Marton Csokas are great character actors though they’re given little to work with here. This is also a film that changes gears very drastically in its 1st, 2nd, and 3rd acts, and subsequently feels disjointed and episodic, rather than organic and cohesive. There are also a truckload of logical flaws, and plot holes so wide they are nearly impossible not to fall into. On the whole, the poor script reduces Dream House to a movie that is hard to get into and stay into despite the talented actors and director working to keep it grounded and engaging. Sometimes an idea just falls flat. There’s no harm in the trying. Certain viewers may watch Dream House and be thrilled by the shifting, uncertain nature of its plot (if they can avoid scrutinizing it and simply brush off the gaping holes). As stated, the film is well-constructed and well-acted, so it’s not a total nightmare. However, like the strangest of dreams, watching this movie will leave you feeling muddled and somewhat upset about the experience. Expand
  7. Feb 4, 2012
    Not much in the way of redeeming qualities, Dream House is full of obvious plot twists, predictable dialogue, and miscast actors. I expected so much more Expand

See all 27 User Reviews


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