Metascore
35

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 38
  2. Negative: 16 out of 38
  1. I think you can say that almost everyone watching this will be spellbound, whether they're stupefied by its insanity, more conventionally compelled by the various horrors in store or a combination of both.
  2. 75
    Dreamcatcher is a lark probably best enjoyed by 12-year-olds -- or anyone still able to get in touch with their inner 12-year-old.
  3. A crazed symphony of the supernatural. The elements don't hang together, but Kasdan delivers real scares, and real hoots, in the midst of the mayhem and madness.
  4. Most novels can't be encapsulated well enough in a conventional two-hour movie format, and Dreamcatcher may be one of them -- a miniseries gone wrong.
  5. 63
    If Dreamcatcher ultimately feels like an unwieldy pastiche, at least it's never boring.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    The longer it takes for the eldritch glop to hit the fan, in fact, the less true the movie may be to King. For better and for worse, Dreamcatcher is true to King.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Cole
    63
    Like nightmares, horror movies pull us down with them. And so the film keeps us in thrall for every one of its 134 minutes.
  8. 50
    Then the aliens show up, chased by Morgan Freeman as a nut-job Army colonel, and the movie degenerates into a sorry, silly, gory, punishingly overlong creature feature.
  9. Mildly entertaining for a while; think "Stand by Me" meets "Alien," with a soupçon of "Starship Troopers" tossed in.
  10. 50
    Too bad Dreamcatcher amounts to a pastiche of better films like the original "The Thing" and both versions of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." It ransacks the audience's memory warehouse.
  11. It falls back on straightforward horror tactics, executed competently but without flair. It takes liberties with the second half of the book, including one big change that will leave fans of the novel growling with disbelief and disapproval.
  12. It would take a filmmaker of truly astonishing versatility to harmonize all these disparate tones...But there are moments in Dreamcatcher when Kasdan gives you the giggles and the creeps at the same time, and that’s not easy to do.
  13. 50
    Condensing, paring and shorthanding the story elements can be daunting, and, despite the efforts of Kasdan and Goldman, two masters at wrangling unwieldy source material into shape, there is some awkwardness and confusion in the result.
  14. Simultaneously jokey and scary, sentimental and ruthless, tediously everyday and grotesquely out of the ordinary.
  15. All in all -- well, there is no all in all. There are just parts. Some fit, some don't. Some are cool, some aren't. It's the craziest thing you ever saw.
  16. The nightmare is that the live guys in this Dreamcatcher lose the battle the minute the mechanical worm turns.
  17. An uneasy mix that's too long, too confusing and too undramatically paced to be consistently gripping, and so blatantly panders to teenagers.
  18. 40
    Sprawling, gooey and profoundly juvenile, this derivative thriller piles on the cheese: aliens, male bonding, psychoanalytic gobbledygook, childhood secrets, military black ops, gross-out special effects, explosions, bodily function humor and a retarded boy with special powers.
  19. 40
    A really illogical and silly movie.
  20. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    40
    Much of Dreamcatcher just doesn’t make sense.
  21. 40
    A pretty good example of how the studios have taken over the junk that used to be left to the exploitation hacks. The hacks here have millions to work with and the end result isn't nearly as much fun as a cheap, gross horror movie can be.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    40
    Kasdan has been a serious filmmaker, so he gives the goofiness a smart look and some pertinent metaphors about Americans wrongfully detained. But the aim is no higher than the impulse of old schlockmeisters like Roger Corman and Ed Wood: to get the audience to scream.
  23. 38
    How could director Lawrence Kasdan and writer William Goldman be responsible for a film that goes so awesomely wrong?
  24. Dreamcatcher has no business being this bad.
  25. 38
    Isn't worth the time, money, or effort. For Stephen King aficionados, it's just the latest cinematic nightmare.
  26. 33
    So often out of control that it becomes absurd and exasperating.
  27. 30
    Both character and metaphor have gone to the dogs, leaving a slew of fart and burp jokes and laying bare Dreamcatcher's driving purpose, which is to make multiplexes full of little boys yuk it up, then gross them out, creep them out.
  28. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    30
    It's a mystery how such a hodgepodge, at once incoherent and overfamiliar, could have come together on screen.
  29. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    30
    Overlong and unwieldy grab-bag of vintage monster-movie elements starts intriguingly as a snowbound deep-woods chiller, but gradually dissolves into a mess of other-worldly invasion and military counter-offensive.
  30. This horror-free horror flick sent me wandering through my own memory warehouse, where, at every turn, I bumped into images from similar -- and mostly superior -- entertainments.
  31. Could hardly be called a success -- it's rather a likable disaster.
  32. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    25
    A moviegoer's nightmare. The story is incoherent, inane and interminable.
  33. 20
    Perhaps due to the talent of everyone involved, Dreamcatcher moves with an oddly exhilarating awfulness that sets it apart from more run-of-the-mill horror films, which lack the imagination and budget to be so thoroughly misconceived.
  34. 20
    If hopeless literalist Kasdan could have decided on a tone this could have been a gynophobe's "Independence Day."
  35. For most of the running time I was mainly confused, as well as mildly nauseated by the gross-out details of a tale that tends to be more slimy than scary.
  36. As five or six bad movies squished together, it almost seems like a bargain.
  37. 10
    In the end, Dreamcatcher is an abominable-worm picture. The movie is also an unholy mess, a miserably organized and redundant collection of arbitrary scares and thrills without a unifying visual or poetic idea. [31 March 2003, p. 106]
  38. 0
    So much is going on, and so many bizarre and seemingly random subplots collide in Dreamcatcher, that the film feels like some crazy patchwork quilt sewn by a schizophrenic seamstress. It’s not only confusing, but dull, as well.
User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 46
  2. Negative: 18 out of 46
  1. JacobB.
    Sep 3, 2007
    0
    How did my favorite Steven King book turn into this crap, the ending was a slap in the face?
  2. JeremyB
    Apr 16, 2008
    0
    Quite possibly the worst movie ever made!
  3. JustinS.
    Jun 28, 2006
    0
    By far and away the worst experience of my life. 134 minutes just completely drained down the toilet, which according to this movie contains aliens that come and enter my ass. I have never been more irritated and unsatisfied as I was at the end of this movie. I went in thinking a movie starring Jason Lee, Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore based on a Stephen King would be a can't miss. WRONG. In fact I have never been more wrong; the down syndrome/ alien Donnie Wahlberg angle was the most misconceived subplot I have ever seen in a movie and I saw Gigli and Longshot. I threw my remote at the TV after this and it literally ruined my whole day. If you are really considering seeing this movie call me first I will personally shove a snake up your rearend and kick you in the family jewels while I tell you your were supposed to be an abortion and your parents feel they made the wrong decision. I am putting everyone that had anything to do with this movie on a temporary timeout. Full Review »