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.
User Score
4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 44
  2. Negative: 18 out of 44
  1. Jul 7, 2013
    5
    The idea for this science fiction horror film is remarkable. But the poor executions makes the film ends up as a ridiculous and pointless monster film. Full Review »
  2. Jul 31, 2011
    0
    I think roughly 99% of the people that watched this movie did so to catch the 10 minute Animatrix movie before hand. Dreamcatcher was terrible. Morgan Freeman's eyebrows almost poked my eyes out.

    I did learn that you develop an English accent after having your body taken over by an alien. That was interesting.
    Full Review »
  3. May 4, 2011
    8
    Just watched this movie in 2011, special effects not all that bad. Suspenseful and eery while maintaining a solid storyline. Haven't read the book. Entertaining movie. Full Review »