User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 101
  2. Negative: 15 out of 101
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  1. MichaelM.
    Oct 23, 2004
    10
    Without a doubt, One of the finest movies ever made! This movie is such an excellent film. It is a tiny bit slow at parts, but isn't every movie? The acting is what really makes this movie so great. The story is about a New England couple, Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) Fowler who both deal with the loss of their son Frank (Nick Stahl), who was murdered by his older Without a doubt, One of the finest movies ever made! This movie is such an excellent film. It is a tiny bit slow at parts, but isn't every movie? The acting is what really makes this movie so great. The story is about a New England couple, Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) Fowler who both deal with the loss of their son Frank (Nick Stahl), who was murdered by his older girlfriend's (Marissa Tomei) ex-husband (William Mapother). After the killer gets set loose due to lack of evidence, they both can't believe it. With anger they even start blaming each other. The mother chooses to not only blame Frank's girlfriend but her husband Matt also. This is an excellent movie not only good for drama fans but for others. Sissy Spacek is beyond fantastic in her role, while Marissa Tomei is very good also. I would have to say the best performance in the whole movie is Tom Wilkinson's absolutley compelling and riveting performance that should (but of course didn't) win him the Oscar for Best Actor. Denzel Washington was the most popular, that's why he won the award. It was also politcally correct at the time. If you haven't already watch this film. It is very depressing so make sure to have a tissue box with you. Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek's performances remain to this day some of the greatest performances I've ever seen on screen or anywhere! (10/23/04) Expand
  2. SallyAnneC.
    Dec 3, 2001
    10
    This is not an entertainment, this is a film. Something that doesn't come around too often these days. Thank all involved.
  3. Dr.K.
    Jan 17, 2010
    5
    This film is undoubtedly one of the most overrated films (by the 10 crowd). We picked out the main plot "switch" early on, it was well-telegraphed. The performances were fine but not as Oscar-worthy as so many critics have proclaimed. We were actually quite surprised--expectations were much higher based on review blurbs we were aware of beforehand. I too find value in "slow and plodding" This film is undoubtedly one of the most overrated films (by the 10 crowd). We picked out the main plot "switch" early on, it was well-telegraphed. The performances were fine but not as Oscar-worthy as so many critics have proclaimed. We were actually quite surprised--expectations were much higher based on review blurbs we were aware of beforehand. I too find value in "slow and plodding" at times, but this was TOO slow and plodding! Expand
  4. ButteredPopCorn
    Mar 8, 2003
    9
    Very direct, honest in its telling. Enjoyed it a lot. Very consistent - it slowly and methodically unwinds to its inevitable conclusion. An accomlished bit of story-telling.
  5. AndrewM.
    May 5, 2004
    4
    I have to go on record as saying that I think this is an overrated film. I saw it long after it was nominated for (and may have won a couple of) Oscars and so I admit I probably had expectations set a little high. Plus I was aware that there was a shock in the film. When it came, while being a very confronting and demanding scene, I was a little numb to it. And that's how the rest of I have to go on record as saying that I think this is an overrated film. I saw it long after it was nominated for (and may have won a couple of) Oscars and so I admit I probably had expectations set a little high. Plus I was aware that there was a shock in the film. When it came, while being a very confronting and demanding scene, I was a little numb to it. And that's how the rest of the film left me. I found watching it hard-going. It was well directed, acted, etc but as Jack D. puts so succinctly, the film is a headache! Expand
  6. PaoloA
    Aug 4, 2006
    10
    Good.
  7. DevynM.
    Aug 24, 2002
    10
    True to life emotions.
  8. FrankF.
    Aug 24, 2002
    10
    Storytelling at its best.
  9. DanG.
    Jul 8, 2003
    10
    Excellent drama about life, love and loss, superb acting, a film that touches the fringes of emotion and sets the heart on fire.
  10. RyanM.
    Dec 30, 2001
    2
    A boring, nothing-ever-happens kind of a human drama.
  11. KynnJ.
    Jan 1, 2002
    9
    This was one of those rare movies that forced me to rethink my opinions (in this case, on the issue of revenge). I readily confess to being very impatient while watching this movie; but I don't take this initial impression seriously, since it was, necessarily, an ignorant one (I had no idea of where the director was heading). By the time the final credits came on, I had already This was one of those rare movies that forced me to rethink my opinions (in this case, on the issue of revenge). I readily confess to being very impatient while watching this movie; but I don't take this initial impression seriously, since it was, necessarily, an ignorant one (I had no idea of where the director was heading). By the time the final credits came on, I had already discarded it, and was processing an unexpected interpretation of what I had just seen. It was only then that I realized that Field's project was a careful depiction of the role of revenge within a network of human relationships (extending from within a single family all the way out to a whole community). In the following days I thought a good deal about the movie. Eventually I got hold of a copy of the story by Andre Dubus on which the movie is based, and discovered that the movie made some very substantial and impressive contributions to the original. The movie is not perfect (I particularly agree with those who find the recitations of Blake and Frost during poker games a bit precious). But Field has made a movie with the kind of universal resonance one more readily expects to find in a Greek tragedy than in a Christmas season flick. Expand
  12. JackD.
    Oct 10, 2002
    5
    Great acting, but the movie is a headache.
  13. JereC.
    Jan 21, 2002
    3
    In the Bedroom is a case of powerful, haunting cinematography inhabited by very unlikable and unattractive characters (especially the icily soulless Sissy Spacek and the drip portrayed as her beloved son) all in the service of an almost nauseatingly relentless bleakness which simply smothers the pleasure otherwise potentially to be had in the film's strengths.
  14. SethB.
    Jan 7, 2002
    10
    This movie is SUPERB! The acting is fantastic and Marisa Tomei does her best work ever. The story walks along at a deceptively slow pace. The script is excellent from the first line, (you must hear the begining of the movie, if you get there late, don't bother going) to the very last line (probably the most brilliant line in the movie). If you don't understand metaphor and This movie is SUPERB! The acting is fantastic and Marisa Tomei does her best work ever. The story walks along at a deceptively slow pace. The script is excellent from the first line, (you must hear the begining of the movie, if you get there late, don't bother going) to the very last line (probably the most brilliant line in the movie). If you don't understand metaphor and subtle writting, this movie isn't for you. Just remember: hear the first line to the last line!!! Expand
  15. JerryO.
    Jun 4, 2002
    10
    This was clearly the best movie of the year. The acting -- especially the unacknowledged supporting roles -- are very real and believable. (Of course, the lead performances are terrific too.) Those who complain about it being slow are the types of people who hate watching a 1-0 pitcher's duel, because there isn't enough action. Instead, they should appreciate the craftsmanship This was clearly the best movie of the year. The acting -- especially the unacknowledged supporting roles -- are very real and believable. (Of course, the lead performances are terrific too.) Those who complain about it being slow are the types of people who hate watching a 1-0 pitcher's duel, because there isn't enough action. Instead, they should appreciate the craftsmanship of pitcher's masterpiece -- which is exactly what "In the Bedroom" is. Too slow? Go watch "Superman" sequels. Expand
  16. Richard
    Aug 15, 2002
    5
    Overrated in the extreme, this "Ordinary People" meets "Death Wish." Good directorial choices, especially the spare soundtrack, and a superb performance by Tom Wilkinson, but I think the film goes awry after the awkwardly written and staged argument scene and then lapses into predictability.
  17. MichaelE.
    Aug 16, 2002
    10
    Best film of 2001. Slow, but this is not some silly popcorn flick. This is REAL.
  18. QuinnD.
    Sep 6, 2002
    6
    Not the movie I thought it was going to be. The ending was predictable and an easy way out. The movie would have been far more interesting had the parents faced the murder of their son the way most people do.... Wonderful performances and beautiful film making that joins the dreaded '10 Minute Club', i.e. turn it off ten minutes before the end and it's a way better film.
  19. davez
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    I bought this used before knowing anything about the film from blockbuster. What a great choice! This movie stirs the soul. I think we can all relate to at least 1 if not all the main characters involved. The villain is unclear... it seems as all the characters hold some form of evil inside of them whether it be by neglect, indifference, anger or revenge. This movie will no doubt leave I bought this used before knowing anything about the film from blockbuster. What a great choice! This movie stirs the soul. I think we can all relate to at least 1 if not all the main characters involved. The villain is unclear... it seems as all the characters hold some form of evil inside of them whether it be by neglect, indifference, anger or revenge. This movie will no doubt leave you with the same kind of gratification that one had gotten from hearing that Hitler committed suicide before serving justice. Expand
  20. M.Carey
    Dec 26, 2001
    9
    At last, a movie that didn't leave me feeling I'd been had -- I got my money's worth. There seems to be a drought of quality in the Hollywood film industry over the past few years. In The Bedroom breaks that mold. This movie had no hype and is "top shelf." The acting was superb -- Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Marisa Tomei. Everyone I know who has seen Bedroom raves about At last, a movie that didn't leave me feeling I'd been had -- I got my money's worth. There seems to be a drought of quality in the Hollywood film industry over the past few years. In The Bedroom breaks that mold. This movie had no hype and is "top shelf." The acting was superb -- Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Marisa Tomei. Everyone I know who has seen Bedroom raves about it. I was riveted to the screen, as was the entire audience who watched the film with me. Expand
  21. AndyS.
    Dec 3, 2001
    4
    The title of this movie is a Metaphor! This Metaphor is explained to us -- or, to be accurate, it is explained by an old grandfatherly type to a small child (I'm not kidding about this) -- shortly after the opening titles end (it has to do with lobster traps). This explaining of a Metaphor which happens also to be the title of the movie can only be considered a poor omen for the The title of this movie is a Metaphor! This Metaphor is explained to us -- or, to be accurate, it is explained by an old grandfatherly type to a small child (I'm not kidding about this) -- shortly after the opening titles end (it has to do with lobster traps). This explaining of a Metaphor which happens also to be the title of the movie can only be considered a poor omen for the quality of the movie itself. And the omen is... envelope, please... accurate! This movie is a pretentious, overrated bore, slightly redeemed by decent acting. But even decent actors like Sissy Spacek can't overcome a script which occasionally rings so false in the human emotions department that even Lasse Hallstrom would approve. Admittedly, it's not usually that bad, although the story does press the same emotionally manipulative button over and over and over, long past the point of successful manipulation, straight on through self-parody, finally terminating in boredom. That being said, the first half of this very long slow journey does have its moments, especially those provided by Marisa Tomei and William Mapother as a thirtyish single mother and her estranged husband, but emphatically not those provided by a recurring poker game in which one of the participants recites Meaningful poetry (I'm not kidding about this). So why do the critics love it? Because their brains and souls have been eaten away by the corrosive influence of too many brainless, soulless pieces of garbage which their "profession" compels them to watch. I suppose they're grateful for any movie that at least tries to be about something, which this one does. I, however, am not grateful for having blown nine bucks and two and half hours on their recommendation. Expand
  22. BrianD.
    Jan 14, 2002
    0
    A sure cure for insomnia. Forced myself to watch entire movie, saying to myself, it has to get better. It never did.
  23. ChadS.
    Jan 21, 2002
    7
    Is it just me who thinks the actions of the Tom Wilkinson character comes out of the blue? Like "Limbo", we're getting two films in one. Still, Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek give a clinic on acting and Marisa Tomei rises to the challenge.
  24. CindyS.
    Mar 10, 2002
    3
    This story was much better as a short story. It was unbearable to sit through a film that says in 2 hours (much less effectively) what Dubus' story says in ten. Boring.
  25. JackH.
    Mar 10, 2002
    2
    I really can't figure out the high critical acclaim. I was beside myself waiting for some serious action. The drip and drab dialogue was driving me crazy. The 2 minute encounter with the little girl selling candy door to door put the final nail in the coffin. Slow motion to no motion.
  26. Joe
    Mar 16, 2002
    7
    Great cast, Sissy can really act. Maybe you should make the motion speed up.
  27. BrianT.
    Mar 18, 2002
    6
    A definite case of mwah. Although speed is overrated, the complaints about its slowness have a point. I'm just not sure which. I really liked the scene with the candyselling girl, though. These scenes gave the film a definite docu/no frill feel. Spacek is sorta upstaged by the other 3 actors.
  28. YoonMinC.
    Sep 26, 2003
    8
    Whether to treat this film as genuine art delving into dark interiors of wounded souls or a fancier version of Death Wish, I don't know. But, its intelligence as drama or as a sly piece of manipulation is undeniable. The scenario is realistic and complex, and the actors, especially Spacek and Wilkinson are excellent.
  29. Mr.Billings
    Jan 3, 2004
    8
    Sissy Spasek's performance is so raw and riveting that it seems terrifyingly real. A tour-de-force performance by her, and an intense performance as well. She's great.
  30. GerronK
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    This film comes close to flawless as it ever could. With an absolutely riveting performance by Sissy Spacek and a powerful performance by Tim Wilkinson, this film is one of the top films of 2000. Quite disturbing, yet artistic, this film is poetic and poignant. It epitomizes what a film can be when everything is in order.
  31. JoeA.
    May 28, 2005
    10
    Movies don't get much better than this. Reality is always more interesting than fiction, and this is life imitating art.
  32. CreedenceB.
    Mar 28, 2008
    10
    just from scanning the shown critic's lowest ratings(and i'm sure they are in the minority), i really wonder, just what is a good film to so-called 'critics'.....the acting was superb, the directing very.....life-like is the only way i can describe it........and the story so heart-wrenching, i wonder how anyone could not be moved by this comment on society in the most just from scanning the shown critic's lowest ratings(and i'm sure they are in the minority), i really wonder, just what is a good film to so-called 'critics'.....the acting was superb, the directing very.....life-like is the only way i can describe it........and the story so heart-wrenching, i wonder how anyone could not be moved by this comment on society in the most genuine and well-rounded view of death of a loved one (in this case murder) that i have ever seen. Collapse
  33. [Anonymous]
    Nov 21, 2001
    10
    It's in the bedroom, it's a way to get away from the relatives over Thanksgiving, I assume it doesn't involve the being IN the bed WITH the relatives (in THAT way), so what's not to like?
  34. JacquesR.
    Nov 25, 2001
    6
    I just saw this film with a packed crowd in Santa Monica, and I don't understand what all the hype is about. The movie was extremely slow and average. Yes, it did a terrific job of expresing a family's grief, but is this entertaining? I'm not so sure. Marisa Tomei is excellent, and Sissy Spacek is solid as usual (great follow-up to her role in "Straight Story"), but the I just saw this film with a packed crowd in Santa Monica, and I don't understand what all the hype is about. The movie was extremely slow and average. Yes, it did a terrific job of expresing a family's grief, but is this entertaining? I'm not so sure. Marisa Tomei is excellent, and Sissy Spacek is solid as usual (great follow-up to her role in "Straight Story"), but the movie itself needed more. Much more. Expand
  35. MichaelF.
    Dec 22, 2001
    10
    This is this year's most powerful film period. It just might be the best film of the year.
  36. ArnoldP.
    Jan 11, 2002
    4
    A profound film, beautifully acted , BUT told with a disorientating funereal pace that made me squirm in my seat. The previews falsely depicted this serious thriller, in a seemingly breathtaking pace, which for me did the ultimate viewing of this overly long film a disservice, as did the rave reviews.
  37. RenéH.(Denmark)
    Dec 11, 2002
    1
    Very boring! And i don`t think Spacek is a good Actress. Sorry!
  38. JeffreyO.
    Dec 16, 2002
    9
    Tense, with tremendous performances by everyone involved. Todd Field's direction was superb. Highly nuanced camerawork and editing add layers of depth to the already excellent performances. Fine dialogue and unsettling meditations on loss and revenge make this one of the best films I've seen in the last year. Certainly THE best of the five 2002 Academy Award nominees.
  39. JeffM.
    Aug 23, 2002
    9
    Slow?? This is real life! With all due respect to Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, Tom Wilkinson gave the best performance of 2002.
  40. AndrewF.
    Aug 23, 2002
    10
    Extremely well made "little" film that has a deliberate pace that will enthrall you if you allow it. Robbed, I say! Robbed at the Academy Awards. The best movie of the year with the best lead acting performance I have seen in six years. Tom Wilkinson was nothing short of brilliant! The most wonderful anquish subdued performance since William Hurt in "The ACCIDENTAL TOURIST."
  41. BrettC.
    Aug 28, 2002
    9
    Stunning. Slow-paced? Yes, but meant to reflect a rythym of life. This could be an easy movie to dismiss for some, simply because the performers and director make it all look so ordinary. But that is entirely the point; this is a lovely, convincing story. Tom Wilkinson gives the best male lead performance I've seen in several years.
  42. JonnyB.
    Aug 28, 2002
    3
    Why does everyone think this was so good? The acting was poor on many (nearly all) fronts, the direction was slow and the cinematography left me numb with boredom. The only redeeming feature was a good script, unfortunately marred by the above. Surely the topic of this film is the problem. There is no way, no matter how good the direction or script, that the audience can even begin to Why does everyone think this was so good? The acting was poor on many (nearly all) fronts, the direction was slow and the cinematography left me numb with boredom. The only redeeming feature was a good script, unfortunately marred by the above. Surely the topic of this film is the problem. There is no way, no matter how good the direction or script, that the audience can even begin to imagine what the characters are going through. In my version of In the Bedroom, the current film would make up the first 20 minutes of a film about the consequences of taking revenge in the manner the father did; a la Dostoyevski. Expand
  43. KatieP.
    Dec 22, 2003
    0
    Very boring. and I actually like movies that are known as boring (The Hours, etc). Didn't really have any affect on me whatsoever.
  44. L.Vitali
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    One of the finest films ever made. Pure poetry.
  45. J.RyanG.
    May 29, 2005
    6
    Doesn't seem to age very well. I remember being strongly affected by the film immediately upon seeing it. I also remember doing an awful lot of work to conjure up those feelings. The film didn't necessarily drag them out of me. And so, as years go by, and after seeing it once or twice more, it seems quite unremarkable. I still like Marisa Tomei a lot in this role, but I have Doesn't seem to age very well. I remember being strongly affected by the film immediately upon seeing it. I also remember doing an awful lot of work to conjure up those feelings. The film didn't necessarily drag them out of me. And so, as years go by, and after seeing it once or twice more, it seems quite unremarkable. I still like Marisa Tomei a lot in this role, but I have become especially frustrated at Sissy Spacek's rather dull performance. Expand
  46. MattS.
    Dec 23, 2009
    9
    A profound piece of work from actor and first time director, Todd Field. This is the first Masterpiece of the new century. An extremely well acted and concise illustration of grief and true love.
  47. Oct 15, 2012
    10
    Sissy Spacek great acting as always , Anyway, this is a great movie to me: adult and charismatic. Superb acting, excellent screenplay, good direction and an intense alarming atmosphere
  48. Aug 22, 2014
    7
    Thanks to some keen use of such thematic ideas as the cycle of violence and the causes and effects of death, "In The Bedroom" kicks the crap out of the viewer's heart and leaves them with a whole lot to think about.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 88
    Tremendously affecting on several levels, In the Bedroom is must-see viewing for anyone who complains Hollywood doesn't make movies for grownups.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Beautifully acted by a diverse ensemble, this Good Machine production is carefully crafted and deliberately paced.
  3. 50
    Increasingly unconvincing, In the Bedroom turns genteel rabble-rouser. Field's leisurely buildup forestalls but doesn't prevent his movie's mutation into a granola "Death Wish."