Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Robin Williams just may have found the greatest role of his career. Playing beautifully both to fans and haters, Williams' Sy is a character you don't know whether to hug or go vigilante on his ass, a balance Bob Hoskins couldn't quite capture in "Felicia's Journey."
  2. It begins by scaring you to death by evoking a monster, and by the end it has seduced you into caring for him.
  3. 88
    Williams triumphs by exceeding both in sheer actor's craft - and the depths he plumbs in his character's tortured soul.
  4. Though the writing isn't always specific, Williams is. He differentiates between the murderer in "Insomnia," who wants a cop to understand his motives, and Sy, who realizes no one ever could.
  5. 88
    Watching the film, I thought of Michael Powell's great 1960 British thriller "Peeping Tom," which was about a photographer who killed his victims with a stiletto concealed in his camera. Sy uses a psychological stiletto, but he's the same kind of character.
  6. In One Hour Photo, Williams is a snapshot of human complexity worth framing.
  7. It marks an impressive debut for first-time writer-director Mark Romanek, especially considering his background is in music video. His script is uncluttered and potent, and his direction manipulates a devastating climax that ties the photo/voyeuristic theme together very effectively.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    This immaculately made first feature from noted musicvid and commercials director Mark Romanek provides Robin Williams with one of his creepiest, atypical roles, and the comic star responds with an unusually restrained performance that is, in the end, quite moving.
  9. Intense and absorbing experience.
  10. 80
    Williams gives a performance that is riveting in its recessiveness and, as a consequence, truly, deeply scary.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    It is a rare performance when one of the world's most recognizable stars can disappear completely into a character on the screen.
  12. One Hour Photo is a piece of often masterly image-making, a half-brilliant film with a revelatory lead performance by Williams. But it's also a thriller that gets trapped in surfaces: shiny, exciting, full of dread but often only tricks of the camera.
  13. Unlike Patch Adams, Sy is not lovable. But you wind up feeling for him, much as you feel for Sy's pet hamster on that endless wheel.
  14. Romanek does such a nice job of calibrating his film's squirm factor, it's possible to overlook some flaws that would sink a lesser film.
  15. The movie isn't as deep as it pretends to be, but it does have several nicely unexpected twists going for it. And it has Williams - memorably creepy, chillingly sad.
  16. 70
    Unfortunately One Hour Photo turns everyone but the central character into a cutout.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    70
    Too bad that Romanek feels compelled to tie it all up with a banal pop psych explanation that offers an all-too simplistic solution to an otherwise uncommonly complex thriller.
  18. 70
    Romanek's movie is a bit too pat and pleased with its undeniable ambitions, but the setup resonates with quiet desperation. There's not a single vicarious glorch.
  19. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    70
    Like Max Cady in "Cape Fear," the prototypical prole-stalks-bourgeois thriller, Sy is employed simply to scare the family members silly and, in so doing, make them stronger. Call it an exercise in threat management.
  20. 67
    Ultimately well-made but only intermittently gripping.
  21. Offers a very interesting snapshot of some decidedly modern pathologies.
  22. One Hour Photo is two-thirds of a movie -- the last act is a bit of a shambles.
  23. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    60
    If this is the direction Williams is headed in his career, fantastic. For auteur Romanek, it was at least a good first try.
  24. Reviewed by: Collin Levey
    60
    It lacks the redeeming warmth of a character the audience can identify with. But longtime fans of Mr. Williams will enjoy it as an example of the creepiness we always knew he was capable of.
  25. All too predictably, as if obeying some rule of genre, the director trades in his more involved ideas about alienation and voyeurism for an eruption of violence, then tags on some nonsense about marital fidelity.
  26. Watchable if relatively threadbare movie.
  27. 50
    Has a clean, antiseptic chilliness reminiscent of a Kubrick film. But too often, the director's stark visuals underline the naked simplicity of his story and make his picture of the suburbs seem hopelessly generic.
  28. 50
    It's only near the end, when Romanek sets out to release the tremendous tension he's built up, that One Hour Photo loses its bearings.
  29. The thinking part of this thriller needs work. It's not nearly as intelligent, thoughtful or penetrating as it promises to be.
  30. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Thriller fans might remember a terrific 1987 B flick called ''The Stepfather.'' One Hour Photo is that film, directed by an art student.
  31. What damps down the psychological power of One Hour Photo is director Mark Romanek's reluctance to let the film become as idiosyncratically unnerving as its main character.
  32. Williams once knew how to be very still and yet allow us to see the plangent human being underneath. In One Hour Photo, Sy's scary ordinariness is a species of acting stunt. There's no there there.
  33. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    40
    The film is visually worked out to within an inch of its life, but after 15 minutes you can see where it's going, and along the way there are no surprises.
  34. 30
    An art-house horror movie, and like most art-house versions of genre films, all the vitality and juice of genre conventions have been sucked right out. The irony of the movie is that it puts you into the same torpor that's supposed to be afflicting the characters.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 42
  2. Negative: 9 out of 42
  1. Mar 18, 2012
    9
    Here we have a near-perfect thriller told in classic Hitchcoc fashion. The acting and storytelling is great, and Robin Williams does reallyHere we have a near-perfect thriller told in classic Hitchcoc fashion. The acting and storytelling is great, and Robin Williams does really come off as one of the creepiest roles I have seen him in. Even with his creepiness, we sympathize with him and want him to succeed - at least to some extent. The story and pacing of this film both are great, and it really is a film Alfred Hitchcoc would produce if he were still alive today. I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. The chemistry between the characters and the many twists in the story make this a wonderful little gem well worth your time to watch. Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2014
    7
    I was sort of expecting this film to generate a cult following after Robin Williams death. He didn't seem to receive much attention for thisI was sort of expecting this film to generate a cult following after Robin Williams death. He didn't seem to receive much attention for this role but I see it as one of his best. Its weird to see Williams in the villain role but it doesn't take long for you to notice how well he portrays Sy the Photo Guy. One Hour Photo kept me guessing until the end. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    6
    Disturbing movie. Good acting. Creepiest role I ever seen from Robin Williams. Nice storytelling. You must watch it if you like thrillerDisturbing movie. Good acting. Creepiest role I ever seen from Robin Williams. Nice storytelling. You must watch it if you like thriller movies. I like it. 7/10 Full Review »