User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
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  1. WilliamM.
    May 12, 2003
    9
    I was riveted by this film. Norton was great, and the twist had me pretty stunned. Lastly, and most importantly, Laura Linney is a GODDESS! We need to see much more of her -- more acting roles that is -- in the future.
  2. Jul 27, 2013
    9
    The acting in this film is outstanding. Edward Norton was absolutely amazing and the twist really makes this better than your average courtroom drama. Really good film, kept me on the edge of my seat for sure.
  3. Dec 19, 2012
    9
    Os actores falam por si, talvez o melhor papel jamais desempenhado por Edward Norton. O Thriller em si é genial, talvez um dos melhores, simples, agradável de ver, boa qualidade de fotografia, papeis bem desempenhados, personagens bem caracterizado que nos agarra á história até ao fim surpreendente que é a cereja no topo do bolo!
  4. May 3, 2013
    9
    Chock-full of dazzling "holy sh*t" moments, "Primal Fear" not only delivers intrigue as a fascinating courtroom drama would, but it also shocks you the way a gripping thriller would.
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. The special twist-which Paramount Pictures has implored critics not to divulge-redefines the story completely. It also ruins everything.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    As a forum for its actors and for the big-screen directorial debut of multi-Emmy winner Gregory Hoblit, the film is up to the job.
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Macor
    50
    Norton's performance and the well-paced tension preceding the movie's climactic sequence provide an entertaining if slightly predictable thriller.