Red Lights

Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 9 out of 22

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 25, 2012
    63
    Red Lights also shows a director who knows how to construct a story and build interest, but at the end, it flies apart. I wonder if there was an earlier draft. I suspect most audiences would prefer a film with an ending that plays by the same rules as the rest of the story.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jul 11, 2012
    67
    As a sinister ESP showman, Robert De Niro is corny and fun.
  3. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Jul 25, 2012
    83
    The truth is, while Red Lights isn't terrifically scary, it is thrilling in other ways, constantly playful and often tongue-in-cheek as it works through the hokey conventions of the genre.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 5 out of 12
  1. Jul 16, 2012
    3
    Sadly, it seems any filmmaker billing De Niro in their movie, now, isn't the least concerned with what the erstwhile acting legend does;Sadly, it seems any filmmaker billing De Niro in their movie, now, isn't the least concerned with what the erstwhile acting legend does; casting him is supposed to be enough. Though such lionizing of a cinematic icon should be respected, and the actor himself should relish it, the billboard on which De Niro's face is plastered in "Red Lights," of his character Simon Silver, once again avers with undoubtable certainty, that he is merely dress-up for any trash that happens to call his name by phone; even sadder, is the realization that the trash and the man are slowly becoming synonymous with each other. This is true, but De Niro's not all to blame. From the director of the claustrophobic thriller "Buried," Rodrigo Cortes helms, this time, a psychological grabber starring Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy as a pair of full-time scholars and part-time paranormal debunkers. Their belief, the ESP, the ghosts, apparitions, telekinesis, psychic surgical treatment, are only superficially eerie acts, filled with sleighted gags. And, that sums up the film too: loud sounds, seemingly spooky ambiance with its share of door-slam-shocks, levitation, crackling power outages and the all too familiar candle blowouts with people gathered around the dining room table, and many others you've seen before, its ultimately mostly all, a campy mess; a film laden with busting bulbs and magic tricks but little semblance to cohering characters and dialogue. Moreover, a movie about extrasensory perception, you'd think, would have some form of self-image and perception, but the only thing this psy-thriller "grabs" is a mirror, at which point it insists on shattering before it can take a look. Sure, not all is lost amidst the fragments--Toby Young as the parapsychologist and genre-connoisseur Weaver (she knows where the "light switch" is, per se)--but the characters all feel so stranded in the darkness with no exit anywhere in sight. Others, namely Young's on-screen girlfriend, Olson, appears only fitting in the picture insofar as to confirm Young's otherwise implied affinity for women, and incidentally to show the audience some respite in occassionally revealing a pretty face instead of a dark, cacophonous room. Also, Weaver, notwithstanding her valiant attempts to fulfill the script, can't circumvent her expositorily informative lines that don't do justice to the already dullness of some of her counterparts. Initially, the film does start intriguingly, at least cinematographically, with dramatic shifts in camera movement and delightful set-locations. But, one can't expect the scenery alone to help this shock-limper through the long-haul. Enter the aforementioned De Niro, who hides behind those big, black glasses, and further, those cosmetic cataracts (playing a blind, spoon-bending thaumaturge) and wears his fading reputation proudly; needless to say, De Niro should have taken a tip from his character and performed his own vanishing act--far, far away from taking this role. His Simon Silver-paranormal-superstar persona doesn't come across as mysteriously creepy, but rather desperate and frankly, not all that interesting. Additionally, in what has been called a "mind-blowing conclusion," "Red Lights," endows an ending that is sure to mix things up, but rather than having a twist that adds to what one already knows, it ironically pulls the rug out from under itself, and takes it a step further in nullifying that which its sleight-of-hand narrative had set out to explain in the first place; it makes the pervasive foibles of the film all the more intolerable and undeniably unforgiveable to the time ill-spent. This one missed all-too-many signs urging it to "Stop." Arguably the biggest turn-for-the-worse and misfire of 2012. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2015
    3
    What the hell happened this had an excellent cast, some decent performances and a pretty good plot that for once had a sceptic view of physicsWhat the hell happened this had an excellent cast, some decent performances and a pretty good plot that for once had a sceptic view of physics which not enough media does but it's all undone by an ending so bad I still can't believe there wasn't a rewrite. I can't even recommend for a so bad it's good quality it doesn't have that and it should be taught in film schools as the perfect example of how a bad plot twist ruins a movie Full Review »
  3. Aug 1, 2016
    7
    Professor Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and he assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) have a very unique and interesting job. TheyProfessor Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and he assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) have a very unique and interesting job. They travel the country trying to prove of disprove psychics, magician, paranormal researchers, and people in similar fields. They would like nothing more than to find the real thing, but so far, Matheson has only found one person she hasn't been able to prove is a fraud, and that's Simon Silver (Robert De Niro). She is terrified of the man, but he assistant doesn't know any better and wants to make a name for himself by going after the legendary medium. I am in utter disbelief that a film with a cast like this was direct-to-film, but all that aside, it's as good a story as you'll find on the big screen. What can you say about De Niro and Weaver that hasn't been said a million times before, but this film is almost like a passing of the torch, as Murphy got the majority of the air time. How'd he do, Cillian Murphy absolutely stole the show right out from under them, in what is easily his best performance to date. To be honest, this is one of those films I watched for the cast, I wasn't super interested in the story and at times it was painfully slow, but Red Lights has some downright creepy moments, and the ending will absolutely blow your mind. If you're the patient type who enjoys a great performance, this films for you, if not, you might want to skip this one, as it takes a while to get going, and gives you some things you really have to think about afterwards. Full Review »