Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. 80
    Snake Eyes can't sustain its masterful first hour, but it's better than just about any action movie this year.
  2. 80
    The entire film takes its cue from Cage's spritzes and jags; it's a delirious performance in a delirious landscape.
  3. 78
    After it has ended, you may want to view it all over again, just to see if you can beat the odds and pick up on what you missed the first time around.
  4. The real heroes are cinematographer Stephen H. Burum and editor Bill Pankow, who help the picture keep popping even when its plot and dialogue go into a slump.
  5. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    Snake Eyes sports some of the most breathtaking filmmaking of De Palma's career -- and Nicolas Cage is the one actor who cannot be upstaged by it. [18 September 1998, p. 11E]
  6. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    There's plenty of bravura camera work and two terrific supporting turns from Carla Gugino, as a terrified key witness, and Stan Shaw, as the soul-searching heavyweight champ. De Palma didn't hit the jackpot here, but he certainly didn't roll snake eyes.
  7. Reviewed by: David Kehr
    A dicey thriller visually, De Palma kicks off the movie on quite a roll, but the story craps out. [7 August 1998, p. 57]
  8. 63
    Mixed together, all of this makes for a fascinating viewing experience, but the unfortunate ending diluted my enthusiasm for the film as a whole.
  9. Great pictures are seamless; in this one, you can not only see the seams but count the stitches.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    Cage and Sinise earn their pay, but the story by De Palma and David Koepp -- which strains for romantic glory of De Palma's "Blow Out" or "Obsession" -- gives away too much too early.
  11. A great big juicy gob of apocalyptic paranoia.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A thriller of serpentine excitement all the way up to that dud of a climax.
  13. Reviewed by: Daphne Merkin
    In spite of its noirish glow, De Palma's thriller is oddly unsuspenseful. Although his vaunted technique and Hitchcockian effects are all here, there's no life in the story (co-written by De Palma and David Koepp), and the last-minute burst of sentimentality is especially lame.
  14. The movie's coda is completely ridiculous and, worse yet, boring.
  15. Reviewed by: David Denby
    I can't think of another movie that starts so brilliantly and ends so miserably as this one.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Cage supplies beaucoup energy, but his highly compromised hustler cop character provides little else in which he can invest his talent. Sinise wears an increasingly grim demeanor in a part that comes to make no sense, and John Heard's role as a local power broker gets lost in the shuffle.
  17. For me, part of the fun of Snake Eyes is the genuine satisfaction of seeing Brian De Palma finally arriving at his own level.
  18. 40
    The identity of the bad guy is ludicrously obvious; and his public unmasking relies on the dopiest contrivance in recent memory.
  19. 40
    Not too long after the knockout opening, all that's left of Snake Eyes are Cage's wild eyes, the dregs of David Koepp's rotten script, and De Palma's restless, anxious camera, on the prowl for something, anything, to hang on to.
  20. As filmmaking, it's a bravura performance, but as a film, it falls flat.
  21. 30
    A glittery but dunderheaded murder mystery.
  22. 25
    It's the worst kind of bad film: the kind that gets you all worked up and then lets you down, instead of just being lousy from the first shot.
  23. De Palma seems to be trying too hard to make somebody else's great movie, once again an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Would someone please tell this guy to relax?
  24. Has Brian De Palma finally lost his mind? Ever since "Carrie" (1976), his one true masterpiece, this director has evolved into a cinematic serial killer of common sense.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Feb 24, 2013
    This is your classic, who done it, murder mystery by the modern day master of suspense, Brian De Palma. A lot of other people who reviewed this movie didn't like it, because it moves slowly and then shows a lot of flashbacks of the crime through many different witnesses eyes, similar to the TV show Cold Case. Personally, I think this just adds to the suspense and helps build to an expected climax, which had unexpected results for everyone involved. Nicholas Cage plays Rick Santoro perfectly, its a role that at the time seemed as thou it could be a bit of a stretch for him, but as always he is terrific. This film is defiantly a throwback, that many people didn't seem to go for, but I think it's something different and well worth seeing. Full Review »
  2. Feb 15, 2012
    Spectacular performance from Nicholas Cage. This film was a real treat and a hidden gem. I thoroughly enjoyed each layer of the story unfolding. Great film. Full Review »
  3. Dec 16, 2010
    Good movie. I like the way the camera work and/or directing was done.. flowing in the non-stop filming like that Orson Wells first breakthrough. I agree the first hour was much better and the ending got too much of the Hollywood treatment but I still liked it. Strong performance by NC saved it for me as well. Unique film at the time due to that never ending scene flow used. Sorry I don't know all the techincal lingo.. just an average fan here lol. Worth seeing! Full Review »