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Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Feb 25, 2013
    100
    An intense mix of horror, thriller and domestic drama, this is exquisite film making.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Feb 5, 2013
    83
    More blatantly an exercise in style than anything on par with the director's crowning achievements, and suffers to some degree from the predictability of its premise.
  3. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Feb 5, 2013
    80
    Park's unsettling visuals and his handling of the cast make the occasional holes in Wentworth Miller's script practically irrelevant.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 14, 2013
    63
    Like a taxidermied owl, Stoker is lovely to look at, but in the end it’s hard to give a hoot.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Feb 28, 2013
    60
    The final act of Stoker walks a fine line between the sensational and the silly. Mr. Park is less interested in narrative suspense than in carefully orchestrated shocks and camouflaged motives.
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Park is busy treating every frame like a runway model, dressing it up in self-conscious layers of cinematic haute couture. It’s gorgeous to gaze upon but otherwise dessicated – listless, juiceless and ultimately pointless. For all his exemplary camera work, there’s no motion, or emotion, in the picture.
  7. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Feb 5, 2013
    16
    The risible Stoker is a brutally empty, deeply unfortunate movie, and Park Chan-wook's jackhammer of a tool he calls a brush is, on this evidence, something that should be locked away.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  1. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    It's safe to say that fans of the Director will be pleased but so wil regular audiences as well. This is a GREAT thriller which is simultaneous vividly stunning with excellent performances. Look for this to steal some Oscars next year. Expand
  2. Jul 2, 2013
    10
    Cinematic gold. Stoker is hypnotic, stunning, gorgeous, satisfying and stylish. A masterpiece delivered by the director that brought us the film: "Oldboy" which is another amazing piece of cinema. For those of you who don't know, Chan-wook Park is a Korean film maker and Stoker is his first English language film, and this has put him as one of the directors to look our for. The acting is outstanding, the cinematography is stunning, the plot is flawless, and it's not by Quentin Tarantino, but it seems like a Tarantino. I will not recommend this movie to all movie goers, or at least those who do not favor violent films, yet its an amazing movie, film making at it's best. Expand
  3. Zal
    Mar 25, 2013
    9
    Dark, chilling, and unpredictable, Stoker was a real treat. The mystery surrounding Uncle Charlie was engaging and the movie did a great job at keeping us in the dark about him. The characters are memorable and well-written. All the performances are fantastically creepy, especially the one given by Matthew Goode. It's not as well constructed as Oldboy, but this is still a fine piece of work by Chan-wook Park. Collapse
  4. Mar 24, 2013
    6
    The movie starts at the funeral for Mr. Stoker. That leaves his introverted teenage daughter (Mia Wasikowska), his troubled wife (Nicole Kidman) and Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who shows up from obscurity. And the creepy, fatal games begin. Who's killing and why? While some things about the direction and cinematography are compelling, the slow pacing and ultimately silly story keep it from having the socko effect that was desired. Interesting coincidence: Harmony Korine (director of "Spring Breakers," which opened here this weekend) has an almost invisible part in this film as the art teacher.
    GAY ANGLE: Some handsome men, but no flesh and no fun.
    Expand
  5. Jun 25, 2013
    5
    Stoker is an exquisite film making, it sounds good, it looks great, but it lacks originality, which kind of disappoints in a movie that could be a one of a kind, lost opportunity, but let me deal with it, it is not an enjoyable experience, it is dark and dull, but in a good way, although it lacks originality, which means it has a lot of cliches, it stands out as one great thriller with disturbing imagery, great acting and storytelling, the editing is perfect the psychological part in this movie is perfect, but still, it is not what I was hoping for, pity. Expand
  6. Aug 13, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Prior to and superseding Old Boy, the penultimate film of Park Chan Wook's Vengeance Trilogy, incest is intimated(whereas incest becomes actualized in the 2003 Cannes Grand Prix winner), a forerunner to Stoker, his American major studio debut, where sexual tension between an uncle and niece is unequivocally stressed. At the outset of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a mute brother and his dying sister hold each other like lovers as they look out toward the coastline, while over the soundtrack, the brother's letter is read over the radio airwaves, a letter that promises his beloved sibling, a kidney. During the convalescence, she allows Ryu to wipe down her arms and legs in the nude, save for a towel, a sponge bath that conveys the potential for transgressive intimacy. It's the ease and lack of self-consciousness about exposed skin from the pair which suggests a chummy history. In Lady Vengeance, incest is employed as metaphor, when Geum-ja, a parolee wrongly accused of child murder, has sex with a bakery co-worker who sees her as an "elder sister", a teenager at least fifteen years Geum-ja's junior. Incest, however, in Old Boy, rises above the subtext and begets two separate but interlocking interfamilial relationships that climaxes into the most tragic of tragi-comic endings. It's only natural that the South Korean filmmaker would choose to remake Shadow of a Doubt, the perviest of films in the Alfred Hitchc*ck ouevre. Not for nothing, in Stoker, does Evelyn, the mother, brag to Uncle Charlie, her brother-in-law, about the recently widowed woman's ability to speak perfect French, since Francois Truffaut(The Bride Wore Black) famously refashioned tropes to his own European art-house sensibilities, as does Wook Park(working from a script he didn't pen), who ferrets out the depravity that courses through the veins of Charlie and Young Charlie(visually linked by matching introductory shots of them lying down on beds) in Shadow of a Doubt, Our Town's shadow, the 1942 film with a similar double-barreled incest storyline as Old Boy. "Have you ever seen...yourself," India asks a boy, "...from an angle you don't get to see when you're in the mirror," while walking in the woods, just prior to his attack on her. Stepping out from behind the trees, Charlie rescues India, giving his niece a chance to flail away at her oversexed classmate, after he bonds his wrists and ankles together. Very obliquely, India's little speech recalls Old Boy, when Soo-ah allows Woo-jim, her brother, to molest the consenting schoolgirl in an empty classroom, going so far as taking out a compact mirror so she can get a better look at this familial lover giving her exposed breasts a tongue bath. She then tilts the mirror up to her smiling face. Echoing India's words, the smile says, "That's me. That's also me." Comparably, that's India in the bathroom, staring at herself, too, in the looking glass, before she enters the shower, where a different, more grisly recount of the boy's murder by Uncle Charlie's hands play out; a murder fantasy that serves as onanistic material for autoerotic sex under hot water. Both violence and taboo love turns India on. But what about Young Charlie? The filmmaker, in Stoker, makes more explicit the sexual longing and violent disposition already inherent in the uncle's namesake, whose "miracle" could be comparable to India's "longing to be rescued, to be completed," if not for the oppressive sexual climate of her times. Whereas India is an only child, mourning the sudden death of her father, Young Charlie has a full complement of parents and siblings. It's this stable family life, perhaps, that helps stave off her incubated unwholesome side which the uncle tries desperately, but fails to activate. Like Young Charlie, India is in simpatico with this long-lost uncle, sharing her counterpart's gift of telepathy, in which she hears Charlie's words of introduction from afar at the funeral. In Shadow of a Doubt, Young Charlie hums a few bars of the "Merry Widow Waltz", to the dismay of her uncle, who later attempts to romance his niece with an emerald ring. Earlier, through visual metaphor, Hitchc*ck shows how he wants to deflower Young Charlie. But what about the girl? Is she willing? It must be sexual attraction that prevents Young Charlie from turning the Merry Widow Murderer in? That much is made clear when, analogously, India doesn't report the discovery of their housekeeper in the family's pantry freezer. Back at the funeral party, India observes, "You look like my father," and because he's her uncle, she can safely realize her daddy fantasies without guilt. When Evelyn catches Charlie helping India slip into a pair of high heels, it confirms, perhaps, something she always suspected about her husband and daughter. Like Min-Sik(who beds his daughter), India, the "young girl", doesn't fully realize who the person she's attracted to really is. Expand
  7. Jul 27, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A pointless movie, without any psychology in it, like a good horror movie shoud have, no moral, no talcum, a pointless, useless story about a girl who kills people without any purpose. Ok, she murdered that boy from school because he was tryin' to do her thing. But...the police man??? Bad, simply bad. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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