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

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 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: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 7 out of 31
  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. Collapse
  3. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    Disturbing, beautiful and twisted. Stoker is an underrated masterpiece that, though a little confusing and messy at times, is a loving tribute to films that has been made with care and creativity. With great actor and fantastic directing from Park Chan Wook, the genius behind Oldboy, and a great debut from new screenwriter and actor, Wentworth Miller, Stoker is one of this year's best. Expand
  4. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    Park Chan-wook's latest is a seductive slice of suspense titled "Stoker," and it is carried with some unexpected supernatural bravura. It's not understated to say moviegoers' were thrilled when director Park Chan-wook, director of the legendary "Oldboy" (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005), announced he was making his first English language feature film. Park is a truly talented director, a visual stylist with a flair for mystery. He is best known on these shores for his notorious, visceral, and character-driven 'Vengeance Trilogy'. Unfortunately, some American viewers familiar with his work, accompanied with their lofty expectations, won't get what they might have expected and hoped for.

    India (Mia Wasikowska) is an emotionally distant 18-year-old living with her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) in a sprawling mansion somewhere in the Deep South. She is mourning the recent death of her father in a car accident, and she was not prepared to lose her father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident. The solitude of her woodsy family estate, the peacefulness of her tranquil town, and the unspoken somberness of her home life are suddenly upended by not only this mysterious accident. Then there is the sudden arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother, India thinks the void left by her father's death is finally being filled by his closest bloodline. Soon after his arrival however, India comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives. Yet instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless young woman becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

    Technical achievements are almost nullified in large part to a pair of mitigating factors the first of which is Wentworth Miller's compelling, yet flawed screenplay. The fact that the most sympathetic people in the film are dead before it even starts doesn't help. Elegant direction helps to elevate a wearisome story line, but the cast plays things a bit too cool for comfort in "Stoker"- a morbid inversion of Alfred "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943). Thematically, Park's eerie domestic drama fits nicely into his criterion, though its distinctive lack of sympathetic characters keeps us at arm's length when we should have a sense of being emotionally invested. While Wasikowska is a talented actress, she's curiously flat here in her role as India. The potential for a complex, distressed protagonist is present, but the progression you're waiting for never quite comes. While it's understandable that India might seem emotionally distant following such a trauma, but she overplays the disaffected nature of her mourning, that it blunts her story's emotional impact. Likewise, her character's frustrated and secluded mother never comes across as remotely likeable. Miller's sense of pacing plays well to Park's strengths in sustaining tension ensuring that the audience remains engaged--and the major reveals are well hidden by Miller, as he skillfully plays his cards close to his chest.

    The overall result is a nerve-racking riff, and in its own right, is well made and certainly respectable. However, all of which contributes to the nagging idea that "Stoker" doesn't truly know what it wants to be. The story seems to have been pushed and pulled in a variety of directions by different parties. The film feels 'tainted' by Hollywood-a movie that is well polished and yet restrained, and nothing close to resembling a traditional South Korean thriller. A film that is worth the watch, but falls short of expectations and being truly memorable.
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  5. Sep 20, 2013
    5
    Very uneven some good scenes, but a lot of uninteresting sequences. Visually great. Length is ok. but there are much, much better thrillers out there. In the end all style, little substance. Expand
  6. Jun 29, 2013
    4
    Stoker has a first rate art direction and an exquisite editing with an astonishing soundtrack and a great cast but a ridden of cliches and a third rate, tired and unoriginal plot that is pointless and dumb. This thriller is gruesome and it is not everyone's cup of tea, although it looks spellbinding and delightful, it is a dull, disturbing and an uneven experience in so many ways. 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 31 User Reviews

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