The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 56 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: After a car accident puts him into a coma for 5 years, teacher Johnny Smith (Walken) wakes up to discover he can see people's futures after touching them.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Arguably the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel.
  2. 88
    The Dead Zone does what only a good supernatural thriller can do: It makes us forget it is supernatural.
  3. 80
    David Cronenberg turns The Dead Zone into an accomplished psychological thriller.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    It has some of that episodic ‘compressed miniseries’ feel which a lot of King pictures get stuck with (the book was later redone as a TV serial with Anthony Michael Hall) but still manages a lot of powerful material.
  5. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    63
    The Dead Zone, from the book by Stephen King, a horror novelist whose prolific output is the scariest thing about him, is academic filmmaking all the way, a crafty Establishment tour de force. [21 Oct 1983]
  6. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    It never really chills you, but then it never insults you, either, and it's more affecting than you expect any film based on a Stephen King novel to be. [22 Oct 1983]
  7. 50
    By no means a bad film, just a disappointingly bland and superficial one.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 14, 2014
    10
    The Dead Zone is a fun supernatural thriller with Christopher Walken. The movie is thrilling and
    the plot is intriguing and original. The
    The Dead Zone is a fun supernatural thriller with Christopher Walken. The movie is thrilling and
    the plot is intriguing and original. The cast also has Martin Sheen who gives an interesting performance
    as a politician running in the local election, A+.
    Expand
  2. Jul 12, 2016
    9
    This was outstanding, and ranks right up there for me, both in terms of Stephen King adaptations in general and Cronenberg's work inThis was outstanding, and ranks right up there for me, both in terms of Stephen King adaptations in general and Cronenberg's work in particular. It also houses one of my very favourite Christopher Walken performances. When I see Martin Sheen be such a jerk here, it both makes me realize where his son Charlie gets that side of his personality from and makes me fear, even though I'm Canadian, the fact that Donald Trump actually has a chance of being the next president of the United States. It also reaffirms in my heart the great adoration I have for Brooke Adams. Expand
  3. Aug 24, 2015
    8
    Part police procedural, part political thriller, part supernatural horror - "The Dead Zone" is a phenomenal mixed bag wrapped in fantasticPart police procedural, part political thriller, part supernatural horror - "The Dead Zone" is a phenomenal mixed bag wrapped in fantastic intrigue and sure-handed direction from David Cronenberg. Expand
  4. May 12, 2015
    7
    The Dead Zone is a film that does not do much wrong, but does not much particularly great to be seen as such. It features some really goodThe Dead Zone is a film that does not do much wrong, but does not much particularly great to be seen as such. It features some really good acting from Christopher Walken in the lead role, as well as typically great direction from David Cronenberg. The writing is really good and it is very well paced. However, ultimately, I felt like the story was a little lacking. Though it had all these good pieces and the idea was really, really good, it came together more like a by-the-numbers television series. Walken's character was essentially put in many different positions throughout the film and I think it would have been well-served if it chose one of these, rather than a bunch of them. The film tried to do much and made itself feel as though it were multiple different films, rather than one single film. In addition, I never found it scary. This isn't a negative, since I just expected a supernatural thriller, but I've seen it listed as a great horror film and I think I must have missed that aspect of it, as I found none of it that scary at all. Certainly, is unsettling, but never once was it scary. Overall, The Dead Zone is a pretty good film with good parts that could be even better if it was a more focused picture. Expand

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