Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. 100
    Surely the best movie yet made from Mr. Irving's fiction. It may even belong in the rarefied company of movies that are better than the books on which they are based.
  2. One of those rare and complex dramas that you can enter, not simply watch.
  3. The production is graced by bold performances, lyrical visuals and, most notably, Irving's own words, which have made the transition quite intact thanks to a faithful but still filmic adaptation by writer-director Tod Williams.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    A thoughtful, melancholy story of love, loss, pain, betrayal and the lingering after-effects of tragedy, The Door in the Floor is an intelligent, impeccably acted, unsentimental drama.
  5. Bridges turns a two-dimensional image into a presence so vital, so filled with breath and blood, that you uneasily fall in love with his character and abandon all thought of the artifice that's brought it to life.
  6. 88
    You can't shut the door on this spellbinder. It gets into your head.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A stunningly well-acted drama for grown-ups.
  8. Everything in the movie -- family demons, May-December sex, the lessons of writing -- ties together with pinpoint precision. That's a pleasure, to be sure, and a limitation, too.
  9. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    A surprisingly good film, not quite original but smart, careful and steadfast in its dedication to its characters.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    This hothouse tale of grief, sex and betrayal is told with a cool detachment that renders it commendably unsentimental--and slightly remote.
  11. 75
    Well-made, and it held my attention throughout, but this is one of those motion pictures where it's easier to admire than like the final result.
  12. It works as a fascinating and often very funny character study/satire of a famous author, though it loses interest the harder it tries to be profound and falls apart completely toward the end.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Jeff Bridges has enough demons in The Door in the Floor to jam a crowd scene, but the actor's sheer likability remains undiminished.
  14. 75
    Williams handles the main line of the story, the war between Ted and Marion, clearly and strongly; you may not always hurt the one you love, but you certainly know how to.
  15. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    There are more than a couple of moments in this film, adapted by writer-director Tod Williams from a big swatch of Irving’s multigenerational quilt "A Widow for One Year," that get Irving’s sense of grotesque tragedy and tragic grotesquerie just right
  16. Bridges is fun to watch, Fanning emerges as Hollywood's best 6-year-old actress, and Rogers's talents are wasted. A likable drama within its limitations.
  17. 70
    Bridges turns in another remarkable performance, and he's well-matched by Foster.
  18. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    Eliminates much of its source's plot, focusing on the book's first third. The result is a crisply shot chamber piece for husband, wife, and boy.
  19. 70
    The film’s beauty is that, like any good novel, it refuses to sew up its meanings for the audience.
  20. By the end the story is more satisfying than you might expect.
  21. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Bridges has evolved into a miraculous actor: one who signals wildness through the intensity of his containment.
  22. To do no disservice to the impressive work of Bridges' co-stars, anytime his ragged writer, in flowing caftans and floppy hats, is on screen, it's impossible to take in anything else, so commanding is his presence.
  23. That Williams occasionally comes close to the author's layered spirit is a tribute to his passion. But the film fails on a number of levels. First, it is what it is: the prologue to a story that covers four(!) decades.
  24. A handsome-looking movie that's full of the muted greens, browns and grays of the tony Hamptons, director Williams' tale never quite finds its footing.
  25. When it sticks to the subject, the movie is sad and affecting.
  26. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Getting Irving's characteristic blend of quirky comedy and sorrow just right on screen has always been tricky, and writer-director Tod Williams' best efforts aren't enough to make the mix gel.
  27. 60
    This is a carefully conceived, thoughtfully orchestrated effort in taste and restraint that ultimately is too restrained and tasteful.
  28. Bridges can't be a whole movie. But he's the main reason to watch.
  29. 60
    It's nearly impossible to tell whether Williams thought he was making a family tragedy or a sex farce.
  30. Reviewed by: Dorian Lynskey
    This better-than-the-book adaptation casts quite a spell.
  31. Reviewed by: Karen Karbo
    By turns absorbing, unsettling and, for lack of a better word, icky.
  32. Bridges redeems the clichéd role of spoiled artist-sot. He's flamboyantly entertaining, which is more than this otherwise dreary movie deserves.
  33. 50
    Rogers gives a brave performance, but there isn't much chemistry between Bridges and Basinger, who were teamed to better effect in 1987's "Nadine."
  34. Single-handedly, Bridges gives the film what it otherwise lacks -- energy and emotion invested in this damaged man, naked beneath his ballooning caftan, at once sadly ridiculous and ridiculously sad.
  35. 50
    The Door in the Floor feels more about a situation than actual people. It's sensitively rendered, filled with those necessary evocative details, and it never rings true.
  36. 50
    For all its handsomeness and its occasional moments of piercing intelligence, it's a fundamentally depressing piece of work--not because it deals with tragic events and memories but because the characters seem hapless and even stupid, and the writer-director can't, or won't, take control.
  37. 38
    Despite the actors' admirable efforts, everyone in The Door in the Floor is too affected, too fancifully written, to come off as anything other than conceits.
  38. Showcasing three individuals whose spiritual and physical journeys are both repellent and mundane, the film is just a long and pointless slog.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 4 out of 13
  1. Mar 4, 2012
    I re-watched this film last night and was completely bowled over. What a screenplay! John Irving is not easy to adapt and "Widow for One Year"I re-watched this film last night and was completely bowled over. What a screenplay! John Irving is not easy to adapt and "Widow for One Year" was particularly unadaptable but Tod Williams captures the wit and sadness of this heartbreaking tale. I don't know what else he has directed but I plan on finding out. Far and away the best performance of Kim Basingers career she is just so beautifully unhappy. Trying to sexually release herself from a tragedy as if one can. The young man John Foster who plays the intern Eddie O'Hare hired for the summer is so believable in his honesty and awkwardness. He doesn't just lust after Marion he truly loves her and you know it can't end well. The entire cast give there all not afraid to look hediously riduculous. Jeff Bridges is so alternately repulsive and seductive like a pretty snake, one of his better performances as well. Having spent time in the Hamptons I can testify that they get that right as well. That combination of New England small town and New York big time celebrity each exploiting the other. The score was pitch perfect. I highly recommend this movie, Full Review »
  2. JeffM.
    Oct 2, 2006
    Moving and quirky. Jeff Bridges is probably the most underrated actor of his generation. Bassinger is probably my least favorite actress Moving and quirky. Jeff Bridges is probably the most underrated actor of his generation. Bassinger is probably my least favorite actress around, but her blank detachment worked well in this role. Full Review »
  3. SusanM.
    May 1, 2006
    The best movie I have seen this year. It has such a sad and moving story that really sticks with you. Bridges and Basinger can really act!