Metascore
99

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Jan 14, 2014
    100
    It’s the most haunted and dreamlike of all American films, a gothic backwoods ramble with the Devil at its heels.
  2. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    Jan 13, 2014
    100
    Ignored for a long time, this film is now impossible to ignore. Mitchum is magnetic.
  3. This is the only film Laughton ever directed, and he packed it with a mixture of eerie chills, ingenious suspense, and absurdist humor. It's a genuine classic.
  4. 100
    Laughton understood Agee's proximity to Grimm vaudeville, and fashioned the most intensely expressionistic movie of its day.
  5. Part fairy tale and part bogeyman thriller -- a juicy allegory of evil, greed and innocence, told with an eerie visual poetry.
  6. 100
    One of the greatest of all American films, but has never received the attention it deserves because of its lack of the proper trappings. Many "great movies'' are by great directors, but Laughton directed only this one film, which was a critical and commercial failure long overshadowed by his acting career.
  7. 100
    An enduring masterpiece--dark, deep, beautiful, aglow.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    One of those movies that if I had seen as a child it would have terrified me to no end, and having seen it now, it just sits eerily in theOne of those movies that if I had seen as a child it would have terrified me to no end, and having seen it now, it just sits eerily in the back of my mind. It is truly a perfect thriller. Full Review »
  2. Jul 10, 2012
    10
    One of cinema's miracles.
    This movie put in me in a trance mid-way. It just sucks you in. The plot, directing, acting, casting, character
    One of cinema's miracles.
    This movie put in me in a trance mid-way. It just sucks you in. The plot, directing, acting, casting, character development. I could go on and on. A most classic of classic movies. Might not be for every person in the world, but, to me, this movie is just as important to cinema as The Wizard of Oz or 2001: A Space Odyssey. Right up there with them.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    10
    Pretty much as brilliant as movies get. Mitchum plays the serial killer preacher(his favorite role he said) with absolutely no morals(exceptPretty much as brilliant as movies get. Mitchum plays the serial killer preacher(his favorite role he said) with absolutely no morals(except get money). The scene on the porch at night is probably THE most brilliant movie scene in history. Good acting, good story, good movie. this is film making at it's very best. A suspenseful masterpiece. there are moments where i am actually worried that he would catch the kids. An excellent film. I particularly like how he would fool his victims and their friends. He has more or less memorized the basics of Christianity and he uses that for his own ends. He is so evil that you like him a lot. also I like how this was Laughton's first attempt at directing. It was his first time and he came up with this. the only other time that I have seen that is with Citizen Kane. A masterpiece that will never fade into the ages. It has and will continue to stand the test of time. Full Review »