The Stepfather

The Stepfather Image
Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Michael Harding returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David. As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really the man of herMichael Harding returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David. As the two men get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand. Is he really the man of her dreams or could David be hiding a dark side? (Sony) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 11
  2. Negative: 3 out of 11
  1. Tthe film is all of a piece, a handsome, thoughtfully crafted production that generates a mounting terror securely anchored by assured performances, consistent psychological persuasiveness and believable dialogue. What's most chilling about The Stepfather is that it was inspired by an actual incident in New Jersey in 1971.
  2. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    60
    McCormick's Stepfather boasts a decent script by J.S. Cardone, but it seems to have been made in a bubble, as if nothing had transpired in the world of slasher/horror since the late Donald Westlake ("The Grifters") wrote the much-respected original.
  3. 50
    The kickoff is good -- the finale effectively literalizes the expression “broken home” -- but director Nelson McCormick doesn’t keep things “taut” in between. Rather than do scenes right the first time, he tends to déjà vu them (this usually involves Amber Heard, wearing not-too-much).
  4. A clumsy remake of the 1987 cult thriller.
  5. The trouble with the movie, apart from its rather monotonous dourness of tone, is that everyone in the family, especially the reformed-delinquent high school son (Penn Badgley), comes off as tougher, smarter, and quicker on the draw than the stepfather who's supposed to be outfoxing them.
  6. 40
    Cliché-ridden and full of plot-holes.
  7. 0
    Walsh is just a dumb bully who can’t see more than one or two steps ahead. He’s doomed to generic slasher villainy, and the film thoughtlessly obliges.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 14
  2. Negative: 4 out of 14
  1. rickym
    Oct 19, 2009
    10
    The Stepfather is freakin awesome! this movie is a thrill a minute suspense ride from the opening scene up to the final one Dylan Walsh is amazing.
  2. Jennifer
    Oct 24, 2009
    9
    What a rush!!!!! Ths movie was so good! I was jumping out of my seat. The buildup to each suspensful moment is perfect. By now, I think we What a rush!!!!! Ths movie was so good! I was jumping out of my seat. The buildup to each suspensful moment is perfect. By now, I think we have seen it all as far as predictable plots but this movies does a very good job of surprising you despite having a pretty good idea about what is going on. I give it a 9 because this movie was a thrill ride. Really got my blood pumping for what I thought was going to be another okay movie on a dull Friday night. Definitely worth the $10 bucks. Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2016
    8
    If the movie's attic-bound climax is a little predictable and the plot holes rather gaping, The Stepfather, unlike many of its moreIf the movie's attic-bound climax is a little predictable and the plot holes rather gaping, The Stepfather, unlike many of its more prestigious A-class competitors, is never less than entertaining.

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  4. sandyn
    Jun 17, 2010
    5
    I didn't see the 1987 original, but this version of The Stepfather, although professional in its production, is just another I didn't see the 1987 original, but this version of The Stepfather, although professional in its production, is just another by-the-numbers thriller. (Spoiler Alert coming...) The end leaves you dissatisfied and frustrated too, as the evil protagonist never gets his comeuppance! Expand
  5. Oct 13, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Okay, so I first saw this on blu-ray, which is unrated. I did not know the theatrical was PG-13. I sort of looking for a bloody slasher film with a psychopathic stepfather, you know, something that excites me on a boring evening. I'm not sure what the differences were between the unrated and PG-13 versions, but no matter how you look at it, this film really doesn't work, despite its great premise (I wasn't aware it was a remake until later). He's supposed to be the guy everybody trusts, your classic closet serial killer who's otherwise normal...well, almost otherwise normal. For a guy who's supposed to be a step ahead of everyone else, it's pretty clear he's not one of the brighter killers to exist. It's like he's asking to be caught, with how he suddenly quits his job because he has to provide identification, murders people who think he's suspicious, and even keeps his **** browser history intact on his computer. Seriously? He doesn't even manage to clear his browser history? Couldn't he have at least made a separate user account on Windows so no one else could see it? But no, he decides to leave his entire web activity available for public eye, which, big surprise, helps a lot in his eventual discovery. The "cell phone with low battery" trick is actually used here, which hasn't been suspenseful for at least a decade. He somehow loses a fight to a teenager who is clearly a worse fighter, tries to cover up his evidence with a lock that someone simply forces open, and lives an open lie that you can't imagine anyone in the movie possibly believes, sans the desperate person he's scheduled to marry. There's really nothing special at all about this film, and its nonsensical premise isn't lived up to in the execution (no pun intended). Plot holes are everywhere, believability is kept to a minimum, the characters aren't anything special, we never learn the bad guy's true motives, everyone in the movie seems to have a serious association problem (considering they dismiss his picture on America's Most Wanted as nothing to worry about, or that he never allows himself to be photographed, or that he refuses to provide proper identification when asked, etc.), and really, the bad guy is just not very smart. Yeah, he tries to be charming like a typical psychopath, but he's not exactly calculated in any way whatsoever. His smarts as a killer end at his ability to fake a smile. Pretty weak film, especially with an antagonist who is an idiot and is wearing a sign on his forehead the whole time saying he's the killer on America's Most Wanted, which is naturally dismissed by every single person except the main protagonist. Yeah, that's weak. Expand
  6. Jan 7, 2011
    5
    While I have not seen the original, this movie on its own is not scary, not even very suspenseful. A few scenes showed promise, but everythingWhile I have not seen the original, this movie on its own is not scary, not even very suspenseful. A few scenes showed promise, but everything here seems so cliche'. The acting is solid, and there are a few nice shots, but not enough to push it over being a polished bland film. Collapse
  7. Nov 27, 2012
    0
    The worst remake movies i seen is The Stepfather (2009). and Psycho (1998). Planet of the Apes (2001). The Wicker Man (2006). Red DawnThe worst remake movies i seen is The Stepfather (2009). and Psycho (1998). Planet of the Apes (2001). The Wicker Man (2006). Red Dawn (2012) , And wait for more bad remakes movies Carrie 2013 and . Robocop 2013. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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