Dark Water 2005

Critics score:
46 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: In a time when American acting icons like Robert De Niro and Jane Fonda take roles in junk and call it good fun, Connelly shows us how an actor can respect commercial moviemaking and her craft. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: What keeps the film alive and more than a little nerve-wracking are a terrific cast and director Walter Salles, who creates a powerfully oppressive mood that meshes seamlessly with the inner turmoil of troubled mom Dahlia. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A mostly faithful adaptation of a scary little story: A mother and her young daughter, needing to save money as the mother negotiates an unhappy divorce, move into a depressing, dark apartment. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Director Walter Salles give this shocker an added psychological/ dramatic level that heightens the shivers. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It's not bad, horrible or embarrassing; it just doesn't completely add up or send people out feeling like they've seen something special. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: This is an eerie, relentlessly grim, invasive little movie -- a tone poem of despair that seeps into you like the damp. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Maybe Ring is spookier. But Water's female character is the better woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Read more

AV Club: Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Some may consider Dark Water too leisurely paced, but it's refreshing to see a film that doesn't shoo the ghost from a closet in the first half hour. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Until it sputters to a nonsensical close, the film is a spooky entertainment. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: A distressing, subtly suspenseful film full of emotional resonance. Read more

Michael Hardy, Houston Chronicle: Salles seems too uncomfortable with the fantastic to get full value from the creeps and jumps his camerawork delivers. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The film's greatest mystery turns out to be: Why, with so much talent, does Dark Water never cross the tipping point? Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Salles realizes the rotten dank desperation of her life so vividly that he has made, in effect, the first collapse-of-the- middle-class horror movie. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Dark Water will leave some viewers scratching their heads, while others will be wide-eyed with appreciation. This viewer, at least, is reasonably wide-eyed. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: No amount of tastefully desaturated color or imaginary friends going whoo-whoo in the deserted apartment upstairs can save this lumbering echt-thriller from fatal tedium. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: If there's such a thing as a film being too suggestive for too little, Dark Water may be its prototype. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's good to see [Salles] getting a chance to direct in Hollywood, and pleasant to have a scary movie that features adults and a fine, vulnerable actress. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: Seductively spooky. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: A dull and occasionally risible remake of an even duller, more risible Japanese horror flick ... Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's so lacking in heartfelt frights or cheap scares that the few real hair-raising moments, in the finale, don't pay off. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Dark Water has plenty of creepy moments, but few scares, and it becomes bogged down in setup. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Dark Water achieves some, but not all, of what we might hope for. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: Like so many recent thrillers of this ilk, many of them in some way exploiting the 'innocence' of childhood -- the dumb and unpleasant Hide and Seek springs to mind -- Dark Water falls apart in the wind-down. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Dark Water is a lesson in how to transform atmospheric J-horror into soggy B filmmaking. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: [Salles] has managed to create a movie that's pretty bleak for a Hollywood -- especially Disney -- thriller. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Working from a premise that's not only thin but transparent, Salles struggles mightily to generate tension in any other way possible. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Dark Water has more substance and a more interesting look than many horror films, but the familiar elements of the story disappoint. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: [Dark Water] is dripping with clammy, claustrophobic atmosphere, but ultimately reveals itself as just another mildewed, child-centric ghost story of little import or resonance. Read more

Ed Halter, Village Voice: It fails to deliver the narrative thrill twists its origins would promise. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: There's something that never quite works about the film, which can't seem to decide if it's all in Dahlia's head, all in the spirit world or all in her pipes. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A tasteful but unremitting bummer and yet one more case of an Oscar-winning actress proving that she can still do the kinds of disposable movies big awards are supposedly meant to banish from your resume forever. Read more