Eyes Wide Shut 1999

Critics score:
74 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Watching Eyes Wide Shut is a thrilling experience -- not just because of the unmasked sexuality and hair-raising suspense, but because of Kubrick's passion and control. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: This is finally a film that is better at mood than substance, that has its strongest hold on you when it's making the least amount of sense. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Watching Eyes Wide Shut, I don't think I blinked once. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Long and dull, despite the sumptuous production design and light-shimmering photography (and the orgy). Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: It's as rich and strange and riveting as any journey he's taken us on, yet it's also familiar in a disquieting way. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: There is in Cruise a kind of passionate watchfulness and in Kidman a desperate and touching candor, and they keep drawing us past the narrative's improbabilities to its human heart. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Profound, intimate, provocative, richly ambiguous and spiked with sudden or sustained bursts of deeply knowing humor. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Mr. Kubrick left one more brilliantly provocative tour de force as his epitaph. Read more

Jeffrey Wells, Mr. Showbiz: Eyes Wide Shut is a masterful, cunning, challenging art movie! Read more

Rod Dreher, New York Post: Quite good in parts and always dazzling to the eye but a letdown all the same. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: I kept my eyes wide open all through Eyes Wide Shut and saw more control-freak unreality than visual genius around the edges of the cluttered compositions. Read more

Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: As it rambles on, it makes less and less of the material, rather than more. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Eyes Wide Shut is above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: This is personal filmmaking as well as dream poetry of the kind most movie commerce has ground underfoot, and if a better studio release comes along this year I'll be flabbergasted. Read more

Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle: Kubrick, exactly in character, has left us as the unchallengeable champion of the enigma. Read more

Paul Tatara, CNN.com: At least Fellini pulled out the stops from the first minute when he wanted to get surreal. Here, realism fades into surrealism, then into outright foolishness. Morbidly paced foolishness. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Eyes Wide Shut turns into a series of haphazard revelations that come to very little. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: [Kubrick's] final, hypnotic, meticulously crafted film... hangs on something as commonplace as a husband's confession of his strange desires. Read more

Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly: The price of Kubrick and Raphael's stubborn fidelity to the content if not the form of the novella is deadly. Read more

Jack Kroll, Newsweek: From the already famous 'mirror' love scene, played with a carnal sweetness that's rare in the brittle, cynical sexuality of film today, to the anger, fear and pain of their final confrontation, Cruise and Kidman are open and touching. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's a powerful movie without always, or often, being a very good one; watching it is a bit like being inside the twistings and conniptions of a control freak who longs to lose control, only to pull back tighter than ever. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: The film does have that advertised haunting quality, and at least one performance from Kidman, in a supporting, but vital role that's as good as any we're likely to see this year. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Kidman is consistently excellent. This is the most powerful role she has taken on throughout a varied career. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: For adult audiences, it creates a mesmerizing daydream of sexual fantasy. Read more

Charles Taylor, Salon.com: Combines all the flaws that marred Kubrick's earlier work - including a glacial pace, emotional coldness and the sudden eruption of scenes that seem to belong in a different movie. Read more

Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle: Well, I'll be damned. A sex movie this summer for grown-ups. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: I don't know how a director whose central theme is the loss of humanity can be so uninterested in the minutiae of human speech and behavior. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Trust Stanley Kubrick to make a sex movie with absolutely no sexual heat but instead with ideas that haunt you. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: Finally, however, it's just a cautionary tale about some very mild, old-fashioned erotic fantasies. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A riveting, thematically probing, richly atmospheric and just occasionally troublesome work, a deeply inquisitive consideration of the extent of trust and mutual knowledge possible between a man and a woman. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: For most people, though, a single viewing will be more than enough. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: It's empty of ideas, which is fine, but it's also empty of heat. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: You experience this 159-minute movie at his deliberate pace and from his oddly distanced perspective. The effect is disorienting but mesmerizing. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Eyes Wide Shut feels overblown, unresolved; in a better world it would not be the last work of an illustrious career. But this world is good enough to have given us all of Stanley Kubrick's films, and for that film lovers must give thanks. Read more