Scream 4 2011

Critics score:
59 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

David Germain, Associated Press: Honestly, it's not an unwelcome thing to watch the return of Neve Campbell as the slasher victim who wouldn't die, Courtney Cox as the tabloid hack in bloodlust for a story and David Arquette as the bumbling Barney Fife of fright-flick cops. Read more

Laremy Legel, A perfectly acceptable Friday night, Scream 4 delivers plenty of scares without consequences, murder without depth, and a flood of legacy laughs. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: It's not a disgrace -- indeed, it's not bad if you like that sort of thing -- while not particularly good, and yet it's one of the better horror films I've seen in a long time. Read more

Mike Hale, New York Times: Like its predecessors, "Scream 4" replaces the values of storytelling and suspense with the value of being in on the joke. Unfortunately, in the 11 years since "Scream 3," the joke has gotten pretty old. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: It's a professionally polished package -- cinematographer Peter Deming frames the carnage beautifully in widescreen -- but don't go in expecting scares so much as laughs. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: You'll watch it to see a horror movie that has a sense of humor about itself. For "Scream" franchise fans, or for those who like their horror not too horrific, that's enough. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Fifteen years in, the series now looks more than ever like a Mobius strip that reflects on itself in a perpetual loop. But meta-arbitrary is still arbitrary. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: There is some fun here, but ultimately it's more self-satisfied than anything else. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Craven no longer appears to be directing a cast of characters. Collectively, they're a knife block. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: This is quite effective as horror filmmaking and more pungent than anything [Craven's] done in a while. Read more

Gary Dowell, Dallas Morning News: Though director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson don't quite generate the lightning-in-a-bottle energy that made their first Scream movie a hit, they manage to awaken a 15-year-old slasher franchise that has been dormant for a decade. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Compared with so many of the rebooted slasher flicks, Scream 4 remains a cut above. No, that is not an intended pun. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Scream 4 is a total hoot. Assuming you can find the humor in knife stabbings. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: It's a giddy reminder of everything that made Scream such a fresh scream in the first place. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: The film very quickly, and tediously, becomes more of the same old and Craven thing -- self-referential film buff gags accompanied by a clockwork killing spree that seriously reduces the population of a small town. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Scream 4" finds a way to live up to its gory past while it carves out new terrors in new ways (new media helps). Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Against all odds, Scream 4 proves that sometimes you can go home again. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: "Scream" always made fun of itself even as it was frightening us - and that hasn't changed a bit. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Relying on obvious cliches doesn't seem ironic anymore, just easy. And though there are several genuine jolts, poor pacing leaves too much time between the silliness and scares. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The "Scream 4" (I refuse to write it the other way anymore) drinking game: Take a slug every time someone on-screen remarks how meta it all is. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: For genre geeks, this can be fun - although nothing in Scream 4 is quite as clever as the filmmakers seem to think it is. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Scream's brand of horror, which lampooned the slasher genre while simultaneously embracing it, was fun and breezy in 1996. In 2011, it's about as fresh as the whiff of something stale and rank from a crypt. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Bloody entertaining. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The actors do what they can in a film that doesn't care about human insights. The characters are almost preternatural in their detachment; if you were embedded in events like these, wouldn't you be paralyzed with panic? Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Between a diabolically funny start and a surprise climax, Scream 4 offers nothing more than a series of gory deaths that grow tiresome with repetition. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It's almost really cool, without quite being really cool. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: "Scream 4" is a strange concoction, clever and self-knowing in the extreme and yet operating in primal ways that bypass wit. Something about it feels very modern. Read more

Josh Levin, Slate: Craven guides us expertly down a series of blind, bloody alleys, a journey that's more pleasurable than frustrating. On account of his steady hand, the last act is as good as could be expected: skillfully conceived and entertaining in its preposterousness Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Retaining all the elements introduced in the 1996 original -- gut-clenching tension, sharp whodunit plotting, self-aware humor and a sympathetic core cast -- it advances the story to a new-media era. Read more

Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: It's funny and scary at the same time, and fans will "Scream" with approval. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Not even the smug irony endures -- it's hard to congratulate yourself for being in on a stale joke. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: On its own terms, Scre4m is pretty good. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The sardonic laughs are mostly gone in this wheezing cash cow and the cries don't resonate. The greatest shocks are the ones facing the now middle-aged main actors when they look into the mirror. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The filmmakers' subtext - at least in the movie's first quarter - seems to acknowledge that you can't top the original. And they didn't. Read more

Dennis Harvey, Variety: Overblown, overlong and overstuffed with genre self-referentialism, yet undercooked in terms of credibility, worthwhile new characters and memorable scares, it's not the razor-sharp reboot fans were hoping for. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: The unengaged and overlong fourth Scream plops its self-awareness on a new generation, who must endure a late-'90s flashback that's aged as well as the Nu-metal songbook. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: The problem is, the movie doesn't really care if we are laughing with it or at it. Read more