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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.87%
Worth A Look: 16.87%
Average: 13.25%
Pretty Bad30.12%
Total Crap: 22.89%

7 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Stay (2005)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"Suicidal Pyschics ... with a Twist"
3 stars

You might expect something a little more impressive from the combined talents of director Marc Forster (Monster's Ball), screenwriter David Benioff (25th Hour), and actors as strong as Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, but Stay, their "therapist in crisis" psycho-thriller, is pretty darn dry throughout.

Plus, as well-directed as the thing is, there's a permeating air of "seen this, done that" that infects the narrative, which means that the allegedly "illuminating" finale seems more like a requirement than a revelation.

McGregor plays Sam Foster, new shrink to the casually suicidal Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling), and devoted boyfriend to suicide survivor Lila (Watts). When Henry off-handedly mentions that he plans to off himself come Saturday midnight, Dr. Foster's first reaction is to call in the authorities and have Henry sequestered for his own well-being. But Henry manages to display a certain knack for, well, predicting future events, a skill that has Dr. Foster stymied, dazed, and confused.

Needless to say, the deeper the doctor digs into his patient's puckered past, the more confusing the story becomes. But if you're an attentive moviewatcher who catches all the clues, then you're halfway to predicting the Act III revelations by halfway through Act II.

Forster seems to know that Benioff's story is planning to dock at a familiar pier, so he does all he can to infuse Stay with nifty camera swings, flashy scene transitions, and an overall air of dream-like sedateness. Unfortunately, this quiet and serene approach, combined with the contorted narrative and familiar trappings, combine to make Stay feel a whole lot like a cinematic sleeping pill. Which is a shame, really, because there are some really fine performances in the film, and the story, while certainly not all that unique, does manage to pull you in just enough to wonder what's going to happen next. Ultimately, though, "what's going to happen next," is usually something pretty obvious, familiar, or predictable.

Pretty to look at, tough to follow, and, ultimately, difficult to swallow, Stay certainly isn't a bad film ... but it sure as heck isn't one you'll be raving about anytime soon.

(© Review reprinted from DVDTalk, with permission from the author (me) and the DVDT management. For the full DVD specs on this particular movie, please visit and get friendly with the search bar.)

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originally posted: 05/22/06 17:56:19
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User Comments

7/01/11 iamhenry McGregor's pants were short because that's what happens when you crouch near a dying man 4 stars
10/23/09 darren Look at the film in reverse and it might make sense. It was a big Jacobs Ladder rip off 4 stars
12/15/08 g made no sense, especially the end 2 stars
12/05/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 2 stars
4/14/08 Matt One of the best movies I've ever seen. And this critic has no idea what it's about. 5 stars
2/13/08 escapegoat Does anyone get that it's from the point of view of Henry? 5 stars
8/29/07 truth ok to watch once - but some shit just doesnt make any sense which ruins it for me until 3 stars
8/21/07 Matt This goes straight to the top of the "what the fuck was all that about" dungheap 1 stars
8/17/07 Joe Thomas Throughly confusing, but equally compelling. You really need to enjoy films to like this. 4 stars
8/10/07 Kim if u dnt like it, u dnt think wit luke928 5 stars
6/18/07 Anna WTF? It had such a weird ending..but i still loved it because of the twists.. 5 stars
5/12/07 Max WTF it was all like Mumbo JImbo 3 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold Just a bunch of camera tricks; I may be overrating (I think), but it's not TOO bad. 3 stars
2/11/07 Luke928 wow you shouldn't even be a critic, you completely missed the point of this movie 5 stars
10/17/06 Andy G. It's all B.S! Everything is not real! I ddin't even write this comment! 2 stars
10/16/06 Kim I thought it was beautiful 5 stars
10/01/06 High Voltage just how many dumb people there are 5 stars
9/25/06 karen macarthur very confusing, tho amazing! 5 stars
8/02/06 manda Great Film 5 stars
6/30/06 Ash This movie was really confusing, I expected better.. 3 stars
6/27/06 jessica WTF 2 stars
6/26/06 Tiffaney This movie is obviously was not made for those who lack the mental capacity to understand a 4 stars
5/30/06 Jeff Great camera shots and angles - story is not worth sitting through. 2 stars
5/15/06 Max This movie is just VERY poorly done, cheesy and not very well connected. 1 stars
4/14/06 ket A really interesting movie. 4 stars
1/30/06 Betsy S I thought it was terrible from beginning to end. Sterile environment and monotone acting. 1 stars
11/18/05 Candy Smith Bad and confusing movie 2 stars
11/02/05 Roy Smith The book is better. And there is no book. 1 stars
10/28/05 Michael Well worth a second viewing. 5 stars
10/27/05 Jimbo I wish someone would explain the plot to me - very confusing movie 4 stars
10/27/05 stella visually stunning and thoughful, a film with depth. naomi stands out from the cast. 5 stars
10/27/05 steandric a great film for the thinking viewers. naomi watts is impressive. 5 stars
10/26/05 jcjs humdinger, clever, visual / editing delight, wow acting, scenery, fun, engaging all the way 5 stars
10/26/05 PAG Interesting unusual story. Arty and pretentious, but sometimes that is good. 4 stars
10/25/05 Kathy Great filming, architecture, camera angle,lost story,made no sense 3 stars
10/25/05 DEEDeeDEEe STAY? (Away) 1 stars
10/24/05 Jenn Why can't anyone seem to figure out why Sam's pants were short??? So simple!!! 4 stars
10/23/05 Douglas MacDonald This is the worst piece of tripe ever produced: self-absorbed and ridiculous. LSD req'd. 1 stars
10/23/05 TMoe Interesting photographey, but a twisted plot without any clarity for the audience to grasp. 2 stars
10/22/05 pattonjr5 though no md, watts & the others can make you think...but only if you want to 5 stars
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  21-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 28-Mar-2006



Directed by
  Marc Forster

Written by
  David Benioff

  Ewan McGregor
  Naomi Watts
  Ryan Gosling
  Janeane Garofalo
  Bob Hoskins
  Kate Burton

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