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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome: 23.68%
Worth A Look43.86%
Average: 21.93%
Pretty Bad: 9.65%
Total Crap: 0.88%

9 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Gift, The (2001)
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by Greg Muskewitz

"No one ever claimed it would be a good present."
3 stars

It seems especially noteworthy lately than many movies develop a solid, or at least promising first half, and then when transitioning into the second, falls apart.

All instances may not be as drastic, but there is a noticeable decline in the strength of the second halves. One of those current culprits is "The Gift." A gothic, atmospherically drenched moody-thriller, our lovely but fragile protagonist is played by Cate Blanchett, one of our foremost promising actresses having emerged over the past few years. She, in this case, is afflicted with the gift of prolepsy. There are no allusions to grandeur for her, instead putting her abilities to Tarot reading, which brings in measely funds and shady characters. The outlines and caricatures from the characters are rich, but never colored in --at least not fully. The meagerly satisfying story follows when a Local Lolita of high provenance (Katie Holmes) comes up missing. It is pretty well known from the start, that, despite her engagement to a good-guy principal (Greg Kinnear), she gets around. When there is no traces of her disappearance, the police turn to Blanchett in desperate lack of alternatives. Written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, and directed by Sam "Darkman" Raimi, "The Gift" fails to emphasize the thrills, mystery and suspense that it seems too easy to create from this promising ossature. Instead it becomes a second-rate whodunnit, and display of morality (and mortality). The movie attracted a nice cast (like those qualifiers of the characters), including Hilary Swank (very good), Giovanni Ribisi (so-so), Keanu Reeves (eh...), Kim Dickens (briefly, good), and Gary Coleman (good). The aforementioned Kinnear and Holmes are okay as well, but do nothing of serious note --not that it would be expected from either of the two. (One funny comment I heard on the way out from the screening by an unsatisfied viewer, went something like: "The only gift this gave was that we got to see Katie Holmes tits." As nice as she looked topless, I admit that I'm surprised that it took her this long before finally bearing them. But it only is more comforting to know that when it comes to my favorites, such as Natalie Portman, she won't have to worry about embarrassing herself with something similar. Her adamant additude towards thinking of how it would affect her in the future is quite admirable.) Blanchett is again impressive, but she is worth so much more than what this offers her. At the very least, it is helping her reach for some diversity in her roles. Nice production design, strong atmosphere, and lush photography by Jamie Anderson (minus the occasional over-physicality of the camera) add to the effectiveness of the first half, and keep the second more than tolerable, though it doesn't prevent some unavoidable melodrama.

Final Verdict: B-.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3912&reviewer=172
originally posted: 02/21/01 20:06:58
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell good southern supernatural flick 4 stars
3/17/15 Dane Youssef A worthwhile southern supernatural noir. It's one of 2001's better. 5 stars
3/31/12 Sid Rumkowski Great film,has a "Slingblade" flavor to it. 5 stars
2/28/11 Monday Morning OK but just a little too slow. 3 stars
12/21/08 noops.... another good flick frm billy bob... Cate Blanchett as good as always 5 stars
2/11/07 Bitchflaps The inconsistent screenplay is rescued by skillful directing and compelling performances. 4 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini Katie Holmes is hot! Ditch tom! 3 stars
8/30/05 tatum "Murder, Steel Magnolias Wrote" 3 stars
7/28/05 jada good for tv viewing, wouldn't pay for it, cate great as usual 3 stars
6/22/04 teens the movie is great and now we have a remake of this film in india. 4 stars
3/05/04 john bale Some genuine shocks in this supernatural outing, thanks to Cate taking it seriously 4 stars
1/25/04 Elena So good except the awful, awful moronic ending that ruined everything. 4 stars
1/10/04 kaz morrison dream cast 5 stars
10/04/03 R.W. Welch Effectively done paranormal mystery, tho the ending is hard to buy. Top drawer acting. 4 stars
7/09/03 nr i loved this film it was great 5 stars
5/15/03 George Jung Tits! Now that I have your attention, this movie is perfect! Raimi is a perfect director. 5 stars
4/08/03 Shadaan Felfeli Its been a while since i saw the movie..but i recall enjoying it. Blanchet take a bow ! 4 stars
3/12/03 Blabity blah Great story telling. Blanchett/Reeves and Ribisi are EXCELLENT!! 5 stars
2/17/03 y2mckay Blanchett fantastic, not Raimi's best but good, Keanu actually acts. Oh, nice tits Katie 4 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Holmes' boobs are nice; Reeves is scary; Blanchett is superb! 4 stars
9/23/02 .Choadushouse. Ribisi is amazing. Holmes gives me a huge boner. And the movie gave me the chills. 4 stars
9/18/02 palaboy101 surprisingly good thriller 4 stars
8/13/02 blakers a great film 5 stars
7/13/02 Edfink Lombardo One of the year's creepiest. Katie Holmes is so hot. 5 stars
5/22/02 Phoenix Nice tities. 5 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Katie Holmes' too-brief topless scene is all this overwrought mess has going for it. 2 stars
2/22/02 Jeff all around excellent movie 5 stars
1/13/02 Phil M. Afficianado When it is "not your kind of film" but you still like it, it's a good thing. 4 stars
1/06/02 Unanon actually managed to keep my attention! Bloody spooky at times too. 4 stars
12/22/01 Caiphn Thorton wrote this, Keanu was in it.. but it wasn't bad. 4 stars
11/27/01 sdfr ostensibly a "ghost" story, the film turns out to be much much more at the end. Good stuff 4 stars
10/17/01 Hum very close to being a very good movie 4 stars
9/13/01 Gary Masterful direction and a routinely great Blanchett, but poorly scripted and predictable. 2 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Creepiest fucking movie of the year! Too bad no one saw it! 5 stars
7/31/01 Monday Morning Thought Ribisi's/Reeves' characters were too over the top but film was still very good. 4 stars
7/22/01 Basil Giovanni Ribisi is excellent. 5 stars
7/20/01 greensweater boobies!! 4 stars
7/16/01 james shore there is to many parts were u r waitin to be scared 3 stars
5/04/01 Freak-77 Brilliant 5 stars
5/02/01 Geoff Only good things about this film. Katie Holmes showed us both of them. A truly lame effort. 2 stars
4/19/01 Tam A suspense thriller done well. Pretty good characterisation. 4 stars
3/27/01 JOSEPH LEEMAN katie homles was so hot in this movie 5 stars
3/20/01 Matthew Bartley Not very original but solidly done with the requisite shocks and scares 4 stars
3/04/01 Bob Cate Blanchett & Katie Holmes keep things intersting in this predictable but well-made crap 2 stars
2/24/01 Marie Very very boring. 1 stars
2/16/01 Rachem I really liked this flick... was sorta shocked that I did! 4 stars
2/13/01 HawthorneWingo Cate Blanchett character too much a freaking saint -- and the dead-husband subplot was crap 3 stars
2/12/01 Jake While not perfect, It was still astounding. Ribisi and Reeves were explosive! 5 stars
2/09/01 Keanuette Wonderfully suspenseful with a great all round cast, esp Keanu as Donnie *mo'fo* Barksdale 4 stars
2/09/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi A few minor ripoff vibes here and there, but why quibble?? Raimi & Co rules as always. 4 stars
2/09/01 Laura Pierce I took my hubby and he even liked it, so it has to be good! 5 stars
2/08/01 ObiWan Some genuinely exciting moments are in this film, but the ending ruins all credibility. 3 stars
2/07/01 Obi Wan Very entertaining, especially Katie Holmes...kinda reminded me of Beneath w/Pfeiffer & Ford 4 stars
1/25/01 Randy Director Holmes gets naked. 5 stars
1/24/01 JB Great fucking suspense. Keanu Reeves does a GREATJOB!!!! No BS! 5 stars
1/24/01 grunter You know Greg Kinnear did it from the moment he's introduced on screen 2 stars
1/22/01 Jupiter I'd go see any movie with Keanu Reeves in it. I wish he had been it this one more. 4 stars
1/21/01 earl duron well acted,effectively chilling yarn 4 stars
1/20/01 Buddy Acting is the best part. The ghost ending may suck, but Giovanni & Katie & Greg are cool 5 stars
1/09/01 Keanuette A very creepy supernatural thriller with good all round performances. KEANU is very good! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Jan-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Apr-2001 (M)




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