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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.12%
Worth A Look: 16.85%
Average: 21.35%
Pretty Bad44.94%
Total Crap: 15.73%

9 reviews, 35 user ratings

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Don't Say a Word
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by Dust For Eyes

"Oh, I've got more than just one word to say"
2 stars

Take the Forrest Witaker scenes from The Crying Game and the counselling scenes from Awakenings. Filter out the good bits. Then with what's left send it through a Hollywood studio production line Thriller Genre Mill. That inoffensive mess you have left is Don't Say A Word.

Nathan (Douglas) is a psychiatrist who takes on the case of Elisabeth. A violent, non-communicative basket case in a psych jail who has resisted all efforts of rehabilitation. Soon afterwards Nathan's daughter, Jessie (Bartusiak) is kidnapped by a group of bank robbers who want some information from Elisabeth, but she's not telling.

Not spectacularly good, not spectacularly bad. Don't Say A Word is just sort of there. Like a spot of dust on a window - and just as memorable. It just runs along and you don't seem to care all that much. It's glossy, fast moving and features a cute young female who is totally psycho, but the film is totally soulless.

As you sit back and try to work out whether it's really all that good, you start to worry about it more and more.

First there's the rather rapid change in Elisabeth - 10 years of institutionalisation is presented and its resolution is rather unconvincing. Surely Dr Conrad should have had a bigger problem in dealing with Elisabeth.

There's the deadline that Dr Conrad is set. It's rather short and it isn't really made all that clear why. If more time was given then something a little more could have been made of the film. Improved, more convincing scenes between Dr. Conrad and Elisabeth; Jessie and her captors could have used the potential that is there, but it's all disappointingly wasted.

Douglas - after a rash of some pleasantly diverting films - is back to slick thriller mode. That is, he sleeps his way through it, dreaming of the money he's managed to swindle out of the producers. Murphy is rather watchable, but when you consider other actresses who have done the trouble teen routine, then you see that it could have been better. It was a promising character rather than a promising performance from the young actress.

It all comes down to the story. There's a hint of something promising there, but the frantic rush to turn it into a Hollywood thrills-spills-ills-man-it-kills movie means that all that's left are broken contrived promises.

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originally posted: 10/28/01 22:04:11
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell good not great 4 stars
6/29/13 Janie Ridiculous. A big "S" for SuperShrink on his chest or what ? 2 stars
12/06/08 Shaun Wallner This movie stinks!! 2 stars
3/29/08 Pamela White suspenseful drama 4 stars
12/15/06 Ronin Not really a great movie but above average. 4 stars
12/03/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
10/01/05 merp somewhat boring, just uninteresting plot, Bean solid as Bean is 2 stars
8/24/05 ES I couldn't by into the premise, just a real let down 2 stars
3/17/05 tatum Entertaining enough suspenser 4 stars
6/30/04 R.W. Welch Overplotted potboiler finally loses all credibility but holds you most of the way. 3 stars
5/21/04 Dean Rapp Well made, but the diamond look too small for all the effort 3 stars
5/03/04 john bale Rather silly thriller hardly lifted by aged Douglas, though Brittany Murphy tries hard 3 stars
8/20/02 I Can't Swim I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. Brittany great, once again 4 stars
8/04/02 KMG TRITE AND TYPICAL 3 stars
4/18/02 Monday Morning Did Michael Douglas get a face job or what? 2 stars
3/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz Watchable action fare, tamer than the previews made it look. 4 stars
3/03/02 Dave Draper A stylish but inconsistant downer, looks like it was edited with a meat cleaver! 2 stars
2/25/02 The Bomb 69 "I'll never tell..." you this was a good film. 3 stars
2/01/02 daria this film moved me, i thought it was amazing 5 stars
12/21/01 Tinka plot was bad, acting worse. I rooted for the baddie at the end. 2 stars
12/01/01 Phoenix Although very implausible, Don't Say A Word is a very entertaining film. 4 stars
11/11/01 TG I liked it; it was well acted which more than compensated for the predictable story line 4 stars
10/30/01 carla sanchez it was lame, i wasted precious sleeping time watching this movie 1 stars
10/29/01 Johnny Bravo This was completely different than what i thought it was going to be 3 stars
10/25/01 Nisha It was ok, but it could've been extremely better. 3 stars
10/18/01 Catherine Schneider I liked the twists and turns. Many thrillers don't thrill, but this kept the suspense. 4 stars
10/16/01 thanatos it would take one hug and two kisses from Famke to get me to watch this again. 2 stars
10/14/01 maggie i don't know why people are so down on this movie, i liked it a lot! 4 stars
10/14/01 Sam Moss BaD.... 2 stars
10/06/01 FriscoJohn Decent, not Awesome 4 stars
10/06/01 Amy Murphy shines, Douglas sinks 4 stars
10/05/01 poetchuck Better than I thought, 4 stars
10/04/01 wintermute Dude, they aren't child psychologists, of course they didn't kidnap her - otherwise why MD? 1 stars
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  28-Sep-2001 (R)



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