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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 EricDSnider

"Not bad, not good, not anything. Don't see it. Or do. It won't matter."
3 stars

"Don't Say a Word" should not exist. It is neither a bad movie nor a good one. It is neither original nor trite. It arouses no strong feelings of any kind, positive or negative. It just sits there, occupying space.

There's a psychiatrist named Nathan Conrad (Michael Douglas) whose daughter, Jessie (Skye McCole Bartusiak), gets kidnapped Thanksgiving morning by bad guys who stole a $10 million ruby 10 years ago and now need Conrad's help in finding it.

Apparently, one of Conrad's patients, a complete psycho teen named Elisabeth (Brittany Murphy), knows a six-digit number that will tell the robbers where the ruby is. Either Conrad worms the number out of her, or the bad guys kill Jessie.

Conrad's wife (Famke Janssen), meanwhile, is bed-ridden with a broken leg. The villains have put cameras and microphones everywhere, too, so they can make sure no one alerts the police.

Meanwhile, there's hot detective Cassidy (Jennifer Esposito) who is investigating two homicides. These seem to be in a different (though still uninteresting) movie, though it eventually ties in with the main plot, albeit in a non-intriguing way.

"Don't Say a Word" isn't filled with cliches, but it doesn't break new ground, either. The few engaging avenues that are initiated -- the surveillance, for example -- are not developed beyond the obvious. It's as if someone (we'll go ahead and blame director Gary Fleder) purposely blocked off all attempts to do something new.

Jennifer Esposito's detective character is laughable. We hear her end of a telephone conversation with someone who apparently is a loved one -- and that's the extent of what we know about her. That she has a friend. She, like the movie itself, is a non-entity.

And Michael Douglas? Oh, he's fine. You know how he is. His character just has to be worried, occasionally frantic, heroic once or twice.

I'm not even sure it's accurate to say I watched this movie. The movie took place, and I pointed my head in the direction of it, and my senses were alert. But to credit the movie with having prompted such action as WATCHING may be going too far. It's not interesting enough to watch, and not dull enough to walk out of. It prompts a mild state of catatonia, and nothing more.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/29/01 09:29:27
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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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