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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.04%
Worth A Look: 4.23%
Average: 14.08%
Pretty Bad42.25%
Total Crap: 32.39%

7 reviews, 29 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"The only thing that's a Godsend...are the end credits."
1 stars

Can we please, once and for all and for all eternity, finally retire the Fake Scare from movie thrillers? You know the moronic gimmick of which I speak: One character grabs another character's arm, the musical score suddenly JOLTS in loud fashion, and we then realize that, hey, there's nothing to be scared of. At all. Nick Hamm's polished-looking but otherwise atrocious "Godsend" has more Fake Scares then you're ever likely to find in a movie that's entirely bereft of actual scares.

Nothing spruces up a lifeless "thriller" like a truckload of randomly inserted musical cues geared to jolt the easily jolted. Remove all of these childish little tricks and you're left with a movie that's more Lifetime drama than any sort of compelling horror movie. On top of that, Godsend is dull, draggy, slow and periodically quite inane.

Godsend showcases three hard-working actors doing the best they can with a shamelessly underwritten screenplay; it offers a hot-button premise without following through on an actual plot; it's hopelessly predictable, consistently uninteresting and almost entirely worthless.

Here's a clear indication of how much artistry and sincere effort went into the creation of this particular piece of motion picture art: Director Nick Hamm reportedly lensed more than four alternate endings, so he'd have all his bases covered after the market testing audiences had their say. Classy, eh?

Hoping to create some sort of buzz by exploiting the controversial issue of human cloning, Godsend delivers its salvo of stupidity via the following one-note narrative: A young couple loses their 8-year-old son in a car crash before a clearly insane scientist approaches them and promises an all-new (yet completely identical) child. But first the couple must move to a secluded little town, cut all ties with friends and family, and trust a clearly insane scientist with the life of their cloned little fetus.

As the insane scientist we, not Christopher Lloyd or even Steve Buscemi. No, here we have Robert De Niro forced to spout some of the silliest dialogue of his entire career. Most uproarious is a scene in which our God-Playing Physician is left to mull around his office while clutching and rotating a pair of steel balls in his hand. It's tough to tell what's more unintetionally amusing, the stilted dialogue or the insipid symbolism. But De Niro is clearly not having a great time as he plays with his balls.

Obviously they both jump at the chance. This is how we know that Godsend is a movie; the characters do things that normal people would never do. And it's at this point that Godsend veers completely off the tracks and becomes as listlessly dull as it is outrageously stupid. One is tempted to dismiss this one as a fifth-generation Omen ripoff, but that might give you the idea that Godsend has A) atmosphere, B) intensity or C) a body count. And it so plainly does not.

Barring a better-than-the-movie-deserves performance from Greg Kinnear and Nick Hamm's handsome directorial flourishes, Godsend is absolutely one of the most dreary, downbeat and paint-by-numbers sci-fi thrillers you're likely to come across. The 'surprise' ending is a total cheat, as it devalues everything the film has told us for its first 70-some minutes, yet that won't prevent you from predicting the finale with little effort.

Aims for topicality and instead settles for inert and omnipresent banality. Aside from the few unintentional chuckles sprinkled throughout the overwrought proceedings, there's nothing here that's even remotely fascinating, exciting or scary. And that includes the three dozen Fake Scares that are peppered around the whole tired affair.

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originally posted: 05/01/04 13:28:43
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User Comments

2/21/07 deja review this was actually writen by 1000 monkeys at keyboards 1 stars
2/07/07 AJ Muller With this & Hide and Seek, DeNiro must now answer for his crimes against humanity. 1 stars
8/05/05 -- -c h a rLZz--... this movie is cool.. 3 stars
2/25/05 L.G. Great premise/concept... poorly executed... I don't remember much 2 stars
2/20/05 lj i can't believe deniro stooped to this role 1 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Creepy and disturbing! 4 stars
2/07/05 ELI Jeeeeeeeez. It wasn't THAT bad! I got scared at least twice and that's good. 3 stars
11/08/04 Dave Yadda yadda what a load of fucked up verbal Diorreah 1 stars
10/30/04 Fabio Pereira It's a great film, awesome!and we want a second part in this film, a continuation! 5 stars
10/13/04 Kyle Another example of a good cast wasted. I fell asleep. 2 stars
9/23/04 verveluz diaz it only shows how powerful God is. 5 stars
9/06/04 Megan & Marcus This movie sucked!!!! 1 stars
9/05/04 elmokeys One of the worst of all time 1 stars
8/31/04 Bojangles This is a great wholesome family film. 5 stars
8/24/04 ownerofdajoint good first 30minutes,then garbled,then total confusion.very disappointing 2 stars
8/20/04 fat albert blah blah bland 2 stars
8/17/04 Dog_gone Okay, seriously, lighten up, it's just a movie 4 stars
8/07/04 howdinski not a very good film even de niro is not on form. would not recommend 2 stars
7/29/04 I didn't know God had an end Despite preposterous premise, a good thriller until ending...duh, WHAT ending? 3 stars
7/20/04 sada interesting 4 stars
7/12/04 john bale Hit with Strange Child Syndrome Kinnear emulates Bruce Willis, but De Nero is out to lunch. 3 stars
5/29/04 Suzette I loved it! It was good! Kinnear was excellent! 5 stars
5/24/04 Wolf It was SO BAD I WALKED OUT OF IT after Kinnear got hit with the candlestick. 1 stars
5/17/04 Lennie Boring, muddled, disappointing 1 stars
5/15/04 veronica Loved it 5 stars
5/14/04 Nicole Becken laughingly inane, bad movie, bad! 1 stars
5/04/04 Chris A wierd amalgam of various sceens that are stolen from better movies 1 stars
5/04/04 X I want my money back! 1 stars
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  30-Apr-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-Aug-2004



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