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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.2%
Worth A Look24.8%
Average: 24%
Pretty Bad24.8%
Total Crap: 19.2%

8 reviews, 77 user ratings

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Lake Placid
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by Erik Childress

"The Funniest Giant Alligator Movie Ever"
4 stars

Lake Placid (***) – Why is it that it takes great writers to truly appreciate a movie like Lake Placid? Back in the 70s, a young writer named John Sayles took on the topic of man-eating fish in the classic Piranha, and now David E. Kelley takes on a thirty-foot alligator in this film.

Granted, we haven’t had a good giant alligator story since 1980s Alligator when the pre-comeback Robert Forster battled a giant alligator in Chicago, but we’ve had plenty of giant freak creature movies to feed our appetite. The most respected of all the recent entries in the genre had been Anaconda, a film which I will continue to write about how Roger Ebert gave it 3 ½ Stars. He also gave an unbelievable 3 stars to the amazingly bad Congo, a film which he claims was a comedy. Apparently he was the only one informed of that. Now comes Lake Placid, a film which seemed like prime Ebert material for writing about what a purely fun movie is supposed to be. Instead he shocked me by only giving it a single star, claiming that he didn’t know if it was a comedy or a horror film. All of a sudden he has trouble distinguishing between the two. Well, I saw the same film Friday night, and let me tell you that while it contains many elements of both – Lake Placid is a comedy. It just happens to have a giant alligator and a few quality kills. Ebert once wrote about the film The Princess Bride that Rob Reiner started with the look and feel of an old-fashioned fairy tale and then went for the laughs. That’s what happens here too. Lake Placid starts out like Jaws and then has a lot of fun setting up the characters who have the potential to be lizard bait. Bill Pullman plays the standard issue Bill Pullman character. A lot of fun is made of the Bridget Fonda character and how she keeps getting thrown into the water and heads thrown at her. But the comedy heart of this film lies in the two characters of the always-terrific Oliver Platt and the hick sheriff played by Brendan Gleeson. The banter between the two of them makes you wish for a road movie with them. David E. Kelley makes all these characters so likable and funny, that you actually do care a little if they get eaten. Oh yeah – this film has a 30-foot crocodile eating humans and cows and bears, oh my. But even the feedings in this film provide some laughs, because most of the time they are incredibly extreme. For a moment you’re shocked, but then you laugh at the fact this film went that far, looking and feeling like a tense thriller.

Now I liked Anaconda. It’s a fun snake movie that I gave three stars, but was actually more terrified of the Jon Voight character than of the actual snake. And while I hate snakes and was rooting against it, I didn’t really have any rooting interest for any of the characters in that film. Jennifer Lopez and Kari Wuhrer might be losses, but Ice Cube and Eric Stoltz? Nobody in that film was interesting, yet it was still a fun snake movie. Lake Placid has interesting characters and I was rooting for them especially against the foul-mouthed Betty White. This movie is a lot of fun and shouldn’t be mistaken for anything but. Roger – go watch Congo again.

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originally posted: 02/16/00 09:02:18
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User Comments

10/31/19 Pat Weird Somebody said it is a B-movie on an A-budget, and I think that sums my impression well. 3 stars
12/17/18 Ajp wales Bought 18yrs ago on dvd. About £20. Can you believe it. One movie. 4 stars
2/21/17 morris campbell lame lake flacid is more like it 1 stars
2/18/13 Kcaj really doesnt deserve the bad rep it got! 4 stars
9/30/12 roscoe Good, but too brief. An entire middle act seems to be gone. The conclusion is rushed. 3 stars
1/28/10 Jeff Wilder Feels like something that had a narrow escape from the direct to TV market. 2 stars
8/30/09 Julian Great mixture of humour and thrills 4 stars
8/13/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 1 stars
12/16/07 Jason Good value entertainment. Great salt water croc effects too. 4 stars
4/23/07 David Risser BORING 2 stars
1/08/07 Anthony Feor The comice effect of this movie really makes it good 4 stars
10/05/06 Booksworm I was rooting for the gator. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Quit with the f%*#ing Jaws rip-offs already, sh*t!!!! 1 stars
8/09/06 Doreen It was okay...NOT great. 3 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Bestest action. B grade 4 stars
3/29/06 Dk Funny and well acted. Scary to 4 stars
8/12/05 ES One of my favourite monster movies= it ain't winning awards but its funny and well done 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Shit! 1 stars
5/28/05 tony ok movie i would watch it again. but they should improve on the plot and characters. 3 stars
2/20/05 Jeff Anderson The crocodile effects are well done & locations are great, but cast & script both SUCK!!!!! 2 stars
1/03/05 Sweetgrrl1972 Way better than a film about a killler crocodile should be thanks to great writing/acting. 5 stars
6/01/04 R.W. Welch Another clunky Jaws clone tho entertaining in spots. 2 stars
4/06/04 fff f 1 stars
3/17/04 HorrorMovieFan very boring, gay plot, not scary. hmmm... that seems to me a total krap movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/20/04 john a really fun idea but themovie is just incoherent! 2 stars
2/06/04 c.r a ok movie , with some killer scences! 3 stars
1/02/04 Teran Chrysler I liked it. 4 stars
12/08/03 Samuel not all that good, but decent... 3 stars
9/03/03 Charles Tatum One of the most sarcastic pics ever made 4 stars
7/22/03 Double G A good plot and story but the "monster" should not have been a crocodile. 3 stars
7/08/03 nr i thought it was a great film and the actors did great 5 stars
4/10/03 someone very exiting-It kept my attention! 5 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Just plain asinine. A talented cast wasted. 1 stars
9/22/02 Morally Sound Very boring and not that funny. 1 stars
7/16/02 JesseL Of this type of movie, GREAT 4 stars
5/16/02 The Skating Peppercorn Yodelers Sporadically OK; Bridget Fonda worried about wiping her ass with poison ivy funniest part. 3 stars
3/25/02 Veronica Foxx (The Raven-Haired Temptress) Very bleh!! But I still watched all the way through. Doesn't serve up much. 3 stars
1/15/02 Murray Castles Good fun. 4 stars
9/06/01 Gary Entertaining but the complete lack of suspense is painfully obvious. 3 stars
8/08/01 Leave Me Alone Stinks like yesterday's diapers 1 stars
7/08/01 Gracy Lionheart Boring. Predictable. Still better than some things out there. 2 stars
6/22/01 Dave I was so disappointed this looked like something great - ohh wellll... 2 stars
5/03/01 Dom Corleone completely pointless 1 stars
4/12/01 Andrew Carden Lake Placid is one big mess of a movie. Extremly silly and mindless. Horrible acting. 1 stars
4/08/01 Dundee The crude granny routine is the worst convention Hollywood ever conceived. Terrible movie 1 stars
3/03/01 Jacob Myers Fake and Flaccid with Rose from the Golden Girls with the potty mouth 1 stars
2/26/01 bum hole joe great 5 stars
2/11/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Grrrrrr... 2 stars
1/29/01 Gray Works as a comedy, but it could've been much scarier 3 stars
10/08/00 BirdBrain Funny but scareless and pretty boring. 3 stars
10/06/00 Scorpion Guting This movie was a kick @$$ movie. I would like to see it again at the theatres! 5 stars
7/11/00 Bender Enjoyable, because of the sharp sarcastic humor 4 stars
7/10/00 Elvisfan I was rooting for the alligator to eat all the annoying actors...there are several 1 stars
4/10/00 punkass I laughed more at my mothers funeral. More proof USA has a humour bypass 1 stars
4/07/00 SID It's very funny; well written. But it seems like it's two minutes long. 4 stars
4/04/00 Matthew Bartley Don't throw heads at me! A lot of fun 4 stars
3/20/00 arnold pure shit but good special effects 2 stars
3/16/00 fire-n-ice was good and Betty White was a funny foul mouth*hahahhaha* 4 stars
2/12/00 Add Funny as fuck not that scary but an enjoyable waste of 82mins without a doubt 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Not enough carnage to suit me. Bah. Betty White was a trip, though. 2 stars
1/07/00 Murray Castles A lot of fun. Better than Deep Blue Sea. 4 stars
11/28/99 Joel Harwood Shits on JAWS and pisses on Deep Blue Sea 5 stars
11/24/99 Murray Castles A fun film. Not serious in any way , and the better for it. 4 stars
9/22/99 John Rizzo Two words: "Lake Flacid." Terrible acting covered w/ mediocre effects. 1 stars
9/12/99 Ratso Let me just say that you get to watch Betty White feed a cow to a giant alligator. 5 stars
8/19/99 KK Lousy, Lousy, Lousy. Funny one-liners, but that's about it. 2 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan Fun movie...had some humor...but not enuff blood or guts! 3 stars
7/25/99 Ah Dooey not good 2 stars
7/23/99 Orgazmo The scariness is lost in the black waters, but I laughed and I was entertained emensely. 3 stars
7/23/99 PhilmPhreak Pretty funny, good rental 3 stars
7/21/99 Jim Fay The movie that answers the question "Who would win if an crocodile fought a helicopter? 3 stars
7/20/99 Imagoner A bad rehash of Anaconda, which was a rehash of Jaws, etc., and bad FX 2 stars
7/16/99 Jo Jo, The Idiot Circus Boy It wants to be on Disney. 1 stars
7/16/99 Starry Knight mediocre effects. Boring parts. Slow but some funny parts. 3 stars
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  28-Oct-1999 (R)

Directed by
  Steve Miner

Written by
  David E. Kelley

  Bill Pullman
  Bridget Fonda
  Oliver Platt
  Brendan Gleeson

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