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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.97%
Worth A Look: 22.46%
Average: 26.81%
Pretty Bad: 14.49%
Total Crap28.26%

13 reviews, 60 user ratings

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General's Daughter, The
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by Erik Childress

"Obvious Killer Diminishes Otherwise Well-Made Mystery"
3 stars

The Generalís Daughter (** Ĺ) Ė I donít mean to brag or anything but I knew the identity of the killer before the murder had even been committed. Not because I had read the book, because I hadnít, or because I heard it somewhere, or even some jackass reviewer giving away too much Ė because I donít read the reviews anymore because people like Michael Wilmington or THE FILM FREAK tend to not leave any surprises for the paying audiences.

All the main characters/suspects are introduced (if sometimes only silently) and I had my finger pointed right away. Now the real test of the movie would be for it to actually surprise me. Could it play fair with the audience and deliver an ending worthy of a major surprise? Iíll get to that in a minute. That intro being said, The Generalís Daughter really isnít that bad of a movie. Itís a rather entertaining one, if only on the level that most mysteries are entertaining to be viewed a single time. Once the killer is unmasked, the movie is forced to stand on its own on terms of acting, writing, and directing. Well Ė in most cases the movie succeeds. Travolta is very good once again and is helped out by some very good dialogue (courtesy of co-writer William Goldman, no doubt). He has a scene with James Woods that is so good, you want to see more of that caliber of banter. Woods also is incredibly good in his few scenes. The more his character slowly reveals himself, the more you realize how complex his performance is. Iím making a note on the Supporting Actor list for next year. Most of the other performances are pretty standard by-the-book. Madeline Stowe could have been cut from the script as sheís there for no other reason than to give Travolta someone to trade quips with. She has one potentially good character scene, but I thought she blew the payoff. The writing is above average for this type of thriller as Travolta gets some well-put together laugh lines. Simon West also tells a much tighter story than he did with his last directorial effort, Con Air, which was choppy and lame. I was into the story all the way through, never bored, and waiting for the killerís identity. And when it came, after about 15 minutes of ďheís the killer, oh wait, no heís not Ė itís this guy, oh wait a second, itís not Ė Oh my God Ė I canít believe itísÖĒ Well, I believed who it was.

And what a shame because itís an above-average mystery for the genre and instead of being a movie you might watch again on cable or on video, it comes off as a two-hour distraction, that isnít necessarily bad, but one which you wonít go out of your way to take again. If only the movie could have surprised meÖ

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originally posted: 02/16/00 08:08:17
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User Comments

9/07/14 Vinnie Jackson Rob Gonsalves is a stupid idiot! This movie and its book are great! 5 stars
6/27/11 art a great mystery,Leslie Stefanson was Outstanding! 4 stars
6/05/10 User Name An unengaging thriller. 2 stars
7/31/08 Annie viewed US on release. Australia when released. & the Rooster Crowed She Lied. Still awesome 4 stars
2/12/07 johnnyfog Ludicrous. Liked James Woods though 1 stars
3/25/06 R.W.Welch Cast does what it can with overblown, improbable whodunnit. 3 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Superbly acted with smart and snappy dialogue 4 stars
3/10/06 Dk Ok ish but never great 2 stars
12/06/05 J.D. Pittman III Travolta isn't bad. The whole movie put me on the edge of my seat/couch. 4 stars
8/16/05 ES Boring and bad, Mr. travolta you've done it again 1 stars
12/07/03 john well... it's absolutely terrible 1 stars
2/26/03 y2mckay Travolta a flabby mess, Stowe could be replaced by a mannequin. TG'sD had a nice rack tho! 2 stars
7/04/02 KMG It was boring. Travolta is getting old, pasty, and flabby. Fatigues can't hide that. 3 stars
5/21/02 Karen Moore John Travolta kicks ass! Too bad ass can't kick back! 1 stars
4/29/02 Francis How could they make such a mess of what should have been a really good story? 3 stars
2/01/02 Andrew Carden Travolta's Performance Is Stylish and Realistic. 4 stars
1/27/02 Lin Rainey Dark, moody..I liked it. Woods excellent as always. 4 stars
12/12/01 Charles Tatum Incompetent and offensive 1 stars
9/30/01 I'm just a random whore Fuck me 5 stars
6/19/01 Rampage i wll destroy anyone associated with this dipshit, including Blockbuster Video 1 stars
6/15/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Hope actors hated making it, cuz I sure hated watching it! 1 stars
5/28/01 sharkey Cliche-a-rama! I just saw it for the first time, and I could recite the script with it. 1 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L I liked the opening theme song. the rest was junk. 2 stars
3/23/01 Aruba Jon How can John T. have a southern accent when he's suppose to be from Boston 4 stars
7/15/00 Kakki Rainy/Snow day movie. Suspense and weird turn in the movie 4 stars
7/08/00 Terrie Smith Not a bad film for a rainy afternoon. Best performance comes from James Woods. 4 stars
4/09/00 EMagGaRony decent movie... 4 stars
3/19/00 Jed Travolta & woods save this from becoming trash. 2 stars
11/11/99 Chef ADogg Travolta filmed this right after playing Fat Bastard in AP2. 1 stars
11/11/99 ikkemotube woods is ok, travolta is a whitetrashsweatingbuda 3 stars
10/29/99 Bozo Nothing special and leaves a bad taste in your mouth - good perf by Woods, though 2 stars
10/21/99 H'Woodbigshot Hoolywood and the military, need any more be said? 1 stars
9/25/99 Costars Great performance by James Wood 3 stars
9/11/99 Timbo MEDIOCRE 3 stars
9/06/99 Weird Andy A waste of celluloid. Great music, though. 2 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread Straight to cable fair 2 stars
8/15/99 Keith Aside from the tied up naked bitch this film is garbage. 1 stars
8/12/99 Steve Kelley John Travolta has become his own caricature. His only hope is Kotter: The Movie. 3 stars
8/02/99 beachlovr9 Very good movie and excellent acting 5 stars
8/02/99 JimBob a good piece of film until you find out it's for real, then it kicks ass 5 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan A decent flick...good seeing Madelaine again..But an HBO Movie defn8ly 3 stars
7/27/99 David Kindred Travolta has some good lines. Don't think, just watch. 3 stars
7/22/99 Suzz spotted the killer the first time he appeared on screen. HO HUM .. 3 stars
7/19/99 jlgallardo If you like faces of death, you'll love this movie. 2 stars
7/17/99 Keith One more like this Travolta and you'll be doing "Welcome Back Kotter" reunion specials. 2 stars
7/04/99 dbx i liked it. i dont see how you can enjoy southpark, and then critiscize this. 5 stars
6/30/99 PhilmPhreak Made me want to tie myself to the ground and cry for daddy. 2 stars
6/29/99 kevin wood I read the book. It was great. The movie was kind of sleazy and nasty. 2 stars
6/28/99 Freyja Sick and voyeuristic, under a very thin varnish of nobility. 2 stars
6/28/99 Chris Gianaras Decent military thriller that gets bogged down at the end in a disappointing ending. 3 stars
6/27/99 Bram Bleich Entertaining (7) 4 stars
6/26/99 Dave Should be called the Swiss Cheese 2 stars
6/24/99 Rob The book was a lot better 3 stars
6/24/99 Tim very disappointed.... 1 stars
6/23/99 jvt I've never seen a movie with more helicopters in it 3 stars
6/22/99 Softserve Not bad. Best scene of a person getting blown up, ever! 4 stars
6/18/99 Mr Showbiz This lurid, misogynistic thriller doesn't even manage to be a guilty pleasure. 1 stars
6/18/99 Darrell Louder This movie was incredible, though lacking in the character development area, it is good 4 stars
6/16/99 David Awful, cliched story given some directorial flair & good perfs, but not enough to recommend 1 stars
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  18-Jun-1999 (R)
  DVD: 14-Dec-1999



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