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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.13%
Worth A Look: 26.92%
Average: 5.13%
Pretty Bad: 30.77%
Total Crap32.05%

7 reviews, 36 user ratings

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In Dreams
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by MP Bartley

"Script courtesy of Donald Kaufman."
1 stars

'In Dreams' starts off with a quite startling and beautiful wordless sequence. Two divers are exploring what seems to be the wreck of a ship - until the camera pulls back to reveal that it is in fact, a submerged church. I would advise you however, to turn it off straight after this opening. The rest of the film is a sinking, terrible wreck.

Instead of staying with this intriguing opening, we're thrown into the story of Claire Cooper (Annette Bening), a physic who is receiving visions of a lost child, which she believes are someone's dreams. This is a sore point with her pilot husband Paul (Aidan Quinn), but that's nothing compared to what happens when their own daughter is killed, and the visions are revealed to be dreams of the killer, who is someone known to Dr. Silverman (Stephen Rea) who is treating Claire.

Now, this film gets off on the wrong foot the instant that it kills off Claire and Paul's young daughter. Not because it's inherently wrong that a child is killed in a film - it's not, and it's actually a cheat when films place children in a position of danger, all the while never having the actual intention of really threatening them. But if a child is killed, then it only works if it's either in a film that deals with the lacerating grief that such an event can cause (Ordinary People, say), or if it's an insight into a truly evil person (History of Violence, for example).

Here, however, it's neither as In Dreams is just trashy schlock, and the child's death just leaves an extremely unpleasant taste of manipulation in the mouth. Matters aren't helped by the ludicrous script and direction. The script throws us into screaming family arguments about psychic dreams and suspected affairs, without even bothering to introduce us to the characters properly. Jordan then concludes the fall into disaster by heavily overcooking the direction. Every horror and gothic thriller cliche is thrown onto the screen here, with no trace of subtlety or invention. It's all overblown to the extreme, including a school's play that looks like it was produced on half the budget of Lord of the Rings.

Lost in this mess are the actors. Quinn and Rea are too stoic for this kind of material to give it a camp or cheerful charm, while Bening, an actress not noted for underplaying her roles, veers so far over the top that you hope the killer does catch and throttle her.

Speaking of which, even an eye-rolling, loopy performance by Robert Downey Jr can't save this mess. And this is a man who made The Shaggy Dog watchable.

And please note, that these are all criticisms that were identified within the first twenty minutes. It really doesn't get any better after that.

For a better example of a film regarding someone getting uncomfortably close to a serial killer, just watch any Hannibal Lecter flick. For a better film based around a 50's pop song lyric, watch Blue Velvet instead. Hell, just watch ANYTHING else instead.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/20/06 01:34:35
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell boring skip it 1 stars
1/27/13 Big Poohbah Worse than a train wreck; I couldn't stop looking. 1 stars
10/16/06 im pretty but too fast too loose 3 stars
12/27/05 hibbyX Boo! APPLES!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
5/28/05 Terri Great movie, love Robert Downey Jr even if he was only on screen a short time 5 stars
2/08/05 sue mitchell horrible film will not see it again surprise Bruce robinson had anything to do with it 1 stars
5/05/04 vivian my father was a dollar 3 stars
2/22/04 Phyllis Joy Terrible. And the ads made it look so good! 1 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon Downey should stick to terrorizing his suburbanite neighbors. 1 stars
4/23/03 Leah after seeing american beauty I liked annette benning. After this? Fuck no. 1 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby A major botch from a talented director and cast. Ludicrous and wildly incoherent. 1 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Terrible horror, oops, "thriller" 1 stars
9/28/00 Ground Zero horror fiction for hippies 1 stars
6/23/00 Jed And you people thought Disturbing behavior was bad. 1 stars
10/14/99 Lame-Oh I've seen bad 2 stars
8/19/99 KK Mind Numbing Ridiculousness!! 1 stars
6/09/99 Joker Awsome atmosphere. Riveting. Scared us. 5 stars
3/25/99 Viral Messiah "Get out of my brain!" Stupid dialog, stupid movie and shit cast I've never heard of. 2 stars
3/14/99 Ah Dooey Bad, so goddam bad, that is all. 2 stars
3/10/99 Oggy Halloween: H20 was worse 2 stars
2/27/99 Alexandra Cleveland Urban Ledgend was better 3 stars
2/24/99 mochacchino for the trully DeRaNgEd 4 stars
2/02/99 makupa The concept of living out Grimms Fairytales engaging, flawed script. 4 stars
1/31/99 El Dorko Oh, screw yourself. A real shocker! 2 stars
1/27/99 Kooky Sal Ew. You know what I mean? 2 stars
1/27/99 Kevin Marshall Very Dark,Fucking Awesome if you can deal with the head trip 5 stars
1/25/99 Yo Momma A real disappointment. More of a cinematic bore. 2 stars
1/25/99 Chloe Marie Ernestine ( Very vivid. Absorbing. Interesting. Yet, it kind of sucked. I am glad I saw it, though. 4 stars
1/23/99 John Koenig What a disappointing, stupid, illogical, muddleheaded failure or a movie. SUCKS! 2 stars
1/23/99 kRIS fREGD tHIS mOVIE wAS tHE fUCKING bEST pHSYCO mOVIE oUT! r.b.j iS sO fUCKING hOT! 5 stars
1/22/99 TB Should be called "In Ass" Hanson's popularity makes more sense than this crap. 2 stars
1/19/99 Odd Pieman This script lacks one minor detail...WHY THIS SHIT IS HAPPENING!!! 2 stars
1/19/99 grunter Freddy Kreuger meets Johnny Appleseed; did Jordan really direct "The Crying Game?" 1 stars
1/18/99 Mr Showbiz Wants to be the stuff of richly cinematic nightmares but is more of a cinematic snooze. 3 stars
1/16/99 Shadow Raider Worst horror flick ever. That is all. 2 stars
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  15-Jan-1999 (R)



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