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Malice
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Reviews & Ratings for
Malice More at IMDbPro »

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Index 89 reviews in total 

44 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

See it once for the suspense, and again for the acting.

7/10
Author: Scarlet-22 from Laurel, MD
11 October 1999

MALICE is one of those movies that you simply MUST see more than once to believe. The first time through, MALICE is a great psychological thriller, with twists and turns through a plot that contains rape, murder, life-and-death trauma, and a fight to the death...all within the first 45 minutes. The second time through, though, provides a look at all the things you might have missed the first time around...and a chance to savor an outstanding performance from perhaps the most underrated actor in Hollywood, Alec Baldwin.

Bill Pullman plays Andy Safien, an associate dean at a small New England college outside of Boston that's currently under siege by a serial rapist who claims his latest victim as the film opens. Nicole Kidman plays his wife Tracy, a volunteer in the pediatrics ward of St. Agnes Hospital. They're renovating a Victorian house and need $14,000 for the plumbing. Enter Alec Baldwin as Dr. Jed Hill, a former high school classmate of Andy's, who's brand new in town and needs a place to stay. Andy needs the money, Jed needs a room, so the two hook up and soon Jed is sleeping upstairs in the Safiens' home...usually not alone, and his sexual escapades are grating on Tracy's nerves. The rapes continue, Andy is fingered as a suspect, and in the midst of it all, Tracy collapses with a ruptured ovarian cyst. Jed operates to save her life (after a night of drinking and wild partying), but renders her unable to bear children...leading to a malpractice suit from Tracy and an incredible soliloquy on surgeons with a God complex from Jed during the deposition.

But once the first half of the film is over, things really start to roll. Without revealing the rest of the plot, suffice it to say that as Andy, Tracy, and Jed all try to start their lives over again, their fates become inextricably entangled.

The movie is worth seeing once as a thriller. But the second time around, Baldwin's mesmerizing performance is what stands out. Jed is charismatic, seductive, and as charming as a cobra as he weaves his spell over the Safiens. Baldwin's ability to jump from utterly charming to incredibly chilling in the blink of an eye is on full display here; it is truly the performance of a lifetime.

See it once for the suspense, and again for the acting.

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35 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Very underrated.

10/10
Author: brettmajors_karaokeking from United States
7 November 2005

I gotta admit that at first glance, I thought this movie would be exactly what it appeared to be on the surface- boring. But with its dense plot, which is seriously full of twists and turns, this movie is a winner. Don't expect anything on the lines of the end of The Usual Suspects, but this movie provides many shocking moments. The end product could not be achieved without a slow build, but still this movie is one of the best suspense movies out there. I'm a big Bill Pulman fan and Nicole Kidman is always a treat to look at. In closing, you really should consider checking this one out, especially if you think the person you love isn't who they appear to be.

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33 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant writing makes for an excellent film

Author: pompaj
8 February 2003

This is one of the greatest mysteries of the past decade. It is, no question, the kind of movie that Hitchcock would be making today. Yes, there are flaws in some of the details, but nothing too major. The plot is still brilliant, the pacing perfect, and the characters lively. Especially Alec Baldwin who give the movie its spark, playing an egocentric doctor with a god complex. The best thing about this movie is the way that it unleashes a mystery, little by little, and lets it unfold into something tremendous. Intelligence is all over this script. Everything is done for a reason and great writing here, (by the screenwriter who wrote A Few Good Men), makes for a terrific movie.

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Terrific acting and great cast! ***SPOILERS***

Author: guil fisher from New York City, NY
2 December 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Have seen this film several times and am hooked. Even though I know the outcome, who cares. It's worth it just to see these fine actors do their thing as they do best. Alec Baldwin, who never ceases to amaze me in his work, is splendid as the doctor/villain [and what a smoothie he is]. His God "complex" speech is one of the highlights. Then there's the delicious Nicole Kidman, as the demon wife of a mild schoolteacher, who goes for the icing on the cake by knocking off anyone that gets in her way. What makes her performance stand out to me is that, as wild and evil as she can be, there's also a vulnerability in her portrayal. You actually care what happens to her, even though you know she deserves to get caught. This is the worst kind of a villain. One that you hope won't get caught. I loved the scene in the bar where she confronts her husband with smiles and flirting only to realize it won't work. The change of expression and attitude was delightful. Thanks, Nicole. And Bill Pullman, being given a sort of wimpish character to play, brings it way up to the same level as the stronger characters with his performance. He does an outstanding job in this flick. I've not seen his work before, but will surely look for more roles in the future. Playing smaller roles are Bebe Neuwirth as a cop who helps our professor solve the case, and Gwyneth Paltrow, in one of her earlier roles playing a bimbo student under Pullman's tutelege who unfortunately becomes a victim of a serial rapist. George C. Scott appears, quite briefly, as a sort of chief surgeon defending Baldwin's reputation in the medical profession, Peter Gallagher [that handsome devil] appears as Kidman's lawyer in two scenes and that incredible Anne Bancroft in one scene, but she almost steals the picture with her alcoholic card tricks. Annie's the best! Director Harold Becker does a good job with his stellar cast, but sometimes the film is too dark. At least on television it comes off hard to see. But I loved the scene when Nicole is waiting in her car for Pullman to leave so she can move in on the little boy next door in the window. The lighting coming from behind her gave her curley red hair a kind of glow. Terrific shot. This is a story by Aaron Gorkin and written for the screen by Jonas McCord. They say it's a copy of another story, however, I don't know about that. I enjoyed this one, but my hat's off to the performers. They brought this one up to the high place of good ensemble acting.

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Slick, Supsensful, Mystery Thriller!

8/10
Author: jbartelone from United States
25 January 2008

Malice is a very gripping mysterious thriller! The opening scene's haunting music will stay with you forever and draw you into a roller coaster ride of suspense, drama, and deceit.

The film revolves around a couple who's lives become interwoven by a mysterious and arrogant surgeon who manipulates and cons his way into their lives with little surprises around every turn. Harold Becker's directing is superb in setting the mood and pacing of the film. There are dramatic moments and secrets in the story that will keep you captivated until the very end. Watch for outstanding performances by Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman, and Bill Pullman, as well as a powerful supporting role by Ann Bancroft.

Malice is very difficult to review without giving away parts of the movie, so I will not go into great detail. It's the uncertainties in the movie that make it one to remember. See it, you will not be disappointed! The background musical score is one of the most memorable that I have heard in any movie. Malice is a tale of arrogance, power, mystery, and deception, that must be seen and will be long remembered after the final credits roll.

This is a very fine film that does not get the credit that it deserves!

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

An intriguing thriller.

Author: Dale-25 from Elgin, Illinois
13 October 1998

This is an intriguing thriller with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. It's hard to describe the plot and it's better that way. Bill Pullman and Nicole Kidman give great performances. Alec Baldwin is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood and deserved great praise for his astonishing portrayal here.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

I'm really surprised at all of the low opinions of "Malice"

8/10
Author: wfc33 from United States
2 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked this when it came out. I didn't think that it was predictable at all like a lot of filks have commented. I mean some things were obviously, but that's fairly true on most things these days.Especially TV (but that's another topic). Spoilers below:

I admit that the rapist story line was a bit odd but I think it was well done in that it lead you in one direction when the real story went another. I thought it was a good way to twist it a little. And remember, that is how Andy finds out that he couldn't have fathered the baby, if he hadn't had to provide a sample to the police, he wouldn't have known that and probably would not have kept probing into what Nicole was up to.

Another thing that I think people dismiss is the great acting by several cast members. Remember the scene when Baldwin had just moved into the house and he had the girl upstairs?There is one shot where Nicole looks up there and has this look of anger on her face that suggests she peeved at more than the noise. I didn't catch it the first time but on later viewing I did. Nicole and Baldwin had been plotting this long before he moved in.I digress, though, but the movie is full of little gems like that which I think makes it good.Others have mentioned the scene where Andy goes to see the mother. That is a great scene and the setting and scenery are great too. The rain, the cramped, dingy apartment; gives you the feeling that old lady never leaves there.

I could go on, but I think I've said enough;if you haven't seen this, check it out.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Full-bodied and satisfying nastiness

8/10
Author: Terrell-4 from San Antonio, Texas
25 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Take a surgeon with a God complex, a perfect young wife who loves kids, add a sincere doofus of a husband and you will have Malice, an intricate insurance-murder mystery that leaves a satisfyingly full-bodied, nasty taste in your mouth.

Andy Safian (Bill Pullman) is a decent, sincere dean at a picture-perfect small college in a picture-perfect New England town. His wife, Tracy (Nicole Kidman), volunteers at a children's center five days a week. They've just bought an old, rundown Victorian house they plan to remodel and fill with kids of their own. In to town comes Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin), the hospital's new surgeon and a hot shot cutter. Andy and Jed meet the same day and Jed winds up renting Andy's and Tracy's third floor room. Jed needs a place to stay temporarily and Andy and Tracy can use the extra income for remodeling expenses.

And then Tracy starts to have abdominal pains. One night she's rushed to the hospital, where Jed operates after getting Andy's permission. Jed removes an ovary he says was cancerous. It turns out Tracy had been pregnant and the ovary was healthy. A medical hearing is held. The result is that Tracy is awarded $20 million, but she is so angry with Andy that she leaves him. Ah, but there's more. To say what would ruin a good mystery. Let's just say that there are a lot of twists and that things very often aren't what they seem. There is some really unpleasant manipulation going on, plus a degree of sexual ruthlessness that would make a fine entry into Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis.

The most serious drawback to the movie is a major red herring involving a serial criminal that goes nowhere. The purpose seems only to give Andy a reason to spend the last half of the movie with a seriously bruised face. There also is a semi-red herring involving a doctor in another town that, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out. I think it was most likely a plot point that became a loose string the director figured the audience would forget about.

The movie features fine performances by all. Pullman's decent guy persona drives the second half of the movie. Two one-off cameos by George C. Scott as a respected surgeon and Anne Bancroft as...well, you'll need to see the movie...are both important to the plot. Bebe Neuwirth as police detective Dana Harris, a friend of Andy's, nearly steals every scene she's in. She uses an accent that reminds me of Maerose Prizzi, but even so she radiates no- nonsense common sense and a real concern for Andy. Nicole Kidman is what the movie is all about. She gives a performance that is subtle and forceful. Amazingly, 16 years after she made this movie her forehead still has no trace of a wrinkle. Alec Baldwin has spent the latter half of his movie career specializing in unlikable egoists. Here he's interesting and at least a little likable. And does his character, Dr. Jed Hill, really have a God complex? Here's what Dr. Hill has to say for himself: "I have an M.D. from Harvard. I am board certified in cardio- thoratic medicine and trauma surgery. I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you: When someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from post-operative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, and you go to your church...and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle. But if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17, and he doesn't like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God."

On balance, Malice is a nifty piece of complex nastiness.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

some nice twists and intensity in this one

8/10
Author: disdressed12 from Canada
24 August 2007

this is one very good movie.it's got suspense,a twisting plot,great intensity,and a good story.it may not be wholly original,but it think it works,thanks to its three main actors,Alec Baldwin(The Good Shepherd)Nicole Kidman(The Interpreter)and Bill Pullman.But Kidman really surprised me with the intensity she brought to her role.i'm generally not a fan,but she is effective in this movie.the supporting performances are also good.i also like the fact that the movie isn't completely predictable,like happens in so many movies.the movie is also very well paced.there are no lagging spots to slow things down to the point of boredom.anyway,i really enjoyed it. 8/10

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Ain't no wonderland

7/10
Author: Grann-Bach (Grann-Bach@jubii.dk) from Denmark
27 September 2008

This is pretty dark. In the very literal sense, as in, the lighting can hardly be described as being overpowering, and figuratively, since it's not exactly a Disney-fied fairy tale. It may require, if not necessarily multiple viewings, then at least attention paid. The plot is well-written, and takes some serious turns. It should throw most viewers for a loop, and it manages to retain a level of believability that not all recent twist-flicks can boast. The cinematography and editing are of high quality throughout, with no exceptions. The acting is spot-on almost invariably, everyone turns in a solid performance... Kidman, Baldwin, Pullman, Scott, Bancroft, not a disappointment to be found among them. The supporting players, as well. The writing leaves rather little(if not nothing) to be desired, and remains excellent for the duration. The pacing is appropriate. The three attempts at doing a proper accent are appreciated, and this is by no means the only film to lack in that department. There is a bit of sex in this, if not that much nudity, considering. There is a moderate amount of language, and it can be fairly harsh. The DVD holds cast biographies(yes, *yippie*) as well as a trailer, which I would not suggest you watch before the movie itself, as it could give stuff away. I recommend this to any fans of the people involved in making it, as well as the genres of crime, thriller, and/or mystery. 7/10

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