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|Index||17 reviews in total|
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Solid Thriller, 13 June 2009
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On July, 4th in Houston, a teenager finds a human hand in the sewer.
Captain Swaggert (Martin Sheen) is investigating the discovery of seven
hands, each one precisely severed and with a number tattooed on the
palm, along many years but without any lead. The highly qualified
Special Investigator Audrey Macleah (Ally Walker) is assigned to join
the team and give support to the investigation. When the police
department receives a call from a medical doctor in an institution,
Audrey visits him and the doctor introduces the autistic boy Jordan
Thomas (Tara Subkoff) to her, disclosing seven hands that the boy had
drawn on the wall. Audrey dedicates her attention to Jordan and
discovers that he is connected to the serial-killer.
"When the Bough Breaks" is a surprisingly solid thriller, with a well developed dark story and a good conclusion. Ally Walker has a great performance in the role of a professional with many specializations, but also with a trauma from her childhood. Tara Subkoff is also amazing with her double-role. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Assassinatos Macabros" ("Macabre Murders")
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Scary but beautiful, 24 October 2000
Author: millielammoreaux from Germany
This movie really surprised me as I didn´t expect too much of it. The plot reminds me a little of the great french film LES YEUX SANS VISAGE, and it´s interesting to see the somewhat old school crime scene being transformed into a contemporary tale of murder and obsession. I found this to be very well done and extremely scary. Of the performances, the work of Tara Subkoff, in her first role, needs to be singled out. She is simply amazing and gives an unbelievably emotional portrayel of a mentally disturbed child.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
An unexpectedly good thriller with a terrific Ally Walker performance, 22 June 2000
Author: glidrose from Salt Lake City, UT
In low budget thrillers we generally don't expect to find genuine shock
depth of characterization. But this film has both. What is particularly
surprising is the level of complexity suggested in Ally Walker's portrayal
of the lead character Audrey McLeah. The film's script in and of itself
doesn't sufficiently account for the undercurrents of alienation and fear
that we glimpse in the Audrey character. However, Ally Walker, in what was
fairly early role in her career, manages to convey pain through restraint.
It's remarkable work in a vehicle that doesn't necessarily require
The film even has some powerful poetic touches such as the scars on Audrey's back, scars that resonate all the more powerfully because they appear in one scene and then vanish while the viewer continues to wonder about their origins and about the many kinds of scars that are evident in the film. Here once again Ally Walker demonstrates an impressive skill for sensitive understatement.
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
What an unexpected great find!, 22 July 2006
Author: Pedro (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Virginia, USA
I ran into this movie in one of my on demand channels. I put it on
because I had seen everything else I had available. Excellent movie,
kept me glued to the TV the whole damn time.
I Did not even bother to pause it to check the credits because Jordan looked a lot like either Isabella Rosellini or Jared Letto, and that kept nagging me through the movie.
How come I am expected to fill-in 10 lines worth of comments? This is kind of silly. Oh well, I honestly had not heard before of this movie, Sheen was more or less a generic authority figure, other 10 actors could have done at least the same job and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Ally Walker played her part more as a real rookie than her actual character, who was supposed to have 3 years in the field. Sometimes in the movie you wonder if she has been in that job for a whole month.
The rest of the cast was pretty forgettable, but still, it was a great movie.
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
"Silence of the lambs" follower...., 24 May 2002
Author: Peter Jørgensen from Denmark
Turn of the light. Sit alone. Drink a beer. Feel alone !. This movie will
bring you down. This one is a thriller.
The end is not so good but in the right atmosphere this movie will not let you slip away from the tense story. "Silence of the lambs" is the best description I can give, though it never reaches this point of excellence.
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A surprisingly good thriller, 14 June 2003
Author: rm.bentley (email@example.com) from Berkshire, England
I have to thank the 'Further Attractions' trailer section on my American Yakuza DVD for finding this gem. My expectations weren't exactly high when I hit the play button but I was utterly hooked from the movie's start (when a young couple make a gruesome discovery) up until its nail biting finale. With an engaging story line, stylish and assured directing and writing, photography and music that perfectly blends with the mood of the story and good performances from all the cast I found this film an uncomfortable pleasure to watch. I'm not one that's easily scared but I can tell you my was heart pounding during the final 15 minutes of the film. If you enjoy a good thriller I would highly recommend buying the DVD... NOW!
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A interesting, flawed lead character, well acted., 31 May 2003
Author: Gary Stedman (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK
Not being much of a fan of this type of thriller, I started to watch this
film one day, years ago here in the UK with little interest. While
it I was struck by the rarity of a character like Audrey Macleah, played
such a understated manner by a actress I had never heard of, never having
even seen a tv series called Profiler at that time.
The films plot seems to be intelligent and well crafted, with enough depth to keep you on edge until the end. The final act at the Eben house is particulary suspenseful. I lack the credentials to say whenever the film is a good example of its genre but must return to Audrey Macleah/Ally Walker. The manner in which the character is portrayed as a brilliant academic, although lacking in confidence and with her own past demons just hiding under the surface is masterful. A nice touch is the way in which these are left unresolved, rather than a more typical, heavy handed approach.
One of my favourites, and well worth watching.
Great thriller despite directorial flaws, 29 July 2010
Author: midge56 from Texas
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The story was excellent. In fact, it was downright scary. The plot and
storyline are unlike any other movie I've seen. Quite unique. In fact,
if this movie was based on a published book, I'd like to know the name
of it. Perhaps the missing parts of the movie, might be in that book.
The story came from somewhere, so we need to find more about the
There are indeed story lines in this movie which appear, then disappear without a word such as the scars on the investigators back. Evidently, she was a victim of unimaginable abuse based on the scars and perhaps her claustrophobia, but this storyline simply disappeared without explanation. She says a little bit about it when speaking to Jordan in one scene.
The storyline behind the killer, his public life, his secret life and past events concerning his children was just barely enough to connect the movie, but should have had a lot more depth to it and should have included scenes regarding the births and the meltdown of the surgeon for appropriate flashbacks.
The chain smoking of the main character, the lead investigator, was to the point of being disturbing, distasteful and obnoxious. It distracted from the movie and actually interfered with her role. It had no place in the movie and did nothing but get in the way.
Serious flaws were also made concerning the character of a boy (these reviewers need to get over the obvious fact that the actor was a female which was done to create the effect of twins with telepathic links). The boy is NOT autistic. He is an "Elective" mute... that means he "Chose" not to speak. But they show him writing to communicate... yet he had been locked up in a psychiatric cell since he was 4 and was never schooled... thus, there is no way he would know how to read or write under those conditions. For the psychiatric hospital to have buried him in a basement room, unable to see out and the only inhabitant of an entire section of the hospital was simply over the edge. No institution would waste money to maintain heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and supervision of an entire wing for one person. The conditions were simply ridiculous.
Basically, this movie looks like it had no director or direction. It just looks like someone showed up everyday to collect money for that role but never bothered to do any work... so the cast and crew were left on their own to film the movie. It would have been a directors job to ensure the movie did not have these dead ends and errors and to ensure continuity throughout. Did anyone bother to preview the movie after it was edited? It doesn't look like it. Too many missing explanations and errors. I looked up the director, Michael Cohn and I was right. He is a terrible "non" director. He only directed about 2 other movies and was the writer/director for this one. This could have been a superb movie with a decent director. It is obvious that this one had serious problems and so the cast and crew did the best they could without direction.
Even with the flaws, it is a terrific movie. Unique story and an "edge of the seat" thriller. Highly recommended. Be sure not to mistake this movie for the other one of the same name with Ted Danson. If it says Danson... you have the wrong movie. Many times, even the cable channel directory mixes up the two when they write the description on the schedule.
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Allie Walker is a revelation, 22 February 1999
Author: Jeannot from Berwyn PA
She plays an attractive, but misfit, woman--who is competent at her job, but
has no romance. The men around her are either officially correct (Sheen) or
ridiculing her behind her back (the rest of the cops). Because of her lack
of feminine wiles, she is a loner, and can relate to the isolated boy whom
she bonds with.
I would recommend the film, if only for Walker's performance.
5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
It's got a beat, but you still can't dance to it., 20 July 1999
Author: Tom Klimek (email@example.com) from Sacramento, CA USA
When the Bough Breaks sets an all-time record for unresolved loose ends:
scars on the back, birth defects, numbers on the palms, role of the
full-time ice cream clown, and on and on. Of course, there are suggestions
of untold stories that parallel and bisect the story. But there's enough
here to feed a decade-long TV series. (Oops. There goes my chance to make a
killing on the spin-offs.)
There are signs of a heart beat in the characters of Audrey Macleah and Jordan/Jenny--but the pulse is weak.
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