Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by
It's sometimes distracting to tell a story in flashbacks and memories; the story line gets sidetracked. The director, Taylor Hackford, is successful, however, in making the present seem to flow into and out of the past.
The mysteries of Dolores Claiborne are never gripping enough to consume an audience, and there are few, if any, surprises along the way. But the women are wonderful and reason enough to see the picture.
All the performances are good, the script is subtle and waste-free and Danny Elfman's score is evocative and appropriate, but the direction is what gives the movie its sweep.
Kathy Bates, so memorably creepy in "Misery", delivers what may be 1995's most underrated performance in this implicitly feminist melodrama.
Although the forced ending, which seems deigned to create an unnatural moment of triumph, weakens the climactic catharsis, it doesn't diminish the naked honesty which forms the foundation of Dolores Claiborne.
Kathy Bates gives her most gripping performance since "Misery," also based on a Stephen King thriller. The picture is weakened by a rambling and inconsistent screenplay.
Despite superb performances by Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh, a limp, almost TV movie trite, climax never comes near delivering the shocks it should. A shame, as what could have been superb, is merely average.
Despite Bates' mastery at bringing unexpected depth to unhinged characters, Dolores is a few pints low on chills and challenge.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Although director Taylor Hackford ("An Officer and a Gentleman") handles the usually cumbersome flashbacks with impressive delicacy, he can't stop the narrative from sinking under its own melodramatic weight.
Second-guessing the audience in the third act takes some of the wind out of his sails (the film wraps up the loose ends so tightly you can practically see the bow), but Hackford does his best with a King tale that many thought would be unfilmable.
Entertainment Weekly
Since there is a mystery, the movie might have been entertaining camp had director Taylor Hackford staged it with pace, style, or a whisper of surprise. Instead, the plot just clunks forward-for two hours and 10 minutes.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Dolores Claiborne (1995) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board