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Gripping; definitely _not_ a carbon copy.
Rid.X21 February 2000
Contrary to what several users have written, "Copycat" is _not_ "Silence of the Lambs 2". Nor is it a rip-off of "Se7en", or an exploitation flick, or any other negative labels that have been foisted upon it. Rather, it's a gripping, and largely intriguing thriller that succeeds thanks to performances by two confident female leads, competent direction, intelligent writing, and an appropriately foreboding score courtesy of Christopher Young, who's fast becoming one of my favorite film composers.

Sigourney Weaver hits the right notes as the agoraphobic psychiatrist, especially early on, as we see the depths to which she has shut herself off from the outside world, creating her own safe little corner. Holly Hunter, in a role that instantly brings to mind Jane Craig from "Broadcast News", is effective as the investigating detective. Hers is a performance that is three-dimensional and fully-realized.

If there's a weakness in the film, it's the ongoing beef between Ruben and Nico. It's a meritless p***ing contest stemming from one character's jealousy, and could've easily been dropped or retooled. This small gripe, however, didn't deter my enjoyment of the film.

Much credit has to be given to director Jon Amiel ("Sommersby", "Entrapment") for effectively capturing the atmosphere and tension prevalent throughout the film. In addition, writers Ann Biderman and David Madsen deserve credit for a intelligent, well-researched screenplay. No clichés here, just sharply-crafted dialogue. And Christopher Young's inspired score is brilliant; just listen to the theme that plays early on, as Helen calms down after a panic attack.

"Copyat" may not be classic material, but it's a strong entry in a genre that's too often consumed by formulas and gore. Highly recommended.
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excellent thriller
keys7227 August 2002
This is an overlooked, intelligent, frightening thriller. It poses a sick, shrewd serial killer against a brilliant psychologist/writer/professor (Weaver) and an attractive team of cops. Weaver delivers an outstanding performance as the brilliant agorophobic (sp.?) who has been emotionally devastated by a prior run-in with a serial killer. Offers a clif's notes review of the century's major serial killers, constant tension, crisp writing and outstanding performances. In short, it is a very good, very scary movie, and you should see it it you haven't yet.

Personally, I also think Weaver looks fabulous. Brains and beauty and character. Nice combination.
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One of the best serial killer movies
MovieAddict201624 May 2005
The serial killer genre is one that became popular after "Silence of the Lambs," and since then the only ones that have really stuck out are "Se7en," "Copycat" and "Saw." "Copycat" is about a psychologist who lectures students on serial killers, and one day finds herself to be a victim at one of her speeches. Attacked in the bathroom, she narrowly escapes death and becomes a social recluse in the years that follow -- living through the Internet, anonymously chatting on Internet chat rooms and so on and so forth.

Until the terror begins again, this time involving not only the ex-pschologist (Sigourney Weaver) but also a cop played by Holly Hunter.

"Copycat" was much better than I thought it would be. I originally saw it on TBS years ago; I remember the ads claiming it would be on, but for some reason the rights fell through and it didn't air for another month or so... through this time period I hadn't heard anything about the film, but within the very first few minutes I instantly knew it was going to be much better than the standard "Silence" rip-off.

I may be alone here (and trust me, I know it) but I enjoy this more than "Silence of the Lambs," which kind of bores me at times. "Copycat" is dark and unexpectedly intelligent -- it is also perfectly cast. Weaver is fine (if unexceptional) whereas Hunter's macho-female traits are put into play perfectly by her casting as a cop.

The killer in the movie is played by Harry Connick Jr., and even he does a good job, which is saying quite a lot.

The movie has unexpected twists and is very clever in its own right. It is undoubtedly influenced (heavily) by "Silence of the Lambs" but is successful in the way it adds its own qualities to the mix -- much like "Se7en" this is a serial killer movie cashing in on the success of "Silence," but not necessarily stealing its content.

Very surprised. Catch it if you can.
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Silence of The Lambs meets Se7en - and does it well
ScottyB29 December 1998
From the opening scene, Sigourney Weaver (Helen Hudson) gives a stunning performance as a criminal psychologist going on to battle with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Her character is excellently portrayed with all the mood swings, panic attacks and ups and downs of a person fighting depression. She is backed up with another excellent lead character courtesy of Holly Hunter (Detective M J Monahan) who proves that attractive young actresses really can play a serious part well if they have the talent - a talent Holly Hunter has no problems expressing.

The plot is well written and takes you on the roller-coaster race against time (well is IS a suspense movie after all) as the homicide department are desperately trying to catch a copycat serial killer before he emulates any more infamous murderers. Attention to detail is impressive in the producing of this movie and the lead actresses are backed up my and excellent supporting cast with Dermot Mulroney providing Hunter with the dashing detective sidekick Ruben Goetz. The viewer is drawn to start thinking along the same lines as the lead characters and twists in the plot ensure that you don't get it all right ahead of the storyline.

Highly recommended for a night in. Dim the lights and settle down for almost 2 hours of quality entertainment.
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Serial Killing as Art?
BaronBl00d18 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Definitely a film that will have you on the edge of your seat, if not hugging it as closely as possible. Copycat tells the story of a serial killer psychologist(wonderfully played by Sigourney Weaver), slowly working her way from phobias due to an attack from a serial killer, working with the law(serviceably played by a cute Holly Hunter) in search of a serial killer that kills in the previous styles of former serial killers. The murderer uses old photos and the books of Weaver to recapture the "essence" of each brutal killing. Murders are done ala Albert DeSalvo, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and others. The film is very fascinating and yet very twisted too. The killer is played with such conviction by William McNamara. Another killer in prison(the one that attacked Weaver) is played with unusual repulsivenes by Harry Connick Jr. The real star here is the script which has unusual intelligence for such subject matter. There is a good deal of violence, yet a subtle humour pervades much of the discussion between the cops and even Weaver and Hunter in a few scenes. But the thrill aspect of the film...the raw suspense...steers the picture from beginning to end. Hunter and Weaver(particularly) do incredible jobs in their roles, and I was impressed with the film as a whole.
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Effective Thriller from the 90's
Claudio Carvalho5 November 2015
In San Francisco, the criminal psychologist Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) is specialized in serial-killers. During a trial, the accused Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick Jr.) kills a police officer and tries to kill her and she becomes agoraphobic. Now Helen lives a reclusive life with her gay friend Andy (John Rothman) that helps her. Sometime later, there is a wave of crimes and Detectives M.J. Monahan (Holly Hunter) and Reuben Goetz (Dermot Mulroney) are investigating the murder cases. Helen identifies that the murderer is copycatting notorious serial-killers and she anonymously contacts the Police Department. After fourteen phone calls, she is identified by the police. Detectives M.J. and Reuben visit her and Helen teams up with them and prepares the profile of the killer that wants to be famous. But soon the copycat killer Peter Foley (William McNamara) contacts and stalks Helen and M.J. and Reuben give protection to her. Will they be capable to stop Foley before the next murder?

"Copycat" is an effective thriller from the 90's and certainly among the best ones. The performances of Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter are great and Holly Hunter is a great surprise as a detective in a thriller. There are many movies about serial-killers and the great difference in "Copycat" is two women in the lead roles. The identity of the killer is disclosed too soon and could be kept as a mystery; but anyway the character is not connected to Helen, Andy, M.J. or Reuben and it would not be possible to have a twist or a major surprise if the mystery was kept. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Copycat - A Vida Imita a Morte" ("Copycat – The Life Imitates The Death")
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A masterpiece that takes you inside the mind of a serial killer...
aro-228 January 1999
It all starts with Dr. Helen Hudson(Weaver) giving a lecture on serial killers, little knowing that she's about to have an encounter with one. After her lecture is over she visits the restroom, and is attacked by one Daryll Lee Cullum(Connick). Flash forward 13 months. We see Hudson yet again, but this time she's confined to her apartment. You see, she's now an agoraphobic, having retired after that fateful day. At the local police precinct detectives M.J. Monahan(Hunter) and Ruben Goetz(Mulroney) are tracking a killer of their own, played by William McNamara. He appears to be mimicing the MO's of various famous serial killers. Hudson hears about this over the radio and calls the precinct with some information. She speaks to Monahan, who thinks it's a crank call. Monahan and Goetz pay a little visit to Hudson's residence, carrying with them photographs of the recent crime scenes. Hudson determines the killer is indeed copying other serial killers. A while later, an unseen visitor breaks into her apartment, leaving the dress she was wearing the day she was attacked by Cullum neatly spread out on her bed. Her home is no longer safe. Monahan and Goetz have dragged her back into the world she tried to leave behind. Now Hudson must help the detectives catch the copycat before she becomes the next victim.

Realistic in just about every aspect, Copycat is right up there with Silence of the Lambs. Comparisons to Seven are not unwarrented, but the plot here is more believable. A very good cast, with Weaver giving one of the best perfomances of her career. Hunter and Mulroney are also excellent. The film is provided a very tense and terrifying atmosphere, thanks to director Jon Amiel. It doesn't need to wallow in needless violence and gore, because it has what every great Thriller needs: suspense on an epic scale. The violence is kept to a minimum, but what it contains can be a bit unsettling, if for no other reason than because we get to know how the killer thinks. Along the same lines, Weaver's portrayal of an agoraphobic is perfect. You don't have to imagine what Weaver is feeling when she steps out of her apartment, or what the killer is feeling while he murders his victims. You feel every bit of it, which is why this film succeeds so masterfully.

Copycat is that rare film that comes along every other year or so that has the ability to pull you into it. It takes you on a most terrifying journey into the mind of a serial killer and the doctor that understands him. I can't say anything more, except that I love this film. Hitchcock would've been proud.
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Well Thought out Serial Killer Movie
mjw230529 December 2006
A serial killer is claiming victims in the style of other killers from the recent past, homicide detective (Holly Hunter) needs the help of a noted criminal psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) if she is going to catch this killer. The trouble is she is an agoraphobic recluse haunted by her memories.

The characters build nicely as the story moves along at a steady pace, Weaver and Hunter both capture their characters very well and they are supported convincingly by Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jnr. and Will Patton.

Copycat is full of suspense and intrigue, and it is a really solid film in every respect; it doesn't have the style or the punch of films like Seven and Silence of the Lambs, but it is definitely well worth watching.

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Chilling, thriller diller about a serial killer!
Michael O'Keefe26 February 2000
Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Helen Hudson, a retired psychiatrist that specializes in serial killers. Hudson is agoraphobic and suffers with different degrees of stress and depression. Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney are detectives trying to catch a serial killer. Harry Connick, Jr. plays a serial killer behind bars and taunts Hudson as she tries to help the investigators. The killer wants his own fame for duplicating famous murders. The background score will help your nerves jitter. Hunter is not convincing as a police officer. Mulroney's character is as bold as cardboard. Connick, Jr. is quite funny in a cynical way. Weaver conveyed her character's fear and anxiety. And without a change of expression, was bribed out of a pair of her frilly panties in exchange for information about the killer's identity. Dim the lights and enjoy.
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a probable goofy
Fernando Morgado12 February 2006
Nothing less than excellent this Copycat, which should be rated as the second best serial killer movie after The Silence of the Lambs. But I think the writers goofed at the ending.The film repeats the first part, when Dr Hudson is almost killed by Cullum.So,at the final sequence, when the detective played by Holly Hunter enters the restroom, again with Hudson about to be hanged, there's the killer on the floor, pretending he's a police officer shot by the serial killer.The detective ignores it, which is a double mistake. First, she's ambushed by him, second,didn't she, a very smart cop,suspected, what in hell a police officer should be there, at so late an hour and with the building totally empty?
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dan924113 April 2000
This is the BEST thriller ever made. I know, everyone will crucify me for saying this, but I was bored by much of "Se7en." I think that "Copycat" is far superior. As for "Silence of the Lambs," comparisons - yes they are similar (with one convicted killer aiding people in catching another killer at large), and "Lambs," is naturally amazing (it deserved its Oscar), though it is not as scary as "Copycat." For some reason, "Copycat" struck the right chord with me. The small details of the killings are so clever and creepy, and they add to the atmosphere wonderfully. Sigourney Weaver is in one of the greatest roles of her career (though she is always fantastic), as is the remarkable Holly Hunter (who also provides some humor). Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara and Harry Connick Jr. round out the fine cast. However, in addition to the powerful female leads, it is the story that drives this movie. I was so hooked by it, and every twist had me on the edge of my seat. It is both terrifying AND well-made. And the score! I can't even begin to say how beautiful and haunting the music is. This is one movie I am very happy to own.
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One of the best in its genre.
Boba_Fett113830 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Copycat" is a surprising good serial-killer thriller, that perhaps is not the most original movie around but its definitely one of the better executed ones.

The movie is well written, with a solid story, main characters and a couple of nice twists. At the beginning you don't really know what the movie is going about and everything is build up in a good, non-forced or overdone way. In the beginning its still a mystery who's behind the killings and it even is subtly implied that the killers could be one of the cops, or one of the other characters in the movie. The movie however takes a twist when it fully shows the killer, his preparations and his actions. The movie is at times told completely from the killers point of view. This works surprisingly effective and it doesn't ruin the tension or mystery of the movie, in any way.

What makes the movie effective and also in a way distinctive is that the main characters of the movie are two female characters. They are being portrayed by about the two strongest female leading Hollywood ladies of the moment; Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter. They are two strong and independently, different from each other characters that know to carry the movie. The movie also has an excellent supporting cast with Harry Connick Jr. in a disturbing role, Will Patton and the fairly unknown William McNamara as the killer of the movie. The fact that he isn't as well known as an actor perhaps makes his character work out all the better.

I have yet to see a Jon Amiel movie that is original on its own. His movies always heavily 'borrow' from other movies in the same genre. He's a real 'copycat' himself you may say. "Copycat" is really no exception to this but it this case it didn't bothered me since the execution of it all was superb and effective.

The movie is basically good and tense from start till finish, due to a good pace, interesting well written and developed characters and a good overall build up. The movie perhaps at the end turns into a bit of a formulaic and simple one but it doesn't really downgrade the movie in any way. It all makes this movie one of the better genre movies of the last couple of years. The movie has basically everything in it that is needed to make a good thriller.

The movie is good looking with an overall nice visual style, some nice cinematography, nimble editing and a suiting musical score from composer Christopher Young.

A simply great genre movie, that deserves some more recognition and that holds up surprising well against other classic genre examples such as "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en".

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two sensational lead figures in a great energetic thriller
Stampsfightclub26 January 2007
Holly Hunter (Toy Story) stars alongside Sigourney Weaver (Alien) in this excellent fast flowing mysterious thriller. With fantastic acting by the two central women, the film shines in capturing a fantastic energetic plot, conforming to issues of murder in the crime world. Always fast flowing with energetic chase scenes and snap shots of the potential murderer Copycat succeeds in maintaining an interesting mysterious storyline which is great at conforming and juxtaposing both to the crime and thriller genre. Weaver's acting is sensational and as this was the first film I saw her in, I am keen to watch other films she has appeared in. Holly Hunter maybe overshadowed throughout but is still able to maintain a dominant force within the police force as the lead detective. However I did have a few questions remaining at the end of the film, which is somewhat an anticlimax. Also novices will find the twisting storyline and heavy information regarding deaths, suspicions and lists of potential goings on and paste vents a little hard to follow and personally I felt some of it was a bit unrealistic and far-fetched.

Female representation.

I personally thought it was great seeing two women as the two central characters in this film. It reflected a change in society and more equality in the workplace. Having two very strong actresses in Hunter and Weaver allows the film to be carried through them and is remarkable twist and turn of events the two have to go through, letting us see their powerful sides but also their weak vulnerable sides.


Worth mentioning as some scenes were simply breath taking, watch out for the ending to see what I mean.

i strongly recommend this film to anyone with a thirst for fast energetic plots and action.
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A pleasant diversion
jamiecostelo5814 December 2006
Sigourney Weaver was well appointed to play psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hudson, in a role that is a million miles away from Alien's Ripley! Becoming a surviving victim of a deranged serial killer, Hudson has now become agoraphobic, struggling to see the outside world. Copycat leads us on a cunning and nail-biting trail of death and destruction, and it's up to Hudson and Det. MJ Monahan to catch this killer before it's too late....

Holly Hunter was an unknown actress to myself, but her portrayal as Monahan certainly opened my door to her talents. A great convincing performance. I don't think that Copycat is just the title; there are so many movies out there where the authorities are chasing serial killers and other criminals, but this film takes us on a journey beyond the scope of imagination, and we simply have to guess what the twists to the tale are.

This intense tale is superbly acted, directed and detailed enough to make Copycat one of the best cat-and-mouse thrillers of recent times. Highly recommended. 9/10
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Excellent with plenty of twists
debdiego0325 March 2006
Excellent movie, I thought the principals were all terrific and I am surprised that Sigourney didn't get more recognition for her part. A perfect crime drama with some unexpected jumps and twists. The movie opens slowly and leads the viewer to believe this is going to be a standard crime drama. However, the pace and excellent plot twists keep the movie from being a "Copycat" of other less dynamic movies. This is in the same vein as "By the Sea" only I think about 3x better. There is a double entrendre that ends up getting someone killed inside the police station that is not considered a plot issue, however it leaves the viewer thinking there is more to the incident than what is portrayed. There are many excellent and insightful psychological twists on this movie which kept me interested and excited. Great date movie and just a great movie to buy or rent. One of my new favorites! And I watch a ton of movies!!
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A well-made thriller.
channel_serf4 December 2003
Another viewer posed a question a lot of people seem to be asking. Why are movies like this, in which women are victimized, raped, murdered, and otherwise brutalized, so prevelent...and seemingly popular? Is it an indication that we, as a society, enjoy seeing other people being harmed? Do we crave this kind of gratuitous violence? Have we been so inundated with this type of graphic entertainment that we've all become virtual sadists?

Well, I have another theory. One supported by talking to other fans of such movies.

In my experience, a lot of women are fans of these films. Just look at the Lifetime Network, which has spawned two spin-off networks, one of which shows "women in jeopardy" movies almost 24 hours a day. Women who watch these movies will tell you it's not because they enjoy seeing other women being brutalized. In fact, some of these movies touch on their worst fears, things they hope never happen to them, and would never wish on anyone else.

I think the appeal of these movies is that, in the end, the bad guy, the stalker, rapist, or serial killer, gets punished. In real life, where the villains often get away with committing unspeakable acts, where right doesn't always win, we like seeing a movie where justice (whether at the hands of the courts, or the victims) gets done. And in a strange way, when we are shown, graphically, how truly terrifying the villain is, the true horror of his crimes, it makes his eventual downfall even more satisfying.

I think we watch action, and even horror, films for the same reason. Because we know that, in the end, the day will be saved, and the bad guy will get what's coming to him. The good guys will win, which isn't always a certainty in real life.

I certainly know that my favorite parts of COPYCAT weren't the scenes where the serial killer claimed another victim. But those scenes involved me in the story. Every time he killed someone else, I wanted him to be caught even more, and was that much more satisfied when he was finally stopped.
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Much under-rated psychological/stalker/serial killer-thriller.
Elswet3 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This movie presents excellent direction, a cleverly-written screenplay and possibly some of the best acting of Sigourney Weaver's career.

This is another movie I've watched over and over for the sheer entertainment quality. I highly enjoy its marvelous character development and the tense feeling this whole production generates.

Sigourney Weaver portrays a criminologist who specializes in serial homicide. After years of lecture tours on the subject and the serial killers themselves, she is attacked and traumatized so badly that agoraphobia takes a firm grip on her psyche. As time goes on, the intensity of her condition increases to its worst degree.

Now, more than a year later, she comes face to face with her worst nightmare: a new incarnation of Daryll Lee 'Killer' Cullum. Ripped away from everyone she can trust, everyone she has allowed even nominally close to her, she is totally alone and at the mercy of her greatest fear. As her tormentor's plot develops, you will find yourself literally on the edge of your seat.

Killer Cullum is portrayed in a startling manner by Harry Connick, Jr. His follower 'Peter Curtain Foley' is convincingly portrayed by William McNamara.

While the cinematography of this production was little more than average, the settings and scenery were creatively executed. You never get the feeling that they shot this movie in five rooms that they kept redecorating, as you do in many films of this type. The direction was very well done, and Sigourney Weaver is absolutely convincing as the 'pill-popping, juice-head, hyperventilating, agoraphobic @sshøle.' (Inspector M.J. Monahan, played by Holly Hunter)

This is a great movie, and one of my favorites.

It rates an 8.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Gripping suspense...too much graphic violence...
Neil Doyle7 October 2002
COPYCAT will undoubtedly be too intense for some to watch--especially when the serial killer confronts his victim (Sigourney Weaver) while a police detective (Holly Hunter) is on the way to lend assistance. But make no mistake about it--once the plot starts to unwind, the tension builds up from moment to moment and it's hard not to become involved in the story.

Stories about serial killers are always gripping for most viewers, but I suspect many are unfamiliar with this little known gem. If you are in the mood for this kind of suspense (and fans of either Sigourney Weaver or Holly Hunter), this is a chance to watch both actresses deliver strong performances.

Dermot Mulroney makes a likeable sidekick for Hunter and William McNamara is creepy enough as the psycho. Harry Connick, Jr. is fine as the jailbird taunting psychiatrist Weaver.

On the debit side: the graphic violence will disturb the more faint hearted and some aspects of the plot defy credibility. The ending is somewhat contrived--but suspense is maintained throughout and the tension builds right up to the finale.
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Above average, ***/****
maxshreck3 April 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Clever little serial killer movie that pushes all the right buttons with excellent performances throughout, particularly from the 2 female leads, with a surprisingly good overacted debut from Harry Connick Jr, who..<GASP>…doesn't sing once! A serial killer is on the loose, copying infamous murderers from the past, and its up to determined cop Hunter and reclusive criminal psychologist Weaver to stop him. If you're into serial killer lore like myself, you'll love this movie, a satisfying addition to the genre. The ending may be predictable enough, but a twist in the subplot involving Mulroney and Hunter makes up for this.

*SPOILERS AHOY* My only complaint is the actor who plays the killer; McNamara was woefully miscast and almost ruined the entire film for me. He was way too young and baby faced, and not scary at all in my opinion. Hannibal Lecter, John Doe, THAT'S how a serial killer should be; they should exude a certain aura of creepiness. Yes, I know that many of the real-life serial killers he copies were notorious for appearing normal and non-scary at first, like Dahmer and Bundy, but it was after they were uncovered that they became frightening. Right up until he gets shot, McNamara didn't scare me at all. And as for that face he pulls when Weaver starts laughing at him in the bathroom, it just makes him look like a spoilt child, and almost made me laugh out loud.

But if you try and tolerate McNamara, then the rest of the cast won't disappoint. A well researched little chiller that deserves to be watched…
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Good movie with wonderful performances
guybrush1054 April 2000
This movie was panned by the critics when it came out since the plot was considered to be "non-original". I can't say Jon Amiel is my favourite director, but I think he's got potential and he can make at some point in his career a truly great film. Copycat is an an example of how a psycokiller movie that could have been just another clone ends up being an exciting and a very interesting film that holds your attention until the end.

I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but the reasons why this movie is good are the following: 1- Holly Hunter is in it, and only that makes the movie a must-see 2- Sigourney Weaver proves again she's a great actress that can perfectly impose herself though acting with Holly Hunter in the same movie. 3- The way the killer murders is rather imaginative, and many important details from the killings he tries to imitate have been included. 4- The relationship between Hellen, M.J and Reuben is one of the most interesting points of the movie

As for the bad things, McNamara's character could have been focused-on a little bit more, and Daryll Lee Cullum is too similar to Hannibal Lecter, or at least the way he "helps" the main characters, but Harry Connik Jr. gives a good performance and seems to be having a lot of fun.

This movie should not be missed just to see how two wonderful actresses can make such a movie stand out so much from the rest. (Except for the Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, which are better)
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Taut Thriller
james higgins20 March 2010
81/100. I am surprised this didn't get better reviews. It's an excellent thriller, not for one moment was I not glued to the screen. The pace is incredible, the characters are so well developed. Sigourney Weaver is great and has the flashy role of the film, but it's Holly Hunter that delivers the most amazing performance, she is very convincing and has such a grasp for the role. Dermot Mulroney gives a very appealing performance. Quite engrossing and intense. The taut direction by Jon Amiel is excellent, he does a great job keeping the viewer interested. The plot is clever and intriguing. Good score, well photographed. Impressively made.
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Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter make this an enjoyable and gruesome excursion into serial killing
Terrell-44 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Screams of the victim deaden his pain. The act of killing makes him feel intensely alive. What he feels next is not guilt but disappointment. It was not as wonderful as he'd hoped. Maybe next time it will be perfect." --Dr. Helen Hudson speaking on serial killers.

Copycat is a first-class psychological serial killer/diller/thriller nearly undone by a conventional slasher/thriller climax. The end works well enough, but once you've seen one jump-out-and-scare-us, spray-in-the-face, last-minute-save cliché you've seen them all. The only difference in the clichés is how close we get to the blade going in, the skull cap blasting off, and the last minute twist being irrelevant to the story.

What makes Copycat so superior to the others can be summed up in two names: Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter. Weaver plays Helen Hudson, an authority on serial killers, in demand for lectures, consulted by the police, and a smart woman. That all changes when she is attacked by a serial killer and barely survives. The guy winds up in prison for life. Hudson winds up a prisoner, too. Thirteen months later we can see that she's been so traumatized that she has turned her apartment into a fortress. She's too frightened to venture outside. She needs liquor to get through the hours and pills and paper bags to deal with the panic attacks. She trusts few others. She deals with life through her computer. She's still an authority on serial killers, but her life has become a wasteland. (She does have that terrific San Francisco apartment.} Then she discovers that there is a new killer at work, one who mimics the style of killing that other serial killers have used. When she tells the police that recent, horrible murders are being committed by one madman, that brings us to Holly Hunter, who plays police inspector M. J. Monahan.

Monahan is quick, smart, feisty, small and, yeah, kinda cute. She's also tough enough to make big, male cops nervous. She's friendly, she's liked, she's prickly and no one doubts who's in charge when she's on a case. Dead bodies don't bother her too much. Monahan is a pro. Between Hudson's knowledge of serial killers, as wracked out as she is, and Monahan's gritty persistence, it's not long before we...then Hunt...then Monahan...realize Hunt has become the target for the copycat killer's affections. Now we're in the middle of a stylish, murderous cat-and-mouse game. Monahan, working with the difficult, isolated Hudson, is determined to capture this man. And the serial killer is going to go after Hudson, locked away in her fortress of an apartment.

Copycat gives us every old favorite in the book...darkened hallways, closed shower curtains, empty bathrooms, cops tricked off their assignments, ingenious ways to kill...and they still work. In an added twist, the current killer seems somehow to be able to communicate to the man who attacked Hunter and who now is in a secured slammer.

The only real drawback, if one doesn't mind too much the standard scares at the end, is the movie's length...more than two hours. If the director had had the energy to lop off 20 minutes the way the serial killer lops off lives, the movie, in my view, would have been even better. Even so, Copycat is a fine, intelligent movie made special by Hunter and Weaver, and with effective performances by Will Patton, Dermot Mulroney and a really unpleasant Harry Connick, Jr. The score is low-key and evocative. There's even a song by Sting and Andy Summers that the killer seems particularly fond of:

It's murder by numbers, one, two, three / It's as easy to learn as your a b c / Murder by numbers, one, two, three / It's as easy to learn as your a b c

Now if you have a taste for this experience / And you're flushed with your very first success / Then you must try a twosome or a threesome / And you'll find your conscience bothers you much less

Because it's murder by numbers, one, two, three / It's as easy to learn as your a b c.
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A Woman Who Knows What She's Doing!!!
Danny McCabe16 July 2006
Sigourney Weaver plays a retired detective of murder. Although after-ward she soon suffers from Agoraphobia, very soon people begin to drop dead, murders are taking place, although these murders are not no ordinary murders the sneaky sophisticated individual is steps ahead of the detectives, the murders are being reenacted by very famous murders, which took place in the past history so the present murder is a COPYCAT!!! The murder, murders his victims in the exact way they were before the same locations the same weapons and the some positions. Sigourney plays a woman called Helen Hudson then after these murders is asked to help with the solving of these mysterious dejavu murders, but this one woman who is good and nails this guy not before she gets her turn she is being tracked down to be killed and soon is caught will she live or die what do you think???

This is one movie which will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish........ Believe me, it is one chilling excellent, brilliant performances and movie!!!
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Pretty Good. A Sleeper Hit With Me.
BigHardcoreRed12 April 2005
Copycat is a surprisingly good thriller based on famous serial killers and their styles of murder. It was a typical race against time to stop this copycat serial killer before he gets his next victim. All the while, it leaves you wondering how he is going to be caught. He rarely makes mistakes and is extremely smart.

Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) is an expert on serial killers and their methods. She has written many books on the subject and has lectured at quite a few schools and colleges on the subject. She is eventually recruited by the police for help, due to her extense knowledge in the field. The problem is, after she was assaulted by a serial killer who was after her for testifying against him, she has become agoraphobic (sp?) and afraid to venture outside of her house.

Detective Monahan (Holly Hunter) is the lead detective on the latest case of serial killings. She and her partner Reuben (Dermot Mulroney) are not even sure whether or not the recent killings are a serial killer or random murders. It takes the help of Helen to come to the conclusion they had a copycat killer on their hands, thus the name of the movie. This copycat killer was very specific, copying crime photos down to the tee. It made the movie more interesting.

Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick Jr.) was the serial killer that attacked Helen, which caused her to stay indoors, and eventually copied by the copycat.

Upon the first hour, I thought the movie would be more of a "whodunnit" but we are then introduced to the killer and it becomes more of a "How are they ever going to catch this guy?" type of movie.

Overall, the cast was excellent. Connick played a convincing serial killer. Weaver was pretty good as the expert, although I was a bit annoyed by her at times. And easily the best part of the movie was Holly Hunter. She was the stand out actress in this movie and it was her girlish charm that made her likable. At 2 hours, I never caught myself looking at the time so that is a good sign for any movie. 7.5/10
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Enjoyable and taught yet loses momentum
gcd704 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Copycat" is an enjoyable and taught thriller with an especially intriguing middle, which loses momentum as it approaches its obligatory finale.

Close examination exposes plot holes in the script, such as the unreliability of the police backup (boy they're slow - slow enough to allow our heroine to clean house), though we're never meant to scrutinise Amiel's film to that degree. We shouldn't be too picky however, as the story is a very innovative one, which cleverly unfolds during the tense middle, but is unable to finish in the same fashion. Even the clever, sharp twist cannot hide what is essentially an audience pleasing close.

While indeed well written, both Amiel and his screenwriter struggle in the second half of the film to conceal its obvious direction, while certain characters are clearly removed on queue. Jon Amiel, true to the nineties thriller genre, has done a commendable job, providing plenty of sweaty palm scenes, gruesome murders and clever twists. Amiel also avoids the blatantly predictable, never pretending that he'll fool us, he rather gives away the obvious facts before we have a chance to second guess him.

Sigourney Weaver is most convincing and enjoyable as always playing criminal psychologist Helen Hudson, whose near death torment at the hands of psycho Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick Jnr. in an impressive turn-around from his usual 'nice guy' roles) has left her an agoraphobe, trapped in her home with her nerves in tatters. Alongside her is Holly Hunter, who is becoming more and more enjoyable and accomplished since her sensational performance in "The Piano" (not to mention a strong showing in "The Firm"). She plays M J Monahan, an experienced detective who doesn't lend the murders too much weight at first, but soon finds herself very much involved as the killer closes in on his objective. In good support are Dermot Mulroney, Will Patton, J.E. Freeman and John Rothman.

Lensing from Laszlo Kovac is precise and efficient, and everything's tied up with some effective editing. Unfortunately what "Copycat" really suffers from is formulation (yes there is a serial killer flick formula now) with its similarities to "Silence of the Lambs" - both feature an incarcerated felon assisting the law in pursuing a serial killer. Perhaps this genre is getting tired. After "Manhunter", "Lambs", "Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer", "Seven", "Copycat" and others, I believe Hollywood needs to refocus.

One thing this movie does affirm is how inherently dangerous society has become. No longer is it safe for a woman (or a man for that matter) to go anywhere alone, and it seems we can't even trust a soul any more.

Saturday, January 6, 1996 - Belgrave Cinema
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