(1996)

Critic Reviews

47

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Riveting.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
The plot is as good as crime procedurals get, but the movie is really better than its plot because of the three-dimensional characters.
75
USA Today
As a forum for its actors and for the big-screen directorial debut of multi-Emmy winner Gregory Hoblit, the film is up to the job.
75
This is the sort of movie that doesn't become irritating even when it's predictable.
58
Entertainment Weekly
Gere taps into his charismatic-weasel mode, but director Gregory Hoblit fills the big screen with excellent TV actors (Andre Braugher, John Mahoney, Maura Tierney) and then gives them nothing interesting to do.
50
ReelViews
Despite high production standards and a slick advertising campaign, Primal Fear is as trite and routine as any made-for-TV courtroom drama.
50
The sky-high sleaze quotient -- lascivious priests, amateur porn movies, teenage hustlers and institutionalized corruption of every kind -- ought to guarantee fun for all, but heavy messages keep poking through and spoiling everything.
50
Norton's performance and the well-paced tension preceding the movie's climactic sequence provide an entertaining if slightly predictable thriller.
25
Christian Science Monitor
The violent story is long on nastiness, short on credibility.
12
You'd get more of a jolt from Angela Lansbury on "Murder, She Wrote" and more intellectual stimulation from a cozy game of Clue.

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