The Woodsman (2004)

R  |   |  Drama  |  2005 (Peru)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 26,586 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 216 user | 145 critic | 34 from

A child molester returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison and attempts to start a new life.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nick Hume is a mild-mannered executive with a perfect life, until one gruesome night he witnesses something that changes him forever. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually comes to the disturbing conclusion that no length is too great when protecting his family.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Kelly Preston
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe
Rails & Ties (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A deadly collision between a train and car lead to an unlikely bond between the train engineer and a young boy who escapes the carnage.

Director: Alison Eastwood
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Miles Heizer
Chuck & Buck (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An oddly naive man-child stalks his childhood best friend and tries to reconnect with their past.

Director: Miguel Arteta
Stars: Mike White, Chris Weitz, Lupe Ontiveros
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.

Director: Marc Rocco
Stars: Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn
Hollow Man (2000)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scientists discover how to make people invisible, but their test subject becomes an insane killer who stalks them.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue
Monster (2003)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern
Sleepers (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized; over 10 years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt
Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Trapped (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When their daughter is kidnapped by experienced nappers, the Jennings' turn the tables on this seemingly foolproof plan.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Courtney Love


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Lucas (as Mos Def)
Jessica Nagle ...
Liam Daniels ...
Boy at Playground
Joey Hazinsky ...
Clara Hopkins Daniels ...
Little Girl on Bus (as Clara Infinity Daniels)
Ashley C. Coombs ...
Girl on Bus


After twelve years in prison, Walter arrives in an unnamed city, moves into a small apartment across the street from an elementary school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. A quiet, guarded man, Walter finds unexpected solace from Vickie, a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past. A convicted sex offender, Walter is warily eyed by his brother-in-law, shunned by his sister, lives in fear of being discovered at work, and is hounded by a suspicious local police officer, Detective Lucas. After befriending a young girl in a neighborhood park, Walter must also grapple with the terrible prospect of his own reawakened demons. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What's the worst thing you ever did? See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, disturbing behavior and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2005 (Peru)  »

Also Known As:

Der Dämon in mir  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$53,985 (USA) (24 December 2004)


$42,069 (USA) (18 November 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As research, director Nicole Kassell interviewed sex offenders and therapists who worked with them. See more »


When Walter first tells Vicki about his past, her cigarette changes from almost smoked, to partly-smoked to just lit. See more »


Sgt. Lucas: Have you ever seen a seven year old... sodomized in half?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the soundtrack section of the credits, for the song "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)," "Performed" is misspelled as "Perfromed". See more »


Referenced in Entourage: The Boys Are Back in Town (2005) See more »


Pull My Hair Out
Written by Samantha Ronson and Dallas Austin
Performed by Samantha Ronson
Courtesy of Rock-A-Fella Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disturbing, unsettling, but brilliant and spellbinding
30 October 2004 | by (Planet Earth) – See all my reviews

The last film that unsettled me much like "The Woodsman" did was Todd Solondz's superb and exceedingly black comedy, "Happiness" (1998), which dealt with similar themes. But unlike Solondz, who never seems to like any of his characters, screenwriters Nicole Kassell and Steven Fechter appear to genuinely care about the people they create.

Their story's really very simple: Walter (Kevin Bacon) gets out of prison after serving a dozen years for molesting young girls. He takes a job at a Philadelphia-area lumber mill and tries to get his life back together again, while dealing with his inner demons.

What's likely to disturb many about "The Woodsman" is that Kassell and Fechter raise the intriguing question of whether someone who's done something despicable is not only capable of putting his life back together again after serving his time, but also whether society ought to allow him to do so. And to make our job even tougher, Kassell and Fechter don't turn Walter into a monster.

"The Woodsman" is aided immensely by a strong, compelling performance by Bacon. It's easily his best work, a role that requires him to underplay his character. Director Kassell isn't shy about letting the camera linger on Bacon's face and Bacon credibly brings to life Walter's suffering. It's a sensationally good performance. Bacon gives him depth and feeling and we suddenly find ourselves caring about this reprehensible man.

There are some superb supporting performances, including Mos Def as a cop, David Alan Grier as Walter's boss and Benjamin Bratt proving he really can act if he's given a good role. The most interesting supporting character is Vickie, a coworker willing to give Walter a second chance at life. Kyra Sedgwick, a gifted, yet under-rated, actress, is utterly convincing as Vickie, a woman almost as damaged as Walter is.

The Walter-Vickie relationship works because there's terrific chemistry between Bacon and Sedgwick. True, they're husband and wife, but real-life couples can fail miserably on screen. Kidman and Cruise in "Far and Away" (1992), anyone?

Bacon and Sedgwick's scenes are tender, passionate and real. Though, there's one intimate moment between Walter and Vickie that's clearly inspired by the famous Donald Sutherland-Julie Christie love scene in Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now" (1973).

What makes "The Woodsman" such gripping viewing is that the film doesn't shy away from letting us into Walter's struggle. There's a particularly uncomfortable scene on a park bench as Walter comes to terms with his true nature.

"The Woodsman" is a film that deserves to be seen. It's a pity that less-than-mediocre movies, such as "Connie and Carla" and "Twisted," get widely released, while a gem like "The Woodsman" gets to very few theaters. Seek out this film. It's not an easy film to watch, but the performances are all good, the story's riveting and it's definitely one of the best, most thought-provoking films of the year.

241 of 256 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
this film is like my autobiography goldentony111
I dont get it ryan-1218
Did Kevin Bacon deserve an oscar nod for this ? JedBartlett14
The Cop, Candy and Robin.. segbatti
Hypocritical nature of society doublebodyguy
What did he do? sunshinejava44
Discuss The Woodsman (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: