The Woodsman (2004)

R  |   |  Drama  |  2005 (Peru)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 26,569 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 »
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7 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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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?


The movie was released in the US just nine days after California put its sex offender register online. According to "Megan's Law," named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was abducted and killed by a sex offender who lived next door, parents must be able to check whether any convicted sex offenders live in their neighborhood. See more »


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


Walter: They think I'm crazy.
Rosen: Do you think you're crazy?
Walter: You know, talking to you is like riding on a fucking merry-go-round.
Rosen: That's a marvelous image, Walter. Because by going in circles, we find things we missed the first time around.
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 »


Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »


I've Got to Praise His Name
Written by Waltier Blocker
Performed by St. Thomas Gospel Choir
Courtesy of St. Thomas Gospel Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb exploration of shame and the struggle to be normal
12 December 2004 | by (Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

This is a somewhat slow (never boring) film with several performances of the highest quality. Kyra Sedgwick has amazing scenes, and one in particular flipped around my perception of every other character's motivation. David Alan Grier's performance is, maybe for the first time, not over the top. Hannah Pilkes, in her first film, nearly steals the scene from Kevin Bacon. Eve and Benjamin Bratt both do a good job. Mos Def's lines are either beyond his range or the lines themselves are just too heavy-handed, but Kevin plays off of them in brilliant silence.

Kevin Bacon's performance is Oscar-worthy. In other films, weak effects, poor acting, awful dialog, etc., have pulled me out of the world that the film was attempting to create. Kevin's performance is so good that at one time I found myself pulled out of the experience in awe; while continuing to believe the truth of the character, I was at the same time floored by Kevin's ability to deliver such depth.

Sure, the subject matter allows actors to express strong feeling. Anger is an easy route, as is self-loathing. This script has some of that, but what makes this film great is that primarily it chooses to explore shame and the struggle to be normal. The actors (Bacon, Kira, Pilkes) that are given the opportunity to explore that, they really excel in this film.

76 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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