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Reviews & Ratings for
Stoker More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Nicely shot, well acted and utterly pointless

Author: denounce
31 July 2013

I read many of the reviews on this site before deciding to watch this movie. And since I really like slow moving psychological thrillers I gave this move an honest chance. That should not be given.

The movie is well shot, well acted, yet utterly uninteresting. The story does not build up in any straight direction, you never know what is real and what is not and there is just so much confusion in the storytelling that I never really knew where I was standing. I began to wonder if there would be some grand twist in the end, and was waiting for it through one pointless scene after the other, just to realize the ending could be seen a mile away and all that confusing storytelling really amounts to absolutely nothing.

I would recommend this movie only to people who can sit through two hours of something they are not exactly sure whether it is what you are watching. Just terrible in my opinion. The entirety of the story could be summed up in 30 minutes and it would make for a wonderful short movie. But as it is - it is tedious and unrewarding.

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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing and disturbing

Author: lianaki-imdb from Greece
31 August 2013

Without the appropriate cinematic skills, this film could have sunk completely, but thanks to Chan-wook Park being a master of psychological thriller, it came to be a nice work of art. A great manipulator of the audience's emotions, he meticulously constructs the movie in such a way to get you exactly where he wants you throughout it. He might be a little bold, but he knows how to keep the balance.

"Stoker" obliges you to stay fully conscious all the time to keep up with the symbolisms and invites you to use your imagination. The director wants a participating audience, is ambiguous on purpose, loves to make us wonder and speculate just as much as he loves leaving us room for interpretation when the film ends. Deliberate loose ends and cut scenes, designed to confuse the viewer and cause uncertainty.

Much like with his all-time classic, puzzling masterpiece "Oldboy", Park wants to disturb you. An exciting, twisted story, very powerful scenes, even scenes that many people won't be able to tolerate. A compelling story about dark nature and sickness, about liberating yourself and becoming aware of your desires. Violence is portrayed with scenes focused on beauty, and sexuality is portrayed dark and repressed.

I liked the script by Wentworth Miller (although I don't think the script gets full credit for the suspense created here), and I found Mia Wasikowska's performance superb.

This film is dark and might make you feel disgusted or uncomfortable. But for me, the beauty of the scenes, the emotions it provokes and how it climaxes, made me think of it as a piece of music.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Don't pay to see this one !

Author: derfball from United States
12 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, stylized, imagery, and technically okay. But the plot holes and many details make no sense. 1> Charlie would have little knowledge of India; since he was locked up as a child, well before she was born, he would only know of her by what his brother might have mentioned to him. 2> Not liking to 'be touched' is a sign of serious issues, like warped familial relationships (her mother, okay), sexual abuse, or mental illness. Why would such a girl 'love' her father dearly? IF that condition WAS known to Charlie, that's why he felt 'connected' to India, because, as it turns out, both characters are sociopaths, and he had and recognized that trait. But he started writing to her just after she was born, so how would he know? 3> Almost ALL Hollywood writers/directors/producers have little real knowledge of weapons, as do most 'low information' folks, and this film is ridiculous, 'as usual'. EVERY hunter knows you don't hunt birds with rifles, because, as shown @ end, you hit a bird with a rifle bullet, the bird explodes -- pretty hard to either stuff it or eat it after that!

I could go on, but why? If you want to see a flash of Mia's right nipple during her masturbating scene, fine, but that's about the best this picture has to offer. To compare it to Hitchcock's masterpieces does the rotund fellow disrespect. 'Stealing' his ideas and techniques is for student films. We don't need any more 'homages'.

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Damn right insulting to the human race.

Author: charliejsch from United Kingdom
4 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


My girlfriend put this movie on, so I had no prior knowledge of this movie. I kept on thinking throughout the movie that there is some supernatural twist, some mystical twist, something hidden; boy was I wrong. To summarize this piece of garbage: they're all nuts.

The mother is such a useless character that has temper tantrums and does nothing all day. The brother's real character is that of a child. The main character is shallow and shows no emotion. I can't relate to any of these characters. The moral of the story, if there is one, is a grim one at best.

This horrendous movie really upset me. The acting was okay for the characters they were playing, the cinematography kept me in suspense. However, I couldn't relate to anyone. Nearly every character was out to get her, as though she was always the victim. It seems as if there is a hidden secret behind her motives and mysterious past, yet, when it comes down to it there is nothing; only a sour taste for the viewer when this disaster ends.

Stoker only shows how how human beings can murder, and how easy they can get away with it. At least make the bad guy funny, or give them a reason to do what they do.

If you hate humanity in some way, you love this movie.

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21 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Stoker made me want to watch a Michael Bay movie

Author: lunchboxwanderer from United States
18 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

About 25 minutes in, I felt like I had been trapped in a coffin for 196 years like Johnny Depp in 'Dark Shadows.' No stimulation, no light, no sound, just complete darkness and a dreadful sense I'd never escape.

I know it was 25 minutes because I kept checking how long the movie had been going because nothing had happened until then. I prayed something would.

Anyway, due to my emotional investment and over inflated ego, I thought with actors like this, and a director like that, I couldn't be wrong and it would get better.

Like all of my prayers, this one went unanswered. I grabbed a Kleenex and blew my nose. I grabbed another to wipe the tears from my face, thinking I must be a really bad person for God not to have answered this one too, for it was my most sincere by far! So, here I sit, an empty box of tissues by my side, another hour and a half of my life wasted, and just praying again for better judgment.

Sniffle, sniffle...

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Eerie, Creepy, but Not Quite Everything it Tries to Be

Author: rsj624 from United States
17 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

--WARNING: There may be some spoilers ahead for those who haven't seen the film, so just a heads up. In order to accurately review this film, it may be necessary to talk about some key moments.--

Sometimes a movie tries to do a little too much, and Stoker is a great example of such a film. I feel as if I am one of the few who while watching this movie wasn't very impressed by anything it tries to do. It's a story about a girl who grows up shying away from society and all it's norms, and begins to become inspired more or less by her charismatic, yet outwardly creepy uncle, who shows up to comfort her mother after a tragic car accident takes her husbands life, who also happens to be said uncle's brother. He in turn is infatuated with her.

The obvious things about this film that should be creepy are as eerie as can be without gore and disturbing imagery, but what keeps this from being a good watch is more due to the ever widening gap between blockbusters and indie films. These middle of the road films that try to look big budget with modest financing all to often grant themselves a campy and dated vibe, almost having a made for TV type gloss to their finished product, and when this movie in particular chooses to be stylized from time to time it often ends up looking amateur and even cliché. The flow of these stylized moments also lack good pacing as they occur either in quick succession or disappears all together for extended periods only to start showing up in troves again at a later time. It's far more distracting than it could ever been seen as a means to accentuate the film; and it makes things feel less serious and organic.

It's other weakness is in it's decision to favor the less than plausible over sensibility and logic. One would assume for entertainment reasons, yet it's a mystery to me how any entertainment could be found most of the time during this film. Mia's character gives a good hour run just buying into this mans insanity, only to pull a complete 180 in the last fifteen minutes. It's also beyond hard to believe that no one single authoritative figure could pieces together how suspicious it is that her father just happens to die the exact same day that he picks up this mentally ill uncle from an institution he was committed to for something very similar in nature when he was growing up. Don't people have to sign release forms and stuff at those places?

It's almost as if is movie was written without a clear intent or a consistent motive planned throughout, and in the end a jumbled up puzzle of confusion and creepiness prevailed without any solid message. It's clear why everyone's the way they are, yet their resolves, their choices, and even their actions throughout the film feel forced from an illogical world of ridiculousness, as if the only reality that exists is within the perimeters of their house, a highway, and a restaurant type place. When Nicole Kidman, who plays Mia's mother, begins to piece everything together, why would she call the uncle she suspects of foul play into the bedroom upstairs of all places? Again, in terms of logic, it couldn't feel more like a sandbox film.

Maybe if this film was deliberately shot low budget as a showcase of a friendship between the uncle and niece that budded into a unique understanding of one another through not accepting society and people, it would've been a much more interesting movie, or even more so as a period piece during the 1800s or something. But instead, it's a messy blend of style and eerie atmosphere that lacks proper pacing and feels very haphazardly put together. It tries to empathize with it's leads and give reason for their madness, but instead it comes off as relentlessly grim and faithless all too often, as it doesn't give much of a chance to things like hope or even common sense as plausible tools to pull a character through a situation. It paints a picture of the introverted and angst-ridden individual as a kind of 'different' that automatically rejects all basic human reactions to norms and situations, like no one trait could exist without all the rest of an assumed identity or label to be present, inevitably leading to the worst.

Case and point: **Biggest Spoiler** Mia's character ultimately becomes her uncle in the end by taking his life and begins her pursuit of freedom by following in his footsteps, which is all the more evident that he understands this by smiling at her before she offs him. This could've been a unique and creative film moment even if disturbing, but instead the film's aforementioned grim and faithless interpretation of introverts makes this an eye roller rather than an "Oh My God!" moment. Fortunately, you will find some moments of resolve if you stick this one out till the end; where you may go "yes! thank you!", but those moments are short lived, as it's clear they only exist as a way make sure in the end that more people enjoyed their experience watching this than hated it. Color me jaded; I did't buy most of Stoker.

Anyways, just to clarify, the subject matter and the story on a whole had potential to tell decently disturbing tale, and the ideas on display where not the worst, nor where they the ultimate problem. It's depth just suffers serious sense and direction, and it's surface seems like it would've been much more suited for a gritty horror film, or even a lower budgeted blatant indie type art thriller more so than this unfortunate throwback made-for-TV-meets-straight-to-DVD fare it tries to pass off as something much more grandiose in the end.

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22 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

park chan-wook sycophants

Author: erwin-smolders from Belgium
20 September 2013

One of the other review writers termed it perfectly. Style over substance. All the critics (and most of the reviewers) could talk about was how lovely everything looked. No one cared about the story, or lack thereof. There is no real plot, the ending has no meaning, but heaven forbid we offend the visionary park chan-wook. Whenever someone did comment on the story, they did the easy thing. They blamed the writer. If a lesser known director had been in charge, and if he hadn't compensated for lack of a good story with fancy camera techniques, thus wowing the critics, this film would never have been given a second look.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

What a mess...

Author: starcraftbw88 from United States
2 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Felt like it should've been a 10 minute short, in the first few scenes you already know the uncle and protagonist are weirdos. Somehow this movie is able to stretch so much out of nothing; there is no suspense, the script is dull and uninteresting, the story is bland and predictable, the performances equally bland - Wasikowska and whoever played her uncle have one expression throughout the entire movie. It felt like I was watching paint dry, this movie was BORING and pointless.

It gets a 2 for its style and cinematography, but that doesn't overshadow the fact that the story sucked.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

no suspense, predictable outcome

Author: stephan-hofbauer from Salzburg, Austria
7 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sorry for the wasted time. No idea where the good ratings come from. Repeatedly we see women taking a shower but unlike in "Psycho" they are just taking a shower - o.k., the girl masturbates, obviously turned on by the killings (or started the killing aftewards?). Its not worth talking about so I will not go into detail. Just another bad movie. To make it 10 lines (that's the minimum length, I've just been told): Is there or is the not a head in the freezer? How does the boy get on top of the girl (rape!) after he's been tied up by the uncle and kicked by the niece - did they just arrange it to make the neck-breaking more spectacular? So, that will be 10 lines if I manage to finish this one - I refuse to add anything more about the film.

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56 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

Blood ties explored in a poignant and disturbing manner; striking; beautiful

Author: morganstrk from United States
6 February 2013

I was privileged enough to view this film at the annual Sundance Film Festival and I must say it was well worth the time and wait. The cast itself includes some incredibly talented and experienced names, yet it is India (Wasikowska) and her raptor-like awareness, that truly sets the tone for the film when drawing upon the mystery and oddity of supporting characters who sink deeper into their roles like fangs in flesh as the film clicks along.

The script itself could be rewritten with more depth and attention to the emotional wealth and strange sway of the characters, for all of them are skilled enough to operate powerfully under the shroud of mystery director Park Chan-Wook erects so flawlessly, yet the film could be much improved in tragic and horrifying value through a more tailored script.

Editing must also be noted, for Chan-Wook's is very engaging in that it utilizes the temporal frequency to link certain events, building upon India's character and the internal struggles of those who surround her, as well as the realization of her uncanny ability to cope with the revelations that come about and fit so frighteningly together.

The audience comes to realize that some mysteries are exclusive only to those who are bound to travel the same blood trail that links generations in infinite conclusion and everlasting despair and a terrible longing and love can be as exclusive in it's own forbidden and lonely way.

The soundtrack is pleasantly surprising and fitting, with a piece from Clint Mansell (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) and the debut of Emily Wells's "Becomes the Color", which serves to chart India's multifaceted transformation. I strongly recommend this film and highly praise actors Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, and Dermot Mulroney, who all contribute to the initial and lasting allure.

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