(1954)

Critic Reviews

100

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Rear Window lovingly invests in suspense all through the film, banking it in our memory, so that when the final payoff arrives, the whole film has been the thriller equivalent of foreplay.
100
Flawless, essential viewing that would earn more than its five stars if only Empire would allow it.
100
The film leaps off the screen with a thrilling immediacy.
100
As much as I admire all of these, especially "Vertigo," I can't imagine that any one of them will top the feelings of exhilaration that are prompted by Rear Window, this most bittersweet of Hitchcockian suspense-romances. Make no mistake about it: Rear Window is as much of a romance as it is a brilliant exercise in suspense.
100
Hitchcock confines all of the action to this single setting and draws the nerves to the snapping point in developing the thriller phases of the plot. He is just as skilled in making use of lighter touches in either dialog or situation to relieve the tension when it nears the unbearable. Interest never wavers during the 112 minutes of footage.
100
What's extraordinary, for a film that works on these different levels, is that it also manages to be a riveting thriller.
100
Simply put, Rear Window is a great film, perhaps one of the finest ever committed to celluloid. All of the elements are perfect (or nearly so), including the acting, script, camerawork, music (by Franz Waxman), and, of course, direction. The brilliance of the movie is that, in addition to keeping viewers on the edges of their seats, it involves us in the lives of all of the characters, from Jefferies and Lisa to Miss Torso. There isn't a moment of waste in 113 minutes of screen time.
100
A superb example of suspense filmmaking, especially when one considers the technical limitations of its single set.
90
Mr. Stewart does a first-class job, playing the whole thing from a wheel chair and making points with his expressions and eyes. His handling of a lens-hound's paraphernalia in scanning the action across the way is very important to the color and fascination of the film.
90
Quite aside from the violation of intimacy, which is shocking enough, Hitchcock has nowhere else come so close to pure misanthropy, nor given us so disturbing a definition of what it is to watch the 'silent film' of other people's lives, whether across a courtyard or up on a screen.

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