4.8/10
23,882
191 user 122 critic

Godsend (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Fantasy | 30 April 2004 (USA)
Trailer
2:01 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A couple agree to have their deceased son cloned, under the supervision of an enigmatic doctor, but bizarre things start to happen several years after his rebirth.

Director:

Nick Hamm

Writer:

Mark Bomback

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Hide and Seek (2005)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As a widower tries to piece together his life in the wake of his wife's suicide, his daughter finds solace, at first, in her imaginary friend.

Director: John Polson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Vincent Lamarca, whose father was executed for a 1950s kidnapping of a child, grew up to become a police officer, only to see his own son become a murder suspect.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: Robert De Niro, James Franco, Frances McDormand
15 Minutes (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A homicide detective and a fire marshal must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer
The Fan (1996)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An all star baseball player becomes the unhealthy focus of a down on his luck salesman.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In 1714 Peru, a friar is tried by the Inquisition for questioning God's intentions when five die in the collapse of an Andean rope bridge.

Director: Mary McGuckian
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel
Flawless (1999)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ultraconservative police officer suffers a debilitating stroke and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons, with the drag queen next door.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Miller
Showtime (2002)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A spoof of buddy cop movies where two very different cops are forced to team up on a new reality based television cop show, while tracking down the manufacturer and distributor of an illegally made semi-automatic firearm.

Director: Tom Dey
Stars: Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo
Analyze That (2002)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Mobster Paul Vitti is released into Dr. Ben Sobol's care, where only more chaos ensues.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two veteran New York City detectives work on a case of serial executions of criminals who escaped justice.

Director: Jon Avnet
Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino
White Noise I (2005)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An architect's desire to speak with his wife from beyond the grave becomes an obsession with supernatural repercussions.

Director: Geoffrey Sax
Stars: Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Ian McNeice
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Kinnear ... Paul Duncan
Rebecca Romijn ... Jessie Duncan (as Rebecca Romijn-Stamos)
Robert De Niro ... Richard Wells
Cameron Bright ... Adam Duncan
Merwin Mondesir ... Maurice, Young Thug
Sava Drayton ... Young Thug #2
Jake Simons ... Dan Sandler
Elle Downs ... Clara Sandler
Edie Inksetter ... Footlocker Cashier
Raoul Bhaneja ... Samir Miklat
Jenny Cooper ... Sandra Shaw (as Jenny Levine)
Thomas Chambers Thomas Chambers ... Jordan Shaw
Munro Chambers ... Max Shaw
Jeff Christensen Jeff Christensen ... Hal Shaw
Deborah Odell ... Tanya
Edit

Storyline

The 8-year-old Adam is killed in a traffic accident. His grieving parents agree to recreate him through experimental and illegal cloning, conducted by an ingenious but pushy geneticist. After eight happy years, a scary door opens between Adam II and someone from the past. Written by Stefan Back

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

birthday | boy | doctor | cloning | clone | See All (38) »

Taglines:

Scare as Hell! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence including frightening images, a scene of sexuality and some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El enviado del mal See more »

Filming Locations:

King City, Ontario, Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,800,617, 2 May 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,379,751
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The snow scene in the graveyard was unplanned. It was hoped the snow would remain until the scene was completed, and it was. See more »

Goofs

As Jessie walks to the photo gallery, her coat changes from a non-hooded coat to a hooded coat when she stops to look in the window. As she walks inside, she again has the non-hooded coat. When she walks out and down the street to take the call from Richard, she has the hooded coat again with sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

[after the fight in the church]
Richard Wells: [in his car slapping the horn all shaken up] Why? Why? Why, didn't he listen?
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 2004 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Published by Summy-Birchard Music c/o Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Has potential, but it's a bit like watching molasses in January
20 February 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

After losing their son, Adam (Cameron Bright), to a freak accident, Paul (Greg Kinnear) and Jessie Duncan (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), are approached by Dr. Richard Wells (Robert De Niro), with a risky and illegal idea--to try "replacing" Adam with a clone.

In my way of looking at ratings, 7s are Cs. They tend to do as many things wrong as right. Godsend has some admirable script characteristics, a good to great cast and some very good technical aspects. But it also has negative script characteristics and some questionable directing and editing.

Overall, I believe Godsend is worth watching, so let's look at the positive points first. It's rare that filmic science fiction--and this is just as much as science fiction film as a thriller or horror film--tries to tackle "hard science" as exposition and motivation. Although Godsend also mixes some strong fantasy elements into its "twist" and the consequences that lead to the film being a thriller/horror picture, the basic idea is one rooted in actual genetics. De Niro is given quite a few mouthfuls of science-oriented dialogue that are fairly sound, and for my money, he delivers them well.

I'm a big fan of De Niro's, so I tend to be gracious in my evaluation of his work. But I could see where some viewers less enamored with De Niro overall might find his performance here questionable. It's certainly a bit different than normal, being oddly restrained and almost emotionless for much of the film. For me, that approach fit the character, given his profession and eventual revelations about his personality. The other three principles--Kinnear, Romijn-Stamos and Bright--were good in my view, but again I can see where some viewers could interpret their performances negatively. To me, however, all of the obvious problems stem from direction and editing, not the actors' work.

The biggest problem seems to stem from director Nick Hamm's comments about the horror/thriller genre. He has stated, "what was interesting to me about Godsend was that the horror and the suspense had nothing to do with anything supernatural or spiritual". Hamm isn't a very big fan of the fantasy aspect of horror, which to me, translates into not being a very big horror fan. This led to trying to create a horror film where suspense arises out of realist drama and psychological situations. The realist drama in Godsend tends to be very slow and relatively uneventful--just as one might expect from someone not really wanting to make a horror film. Psychological horror is barely approached. There just isn't enough that happens. There are two potential villains, but neither does much. It would be very difficult to call either "evil".

Kinnear and Romijn-Stamos aren't given enough to work with. They don't have anything very meaty to react to. Hamm seems too afraid to leave realist drama territory, at least in terms of the overall plot/action. That makes some of their "horrified" reactions seem shallow or false. Worse, Hamm doesn't seem to know how to cut horror films very well. Scenes go on far longer than they should, and occasionally almost seem as if we're seeing a bit of the footage either before Hamm said "Action" or after he called "Cut". A prime example of this is the scene near the end when Romijn-Stamos is walking through woods toward a shed.

Godsend is also one of the few cases where copious DVD extras may have hurt the film more than helped. The DVD contains four alternate endings, averaging about 12 minutes long each. These occasionally deviate strongly from the theatrical ending, but none seem quite satisfying (all of the more nihilistic endings that Hamm described on his commentary but which apparently weren't shot would have done the trick for me; I also liked the filmed tag suggesting a sequel). They all tend to drag on, an impression that isn't helped by the lack of a score and a sound effects soundtrack.

Also curious, given Hamm's dislike of the fantasy aspects of genre films, is the fact that the crux of the "twist" in Godsend is extremely loopy. What's happening with Adam makes little sense from a realistic/scientific standpoint, and how it happened just isn't possible. Of course, I'm not averse to fantasy, and I don't subtract points for elements in film that are wildly divergent from our beliefs and understanding of the actual world. But if Hamm is going to abandon realism when it comes to important plot points, why not abandon it wholesale, so that we can maybe see a film that deserves an A instead?


46 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 191 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed