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Cassandra's Dream Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

… a comedy by default? Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    49

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Farrell is quite good, though it's hard to buy the Scottish McGregor and the Irish Farrell as brothers. But mostly, the film feels rudderless, almost as if it's been directed on autopilot.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    As writer, Allen offers lazy plotting, poor characterization, dull scenes and flat dialogue.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The identical premise is used in Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," which is like a master class in how Allen goes wrong.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Allen's latest, Cassandra's Dream, is one of his debonair ''small'' entertainments, the closest that he has come to doing a tidy, no-frills, down-and-dirty genre thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Cassandra's Dream reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Woody Allen scores with suspenseful adult drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens probably won't be interested in this Woody Allen drama, which has some mature themes -- namely, murder and how killing cannibalizes the soul. Lies build upon lies, and although the actual crime isn't shown explicitly, the lead-up to it is fairly detailed, including lots of discussion about how it will happen. Guns are brandished, too, and one character seems completely lacking in conscience. But in the end, a moral center is found, and the "punishment" meted out seems quite grim.

  • Families can talk about the film's take on what happens to a murderer in the wake of his crime. Do the reactions seem realistic or "Hollywood-ized"? Why is the movie industry fascinated with this subject? Are there lessons to be learned from that fascination in general -- or this movie specifically? What does this movie have in common with other Woody Allen films? How is it different?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A man takes advantage of his nephew's desperation to get him involved in a murder plot, and he doesn't appear to feel conflicted about it. Two brothers plot to kill someone; in this case, they do seem overcome with guilt and despair, especially one of them, who in the end makes a fateful decision. One of the brothers demeans his family's fairly humble financial state (and "borrows" money from the till without asking). He also has a habit of "borrowing" cars from the garage where his brother works so he can pretend to be rich. But the brothers do seem to watch out for each other (until one significant moment ...).

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Implied violence, as when the camera tracks a duo's every move as they follow the man they're going to kill; at the last moment, the scene cuts away as they do the deed. A handmade gun is brandished about; brothers have a brutal fight in which they hit and push each other; some yelling at tense moments; much discussion of ways to "off" someone.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual banter between couples; kissing and pawing (but no outright nudity). A woman appears to have difficulty staying faithful, at least in the beginning.

  • language false0

    Language: Some use of "damn" and "hell" and other mild forms of swearing, but nothing particularly strong.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A woman squeals with delight when her boyfriend buys her a designer bag; Hollywood and the movie business are discussed a few times; a few scenes clearly depict monied types who can dine out and drink in expensive establishments. Much discussion about the purchase of a boat; some characters seem to revere having money above all.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking in social settings, like restaurants, bars, and parties. One character seems to like drinking a little too much and has a problem with prescription drugs, too (viewers don't see him partaking, though he does ask for them when he needs some, and he and his girlfriend argue about his overuse). Some smoking, but not excessive.

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