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Stoker Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Served cold. 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
    58

    out of 100

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

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Spontaneity has been banished by rigid stylization, and the net effect is as lifeless as a severed head that turns up in a basement freezer.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie wants to be Hitchcockian, but it's the flat-footed Hitchcock of "Marnie" that Park evokes. His filmmaking here is hermetic and lugubrious, with each physical movement meaninglessly heightened and every line hanging in the air with (empty) significance.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Park's unsettling visuals and his handling of the cast make the occasional holes in Wentworth Miller's script practically irrelevant.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    The chilling and stylish and aggressively creepy Stoker begins at the end and takes us on a shocking and lurid journey before we land right where we started, now seeing every small detail through a different lens.It's disturbingly good.

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  • See all Stoker reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Stylish but gruesomely violent thriller riffs on Hitchcock.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Stoker is a dark thriller that riffs on Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt and has nothing to do with Dracula author Bram Stoker. The movie is filled with gruesome murders and lots of blood, including spraying, spattering, and dribbling down a wall. Characters are strangled; others are killed with hunting rifles, rocks to the head, and pruning shears to the neck. There's some strong, somewhat dark sexual innuendo. A teen girl masturbates in the shower (a nipple and buttocks are shown), and there are kissing scenes with both teens and adults. One adult character drinks wine regularly and perhaps overindulges a bit too often. A teen girl gulps a glass of wine. Language is sparse, with only a use of "bitch." The movie is very stylish and non-realistic, and teen movie buffs -- especially those familiar with director Park Chan-wook's Korean films -- will be interested in seeing it. But it's recommended only for the most mature viewers.

  • Families can talk about Stoker's violence. How does it work within the context of the story? Could it have been less gruesome?
  • What is India's relationship with her mother like? How do they communicate? How could they improve their communication?
  • Does India seem too young to be so sexualized? What message does her character send teens who might see the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A teen girl learns to handle herself in tough situations, though her choices aren't always right -- or healthy.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters mostly indulge in illegal/immoral/base activities -- murder, sex, etc.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Several murders, each one seemingly more grisly and brutal than the one before it. A woman is strangled. A man receives a rifle blast to the head, with a huge, dripping blood smear on the wall (plus a puddle of blood underneath his body). A man is stabbed with pruning shears and sprays blood everywhere. A man is bashed in the head with a rock, with blood spatters. A bully picks on a teen girl; he feigns punching her in the face, and she stabs him with a pencil. A teen boy is strangled, and a teen girl repeatedly kicks him while he's down. A small boy is killed by being buried in the sand, though this isn't shown on screen. A dead body is found in a freezer.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A teen girl masturbates (implied) in the shower while fantasizing about a murder that has previously occurred. Her buttocks are shown during this sequence, and one nipple is briefly seen. Two adults kiss, and the man caresses the woman's breast through her clothing. Two teens kiss, and the girl bites the boy's tongue. An older man and his niece play piano together, and the scene is played for eroticism. The girl begins breathing heavily from excitement. In an art class, viewers see a drawing of a naked girl (shown from behind).

  • language false2

    Language: A bully uses the word "bitch" in one scene. Another character calls him an "a-hole."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A teen girl gulps a glass of wine. Her mother is shown to be drinking wine quite often and is perhaps a tiny bit tipsy in some scenes. It's possible that she could either be drowning her sorrows and frustrations -- or she could have a drinking problem.

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