Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Straw Dogs Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Turning something into nothing. Read full review

2.0

Grae Drake Profile

Satisfies your bloodlust but not your brain. 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
    45

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Whereas Peckinpah managed not only to raise hackles but to get under the skin, Lurie manages only the former, which reduces the material to the level of sensation-mongering.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The original "Straw Dogs," at least to me, isn't close to being one of Peckinpah's masterpieces, but it's a movie that the people who first saw it still remember 40 years later. I doubt that anyone will remember the new one by next month.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Even by today's standards, some scenes are jaw-dropping in their bloodshed. To that end, Lurie accomplishes some of what Peckinpah evoked 40 years ago.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Rod Lurie has made a first-rate film of psychological warfare, and yes, I thought it was better than Peckinpah's. Marsden, Bosworth and Skarsgard are all persuasive, and although James Woods has played a lot of evil men during his career, this one may be the scariest.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Straw Dogs reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Too much violence, not enough character in pointless remake.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this grim remake of the powerful 1971 Sam Peckinpah movie (which starred Dustin Hoffman) has very strong violence, including many gruesome murders, a brutal rape scene, and dead animals. While the original used its edgy content to explore character, the remake is much less subtle, which makes the violence seem intended to be thrilling rather than thought provoking. There aren't any positive messages or role models here; the main character is a passive, ineffectual man whose only way to regain his "manhood" is to defend himself and his wife through violence. There's also frequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "p---y," etc.), sexual situations (though no nudity), and lots of drinking (always Budweiser), including one character who's shown to have a drinking problem.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. What is its purpose? Do you think it's necessary to the story? How does it compare to what you see in horror movies?
  • How does the movie address the idea of "manhood"? Is it a relevant concept? Does a guy have to act strong or do violent things to be considered a "man"?
  • Are there any good people in this movie? 

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The general message here is that the weak, passive main character must eventually "man up" and defend himself and his wife. This requires him to engage in all kinds of gruesome violence. His success is therefore an ironic and bitter achievement.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: No role models here: The main character is passive and ineffectual and resorts to brutal violence to "regain his manhood"; his wife is shallow, petty, and manipulative; and the villains are murderers and rapists.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Extreme violence in the final third of the movie, with many characters dying in gruesome ways: nail gun to the hands, shotgun blast to the chest, bear trap to the neck. A woman is raped by two men. A man accidentally strangles and kills a teen girl. A man is hit by a car and breaks his arm; blood and bone are shown. Deer are shot and killed, and a dead cat is seen hung by its neck in a closet.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A married couple is shown kissing and flirting with each other, preparing to have sex (though it's not shown). A woman deliberately undresses by a window, though nothing is shown other than her belly button. Men ogle a woman's behind in tight running shorts. A woman is shown without a bra, her nipples visible through her top. A man slaps a waitress on the behind.

  • language false4

    Language: Very strong language throughout includes multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "d--k," "goddamn," "ass," "damn," "hell," "for Christ's sake," and more.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The main character uses a Sony VAIO computer that's visible in several shots. Characters drink and mention Budweiser beer throughout.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters are constantly swilling beer (and sometimes whisky). They occasionally appear staggering drunk. One supporting character is shown to be upset when he can't continue drinking.

Advertisement