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The Stepford Wives Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 10

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A pitiful shambles of a remake, The Stepford Wives might have qualified as a rethinking of the 1975 original if there were any trace of coherent thought in the finished product.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    At no time do the men -- that is, the straight ones -- believably hold the upper hand. In the new town of Stepford, there's no bitterness, no struggle, no competition, none of the scars of the sexual revolution. There's just gay apparel.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Because the entire audience knows what's going on, the filmmakers hope to distract viewers from storytelling weaknesses with an urgent sense of style.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    You feel some of the strain in this immaculately shot, designed and costumed farce, but it's fast and the cast is lively, even though a lost-looking Broderick rarely gets to shoot his patented bewildered look.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The 1975 movie tilted toward horror instead of comedy. Now here's a version that tilts the other way, and I like it a little better.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Comedic remake of '70s horror movie has sex humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Stepford Wives is a remake of a '70s horror film that goes for comedy rather than scares, yet still has some material within that may traumatize younger viewers. Chief among them is a grisly scene in which a main character is revealed to be a robot and his head detaches from his body while his wife cradles and kisses the head. There are also many menacing situations involving moms, including a scene where a main character is shot at, and one where she confronts a robotic replica of herself. A gay man in the movie asserts he's not a "sissy" or "effeminate," and one painfully lengthy scene listens in on a husband and wife having very noisy sex, capped with a long climactic scream. Many characters drink and smoke and there are references to prescription drug abuse. Luxury brands from Gucci to Rolex are mentioned approvingly, and Nicole Kidman's character prominently uses a Macintosh computer.

  • Families can talk about why a thriller plot from 29 years ago makes more sense as a comedy today. How are both versions inspired by the conflicting pressures on both men and women? What do you think about what the movie has to say about defining success and happiness? About perfection not really working?
  • Who is the target audience for this movie? How can you tell?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Individuality and freedom of choice are implicitly championed in The Stepford Wives, but these values are never stated or underlined.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The plot involves husbands implanting chips into the heads of their spouses, a notion played for comedy rather than horror (and all the victims recover). There are some grisly shots of a realistic-looking severed robot head. Guns are brandished and sometimes fired.

  • sex false3

    Sex: There are references to adultery and prostitution, and a long scene in which a husband and wife are heard very loudly making love. Also, a reference to using a pine cone as a vibrator, a joke that compares a penis to a banana, and so on.

  • language false3

    Language: Profanity is infrequent, but a man in a gay couple says he's not "a sissy," while someone else praises him for not being "flamboyant." One woman calls herself a "big Jew."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Many brands are mentioned: Rolex, Versace, Gucci. Nicole Kidman's character prominently uses a Macintosh laptop.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke cigars and drink beer. There are references to Viagra, Xanax, and Zoloft.