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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 17.91%
Just Average: 16.42%
Pretty Crappy: 10.45%
Sucks: 1.49%

9 reviews, 80 user ratings

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One Hour Photo
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by Spike

"A moving performance by Robin Williams - and little else."
3 stars

Sometimes an excellent score, flawless cinematography, and moving performance just can't overcome a lazy script. Unfortunately, One Hour Photo's script is the definition of ‘lazy’, complete with dream sequences, a mean and meddling boss, and a “Will he get out of the room before the camera pans back around?” moment of suspense.

Too bad, because Williams deftly and hauntingly portrays Sy Parrish, an ostracized older man who develops photos at a department store and dreams that he is part of the happy families in the pictures. The customers, of course, have no idea that the friendly man behind the counter stares at their photos, yearning to be part of their lives. Sy sets his focus in particular on Nina Yorkin, a woman who has been dropping off film of special times with her family on his desk for many years.

Unfortunately, just when you start to suspend your disbelief and wonder whether to fear Sy or sympathize with him, the screenplay knocks you back into the real world with awkward dialogue (such as a fight in the Yorkins’ kitchen where they conveniently fill the audience in on past events) and a cliché mean boss character who, for some inexplicable reason, despises Sy’s attention to detail on the job and friendly rapport with the customers. At one point, Sy’s boss is somehow able to confront him at the store’s entrance within seconds of his arrival, and even more bizarrely, later in the film he gives Sy awful news then orders him to go immediately back to work, something which would never really occur in a corporate environment.

At other places, the writer resorts to tired and predictable techniques to frighten the viewer, such as dreams, daydreams and flashbacks. One particular peak into Sy’s mind that is genuinely unsettling, a huge mosaic of the Yorkin family’s private photos displayed on his living room wall, is shown too many times to maintain its shock value. In fact, a lot of imagery is overused and many plot points take too long to develop—things don’t really pick up until the second half. The phrase ‘one hour too long’ passed through my mind. Perhaps worst of all, it isn’t entirely clear how or why Sy, a friendly and relatively outgoing guy with a stable job, isn’t able to make friends or find romance. The movie waits far too long to answer these questions.

One Hour Photo is almost saved by Williams’ performance, which is definitely noteworthy and arguably one of his best since Good Morning, Vietnam. The cinematography helps too, full of perfectly sterile and structured settings, but in the end the script’s shortcomings are too much of a hurdle to overcome. One Hour Photo wants to be an unsettling portrait of the outsider just looking to belong, but it falls short. Movies such as Lynch’s Elephant Man and even Carrie capture the same feeling more effectively.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5742&reviewer=320
originally posted: 11/16/02 21:08:39
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell creepy but overdone 3 stars
11/03/14 action movie fan eerie compelling psychological drama- held my interest 4 stars
12/05/12 Delbert Unforgettable. Frightening and Sad. 5 stars
8/19/11 RLan Robin Williams creepy performance is the highlight of this film. 3 stars
5/09/11 Stephanie One of the creepiest movies I've seen. Changes Robin Williams for ya forever! 4 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner The storyline is well made! 5 stars
7/25/07 Quigley Very creepy. Sex was off-putting. Has the scariest dream sequence ever. Williams is superb 5 stars
12/02/06 David Pollastrini williams plays a psycho pretty well 4 stars
4/12/06 chris f the most touching yet sad film ive ever watched - a masterpeice 5 stars
9/02/05 ES Better than Insomnia, Willams always had the creepy weirdo thing going on 3 stars
7/20/05 Chris Worth look, quite scary (photo stalking anyone?) 4 stars
7/14/05 Indrid Cold Good acting and direction, but not particularly interesting or suspenseful. 3 stars
11/14/04 DM Jack Sommersby was dropped on his head when he was little. 4 stars
5/10/04 scott wolstencroft it was a very good movie it was really enjoyable 4 stars
3/29/04 KGB Why not, it was very disturbing, not original but thought provoking 5 stars
3/06/04 Vinny Why not? 5 stars
1/02/04 A F Why? 2 stars
1/01/04 R.W. Welch Williams nails his role as lonely weirdo. 4 stars
12/24/03 Mike If you're involved in such technicalities, well worth a look. The whole concept of voyeurs. 3 stars
12/09/03 Samuel A great thriller!! 3 stars
10/28/03 Artist Freak Well crafted in some senses technically but ultimately dull and trite 3 stars
10/16/03 Josh Standlee More like a freaking made-for-t.v. movie. Hated it! 1 stars
9/28/03 Honolulu Tur As noted, creepy, but that doesn't mean it was good, just creep 3 stars
9/23/03 DM Creepy and well-acted; ending leaves something to be desired 4 stars
9/22/03 Alice Good Acting, liked it ! 5 stars
9/13/03 Jim Creepy 5 stars
8/29/03 Grenadine Homer RW was excellent. Did wonder about 1hr photos & now wonder about Pharmacists! 4 stars
7/28/03 chris hey...is that my neighbor?? 5 stars
4/07/03 Mystique great thriller 5 stars
3/28/03 BoB Best movie ive ever seen! 5 stars
3/11/03 Matthew Smith a nervewracking experience, Robin Williams really bought that sense of unease to his role 5 stars
2/26/03 brentley Robin Williams' Sy Parrish is sad, yet very creeeeeeeepy.... 4 stars
2/25/03 Andrew Carden Eerie and Disturbing Thriller... 5 stars
2/25/03 Ken Creepy and disturbing. The ending was to subtle for most, apparently. 4 stars
2/21/03 scott A OKAY FIM 3 stars
2/21/03 Paul W. "no real subtext," you say? I say, EXACTLY! 5 stars
2/17/03 Phillip Williams is totally captivating. A gripping film. 5 stars
2/14/03 Ant A great film. Williams gives one of the best performances of 2002. 5 stars
2/12/03 alien assassin Robin Williams is creepy !!!! 4 stars
1/31/03 caitlin doyle lots of suspense 5 stars
11/04/02 Michael Buehler Rosita at Walgreens knows what you got for Christmas. Go Digital for Crying Out Loud! 5 stars
10/28/02 Unanon Forced in parts, Tidy wrap-up attempt at end failed utterly. 4 stars
10/09/02 Hawaiiantomboy07 Great Movie with an awful ending. What happens to anyone???????? 4 stars
10/09/02 Georgeous A refreshing change from teen "comedies" and rip-offs 5 stars
9/29/02 STEVE wow!hollywood trying to make a movie with originality.now thats scary! 4 stars
9/27/02 Mark G. The scariest movie ever produced by hollywood in the last 4 years. Incredible. 5 stars
9/25/02 Morally Sound Darkly delicious and creepy. 5 stars
9/24/02 snowconehead This is the first time one single actor has successfully carried an extremely slow movie 5 stars
9/21/02 Nicole Successfully creepy but the ending leaves you wanting something more 4 stars
9/18/02 jashuay the scene where the blood gushes from his eyes fucking rocks! and master w. is gay. the end 5 stars
9/18/02 Dave Grant I thought this movie sucked, and I wished I had of left half-way through. Not worth a dime 1 stars
9/17/02 .Choadushouse. Beautiful direction. Worth seeing just for that. I'm so glad Romanek is doing movies now! 5 stars
9/15/02 Etherealcelt The day after seeing ONE HOUR PHOTO I went to Wallmart and got scared. Great movie! 4 stars
9/15/02 malcolm this is the same guy who played Mork from Ork?! 5 stars
9/15/02 mrchar awesome performance and good camera work 5 stars
9/14/02 Steve Too damn slow! 2 stars
9/14/02 rue the whirl IT ROCKED. SEE IT. 4 stars
9/14/02 Kisuta Great movie. Visually exellent. 5 stars
9/13/02 Tooltime Taylor Smile for the camera!! **crack!**YOU'RE NOT SMILING, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!! HA HA HA 5 stars
9/12/02 Heather C-r-e-e-p-y Stellar performance from Robin Williams 5 stars
9/11/02 ajay the sex was hot---oh wrong movie. Yeah, it's really good. 5 stars
9/09/02 puckfreak Robin Williams blah, blah, blah... the rest of the movie is barely above average. 4 stars
9/05/02 Butterbean The ending saves this from becoming a cliched stalker flick. 4 stars
9/04/02 Zach The music fit the movie so well.I never knew an orchastra could scare me.GaveMeChills!!!!!! 5 stars
9/01/02 Film Dude Deserves a wider release. 5 stars
9/01/02 Film Guy Good movie. a little slow at times but still good 4 stars
8/26/02 bonnie blue Surprisingly pure of Hollywood! Deeply sensitive, frightening rendering of human loneliness 5 stars
8/25/02 Obi Wan Movie is worth a look, moved kinda slow and where the hell are the final pictures? 4 stars
8/25/02 ray wow, haven't seen better all year. 5 stars
8/25/02 K-ronik Blown away. Never seen Wiliams better. 5 stars
8/06/02 Stan Wonderful movie..Robin Williams deserves a Best Actor for this one... 5 stars
8/05/02 Scouse Fuckin Very Good Robin At His Best Showing What A Great Actor He Is So Versatile 5 stars
5/19/02 Travis Eddings Mesmerizing, tremendously creepy 5 stars
5/14/02 BaitedSoul Great job by Williams, but the movie was a little too twisted for me 3 stars
4/21/02 Mikey Williams is amazing. The man has tons of talent. I saw the film on a smuggled screener.., 5 stars
4/10/02 Keith Brilliant. This will be huge. 5 stars
4/09/02 spikeme all the time Robin FINALLY GOT GAME with this and Death to Smoochy 5 stars
3/27/02 :: c0ry ::(c0d3 1989) Mark Romanek has crafted one of the most important and visionary films in a long time 5 stars
3/17/02 me good stuff...feels like an american beauty kinda 4 stars
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  21-Aug-2002 (R)



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