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Daniel Craig's 'Dream House' shattered by critics

01-Oct-2011 • Actor News

The long anticipated film that stars celebrity Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz has been on the receiving end of some damning criticism from the reviewers. The redeeming feature, it seems, are its stars.

Read on to see what the critics had to say:

Though the cinematography, by the great Caleb Deschanel (who shot "The Black Stallion," "The Right Stuff," and others), is gauzy and creepy, Sheridan's pacing is turgid and mournful, which lends the story - sort of like "The Shining" crossed with "Gothika" during a sleepover stop at "The Amityville Horror" - an air of ponderousness.

By the time the ridiculous conclusion arrives, with five people arriving separately in a room as if this were Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit," you wish all the wounded parties would hurry up with their emotional healing so we could all raise our eyebrows and say, "Ah, clever."

Craig and Weisz, though, do make a nice couple, and appear genuinely connected to the material's deeper underpinnings, trite as they may be. These A-listers seem to be under the impression that they were making something not that embarrassing. Universal Pictures, which released the film, seemed to have thought otherwise, as they released "Dream House" without screening it for critics.

-- NY Daily News

Directed by Jim Sheridan from a script by David Loucka, "Dream House" feels like the filmmakers went rummaging through some kind of bargain bin of storytelling spare parts — a touch of "The Amityville Horror," a piece of "The Shining," a bit of "The Sixth Sense," and why not throw in a little "Shutter Island" too while we're at it?

Sheridan can't ever quite get hold of the tone and falls back on a default dreaminess (the little girls play a shaky rendition of Beethoven's "Für Elise" more than once) that never quite convinces.

With its telegraphed twists and clunky pacing, the film would be unbearable were it not for the fine trio of Craig, Weisz and Naomi Watts, all more or less slumming. Craig in particular makes his character's transformation from happy family man to troubled loner, sometimes within the same scene, at least vaguely believable. (And perhaps signals whom this film is really made for, what with no less than four gratuitously shirtless moments during a story set in a snowy winter.)

-- LA Times

Whenever a movie character decides to abandon a successful career to “spend more time with my family,” scenes of domestic bliss rarely follow. “Dream House” is no exception, though this crackpot thriller from the usually competent Jim Sheridan leaves only one mystery unsolved: what on earth was he thinking?

And not just Mr. Sheridan. “Dream House” staggers beneath the weight of terrific actors and a seasoned cinematographer (Caleb Deschanel), who all risk their reputations in the service of a haunted-house tale of gobsmacking foolishness. At its addle-headed center is Will (Daniel Craig), a Manhattan publisher, who moves his gorgeous wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and two small daughters to a bucolic New England town.

-- NY Times

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