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4.3 out of 5 stars45
4.3 out of 5 stars
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This is a thinking person's werewolf movie. Well directed by Mike Nichols, it features a stellar cast who give excellent performances. Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Plummer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, and David Hyde Pierce all contribute to the successful execution of this sophisticated and subtle horror film. As an added bonus, those of you who are devotees of the TV series, "Friends", should look for David Schwimmer's cameo appearance in the film.
Jack Nicholson plays a middle aged, married, senior book editor for a publishing company. Driving home at night from a business trip in New England, he hits an animal on the road. When he gets out of his car to check on the condition of the animal, he discovers it to be a wolf. What happens next will change the course of his life forever.
When Jack gets back to his office, he is feeling the after effects of his interaction with the wolf. He is also concerned about his job, as his publishing house has been taken over by Christopher Plummer. Jack initially plays his character as a somewhat laid back, nice guy, a good man who doesn't see the knife being plunged into his back by his young, ambition driven underling, played with obsequious perfection by James Spader, until it is too late. Publishing is, indeed, a dog eat dog world.
Betrayed by his underling who has been given his job, Jack finds himself undergoing a subtle, physical metamorphosis. He no longer needs reading glasses, his hearing is extremely acute, and he has a keen, very keen, sense of smell. It is these enhanced senses that lead him to discover that his wife, well played by Kate Nelligan, has shockingly betrayed his love and devotion, causing him to leave her. It is a betrayal that is to have dire consequences for her.
Finding himself more robust and aggressive, literally a new man, Jack goes on the attack and, and with the aid of his loyal colleague, played to perfection by David Hyde Pierce, gets his job back. He aggressively asserts himself with Spader and lets him know, in no uncertain terms, who is top dog. There is a memorable scene to this effect. In the process of regaining his life, Jack falls in love with the boss's beautiful daughter, played with gritty charm by Michelle Pfeiffer, and she with him.
Still, Jack finds himself battling his inner demons over his change. The transformation of Jack is subtle, and there is very lttle use of special effects to enhance his metamorphosis. Jack is often able to convey to the viewer what he is undergoing with a flick of the eyebrow, a twitch of the nose, a curl of the lips. It is a wonderful piece of acting and a tribute to the power of suggestion.
Certain events transpire that make Jack fear that his transformation will result in injury to Michelle. She eventually buys into his fear, misinterpreting certain events that take place. What he and she ultimately discover is that they both, in fact, have a great deal to fear, but that their initial fear was misplaced. Look to a great finale.
If you are the type of horror film fan who likes excessive gore, as well as many high tech, special effects, this is not the film for you, as there is very little of that in this film. This is a subtle, multi-layered, symbolic type of horror film that will leave the viewer analyzing what they just saw. It is simply a great werewolf film.
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on 15 January 2014
After publishing executive Will Randall is bitten by a wolf, his life begins to change.

First his mood changes, and his sense of hearing and smell go into overdrive. Will has become a werewolf and he has an appetite for human blood.

His friend Laura wants to help, but she doesn't know what Will is yet.

If Will's new problem wasn't enough to keep him occupied he must also contend with Stewart Swinton who is out to get his job.....

It's another genius piece of casting, Nicholson as a Wolf. He has he features already, and the transformation is astonishing, even now nearly twenty years later.

It's a great companion piece to watch with Coppolas' Dracula and Branaghs' Frankenstein, adult and mature horror movie that go for character study rather than scares.

When we first meet Will, he's lethargic and almost finished, something Nicholson hadn't really done before. It soon changes, and he's given full reign to go bananas.

Pfeiffer seems a little wooden in this, but soon comes alive during the final act, which is brilliant and haunting.

Spades almost steals the film from everyone as the slimy sleaze all, and is really unnerving during his final scenes, the make up on him is awesome.

Accompanied with a beautiful soundtrack by Morricone, Wolf isn't just a film about a Wolf, it's a film about a man redeeming his life and libido before his time is up.

Worth seeing.
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In no way a conventional horror movie, nonetheless, it is, alongside the Coppola `Dracula' and the `Branagh' Frankenstein, supposedly, part of an early nineties revisionist trilogy of that traditional staple horror fare.

Directed by Mike Nichols with a script by Wesley Strick and Jim Harrison (of Legends of the Fall fame), Nicholson is at his brilliant best as the jaded lead editor of a publishing house recently acquired by a billionaire asset stripper played in suitably predatory fashion by the excellent Christopher Plummer. He gets the `shot in the arm' needed to fight back against the twin evils of rampant capitalism and cuckolding protégé Spader, who has more than an eye on Nicholson's wife, Nelligan, and his mentor's job, from an 'obliging' wolf when travelling back from a business trip through the frozen wilds of a New England winter.

When asked to visit Plummer, ostensibly to be offered a `sideways' move but, in reality, a lower prestige job, he encounters Plummer's slightly wayward daughter, Pfeiffer, who plays her spoilt little rich girl part to perfection and who, initially at any rate, is only too willing to ally herself to Nicholson as a way of spiting her presumably negligent father.

There are, too, turns by stalwart Brit actors, Prunella Scales and Eileen Atkins and Frazier's David Hyde Pierce. The movie has wit, irony, elegance and a superb and, by turns, lushly romantic and jazzy Ennio Morricone score: all this and some wonderfully amusing moments make for a truly enjoyable experience even if the label `horror' normally turns you off.
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Really, this is just the same old werewolf schtick yet Nicholson and Pfeiffer (ably abetted by others) wring lots of good stuff out of it. The best scenes are those where Nicholson portrays his lupine nature without the aid of make-up but by acting. A film you'll watch more than once.
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In no way a conventional horror movie, nonetheless, it is, alongside the Coppola `Dracula' and the `Branagh' Frankenstein, supposedly, part of a revisionist trilogy of that traditional staple horror fare.

Directed by Mike Nichols with a script by Wesley Strick and Jim Harrison (of Legends of the Fall fame), Nicholson is at his brilliant best as the jaded lead editor of a publishing house recently acquired by a billionaire asset stripper played in suitably predatory fashion by the excellent Christopher Plummer. He gets the `shot in the arm' needed to fight back against the twin evils of rampant capitalism and cuckolding protégé Spader, who has more than an eye on Nicholson's wife, Nelligan, and his mentor's job, from an 'obliging' wolf when travelling back from a business trip through the frozen wilds of a New England winter.

When asked to visit Plummer, ostensibly to be offered a `sideways' move but, in reality, a lower prestige job, he encounters Plummer's slightly wayward daughter, Pfeiffer, who plays her spoilt little rich girl part to perfection and who, initially at any rate, is only too willing to ally herself to Nicholson as a way of spiting her presumably negligent father.

There are, too, turns by stalwart Brit actors, Prunella Scales and Eileen Atkins and Frazier's David Hyde Pierce. The movie has wit, irony, elegance and a superb and, by turns, lushly romantic and jazzy Ennio Morricone score: all this and some wonderfully amusing moments make for a truly enjoyable experience even if the label `horror' normally turns you off.

And finally, the Blu-ray is definitely worth the upgrade!
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on 9 September 2014
Great werewolf movie. Like Gary Oldman, Jack Nicholson is incapable of act badly if his life depended on it, Wolf follows traditional lines but is more character driven rather than rely on CGI special effects but don't let that put you off. I recently saw the old 1980's film The Howling and the special effects might have been ground breaking then but thirty years on they're just tedious to watch, or wait for them to end.

This is an interesting version of the story with James Spader as a back stabbing little s*** [ can I type that? ] Christopher Plummer as a sort of human crocodile playing Nicholson's boss and the boss's daughter Michele Pfeiffer plays at girlfriend. I think the movie will stay great thirty or even forty years on. His wife drops her marriage with Nicholson for a romp with Spader, gets ditched and wants to come back saying Spader means nothing to her, Nicholson says "do you think that makes it better, that you left me for something that meant nothing to you" - too right. Definitely buy and keep.
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2006
Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) has made it to the top of his publishing career. With no where to go he is sure to be a victim of the latest merger. He has the support of close friends and loyal clients; however that is not enough for him to see any way out but down or out. Little does he know that he is being helped “out.”
One night driving on a dark snowy road in Wisconsin he encounters and collides with a wolf. Upon investigation of the situation he is nipped.
Turns out this could be the best/worst that that could happen. Now he finds the physical and mental agility to correct his misfortunes. All he needs is the support of a good woman (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Well played scenario. It is not your typical Wolfy movie. You find your self rooting for Will who I think is Jack Nicholson being himself. One of my favorite scenes is where he is in the men’s room and relives himself on a deserving weasel, stating “I'm just marking my territory, and you got in the way.”
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on 12 May 2013
A well made film for its time. A little scary at times but the horror was more funny than horrible (except for the deer chase, which I fast-forwarded through because it upset me...and yes, I know it's not real, but I can't help the way I feel). The makeup was mostly to blame for the fact I found some of the film funny. A lot of the special effects were pretty good, especially watching Jack Nicholson bound up the stairs in about three or four leaps.

It's quite entertaining and a fairly long film, so you get your money's worth just wondering how long it will be from the first bite of the wolf until the first bite from Jack. It is also a kind of love story.

Great supporting cast ie Christopher Plummer, Michelle Pfeiffer and David Hyde Pearce (best known as Niles in Frasier) and Eileen Atkins.
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on 1 October 2015
Jack Nicholson is terrific in this under-rated supernatural tale about a luckless publisher who has lost his mojo, the respect of his peers, his boss and and his wife...until he is bitten by a wolf and his life undergoes a transformation. This movie has great moments and the chemistry between Michelle Phieffer and Nicholsin is tremendous. James Spader is also on fine form as the back-stabbing and weaselly nemesis. A great, great film.
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This is a thinking person's werewolf movie. Well directed by Mike Nichols, it features a stellar cast who give excellent performances. Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Plummer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, and David Hyde Pierce all contribute to the successful execution of this sophisticated and subtle horror film. As an added bonus, those of you who are devotees of the TV series, "Friends", should look for David Schwimmer's cameo appearance in the film.
Jack Nicholson plays a middle aged, married, senior book editor for a publishing company. Driving home at night from a business trip in New England, he hits an animal on the road. When he gets out of his car to check on the condition of the animal, he discovers it to be a wolf. What happens next will change the course of his life forever.
When Jack gets back to his office, he is feeling the after effects of his interaction with the wolf. He is also concerned about his job, as his publishing house has been taken over by Christopher Plummer. Jack initially plays his character as a somewhat laid back, nice guy, a good man who doesn't see the knife being plunged into his back by his young, ambition driven underling, played with obsequious perfection by James Spader, until it is too late. Publishing is, indeed, a dog eat dog world.
Betrayed by his underling who has been given his job, Jack finds himself undergoing a subtle, physical metamorphosis. He no longer needs reading glasses, his hearing is extremely acute, and he has a keen, very keen, sense of smell. It is these enhanced senses that lead him to discover that his wife, well played by Kate Nelligan, has shockingly betrayed his love and devotion, causing him to leave her. It is a betrayal that is to have dire consequences for her.
Finding himself more robust and aggressive, literally a new man, Jack goes on the attack and, and with the aid of his loyal underling, played to perfection by David Hyde Pierce, gets his job back. He aggressively asserts himself with Spader and lets him know, in no uncertain terms, who is top dog. There is a memorable scene to this effect. In the process of regaining his life, Jack falls in love with the boss's beautiful daughter, played with gritty charm by Michelle Pfeiffer, and she with him.
Still, Jack finds himself battling his inner demons over his change. The transformation of Jack is subtle, and there is very little use of special effects to enhance his metamorphosis. Jack is often able to convey to the viewer what he is undergoing with a flick of the eyebrow, a twitch of the nose, a curl of the lips. It is a wonderful piece of acting and a tribute to the power of suggestion.
Certain events transpire that make Jack fear that his transformation will result in injury to Michelle. She eventually buys into his fear, misinterpreting certain events that take place. What he and she ultimately discover is that they both, in fact, have a great deal to fear, but that their initial fear was misplaced. Look to a great finale.
If you are the type of horror film fan who likes excessive gore, as well as many high tech, special effects, this is not the film for you, as there is very little of that in this film. This is a subtle, multi-layered, symbolic type of horror film that will leave the viewer analyzing what they just saw. It is simply a great werewolf film.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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