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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Stoker' is made by a confident and gifted film-maker, who manages to turn an average film into a striking and watchable one
South Korean director Park Chan-Wook makes his American debut with `Stoker', a story of 18 year old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) coming to terms with the loss of her father Richard (Dermot Mulroney). Evie (Nicole Kidman) has not been the best mother to her so far, India's emotional future doesn't look promising.

India was always daddy's girl, regularly going...
Published 13 months ago by dipesh parmar

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over long and dull
I kept waiting for the film that everyone was raving about, and I waited right until the closing credits. People are clearly enamoured with the pretension and pseudo psychology of this. I found it boring and pointless and was seriously disappointed.
Published 29 days ago by raven_guest

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the wickedness of the human heart., 14 Oct 2013
I completely agree with the reviewers who say "Stoker" is a visually stunning, beautifully acted and almost perfect example of a contemporary cinematography.

Highly systematised, with every move styled, every word said in the right time, every camera move and shot directed at the actors, each detail is carefully thought-through, every move orchestrated. The plot of the film is plain: India Stoker (played by Mia Wasikowska, who is simply great here!) is a weird teenager, with something dark happening inside her head; she is carefully observing her surroundings. Her mother is an unhappy stay-at-home housewife (of a recently deceased husband), it is gently hinted that the marriage was not the happiest one. Her father - killed in a car accident (not all that mysterious). Her uncle Charlie - handsome with a hint of enigma around him, appears suddenly at the funeral. The housekeeper then disappears and weird things start happening.

Cue all the W-questions: who and when and why and what is going on? The film builds up the suspense beautifully. Slowly but surely, we are given the answers to the question, and the reality is harsh. There is hardly any bloody violence, yet the film is difficult and emotionally-straining to watch (more so in the dead of night, when you are still trying to guess the explanation to the happenings on screen - is it something supernatural?). The film mesmerises the viewer and you just keep on watching.

Oh, the wickedness of the human heart.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cold and Lifeless, 23 Mar 2014
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Not my cup of tea at all, I'm afraid. Flashy, tedious, 'clever' and utterly uninvolving, unpleasant characters. Style over substance. Some will like its weirdness but there's good weird and bad weird. This is the latter.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Strange fruit, 22 Mar 2014
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Korean auteur Park Chan-wook directs this enigmatic murder-mystery starring Nicole Kidman as the recently bereaved mother of sensitive teenage beauty India (Mia Wasiskowsa). India has just turned eighteen, and her closeness to her father means that his death (in a horrific car accident) hits her particularly hard. When her father’s younger brother Charlie – a debonair slightly creepy figure played to perfection by Matthew Goode – appears to offer fraternal support to the widow and her daughter, things start to become really weird, as his ‘support’ is clearly not of the kind that a brother should be offering his grieving sister-in–law. The scenes involving both mother and daughter have a brittle, ethereal quality, and it is clear that India in particular has an affinity with the natural world that is to say the least, unusual…
As signposted early on in the film, it soon transpires that ‘Uncle Charlie’ is a sinister and quietly dangerous figure; however India seems to become gradually more intertwined with him, her burgeoning sensuality leading to a series of macabre and downright unpleasant events, that serve to establish what can only be some kind of massive genetic defect in the family’s DNA.
Distinctly ‘Hitchcockian’ in tone and style, motifs, symbols, and visual metaphors abound, and the film has a pseudo-Gothic feel that results in a powerful, if occasionally unfocused viewing experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this more than I thought I would, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Surprisingly good film, watch Nicole Kidman being desperate and needy in a sad and disturbing way. Great main characters. I enjoyed the sound track a lot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Needs a Little Stoking, 24 Jan 2014
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
There is something to be said about style over substance, especially when something is as stylish as `Stoker', but when it comes down to it, this is a pretty façade without much going on underneath. This is a film that also stars Nicola Kidman, an actress who has sometimes been criticised for her icy exterior and indeed she does personify the film, although she is not the main character. That falls to Mia Wasikowska as India Stoker, a disturbed young woman who after, the death of her father, retreats even further into herself. When her uncle arrives to comfort the family he brings with him an air of sinister mystery.

Visually, director Chan-wook Park has done an excellent job with `Stoker'; there are some great scenes that bleed into one another. The cinematography and colours are immense; really highlighting that BluRay is the option for this film. However, it all feels too aloof and flat. Story wise, scriptwriter Wentworth Miller talked of Hitchcock as an inspiration and there is more than a touch of `Shadow of a Doubt' about this film, but whilst that film had thrills and warmth, `Stoker' is a little too cold for comfort. When you are supposed to be siding with India, it is hard to do so when she is not that likable, you are left in a sort of limbo with no one really to like.

Enter Matthew Goode as Charles. He may be the catalyst for change and disturbing events, but he is also the most impressive presence on screen. With a plot that is more mood than depth, he is able to give some depth just by acting well. Wasikowska and Kidman are not able to do the same. The film is meant to be cold, icy and aloof - in this is succeeds, but it also makes it slightly less watchable than it should be and a little slow in places. `Stoker' is interesting mostly for the mood and direction set by Park.

There is a good making of for the film that has the cast describing how Park works. As mentioned earlier, this is a film that benefits from being seeing in HD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE GROUND IS SOFT, 26 July 2013
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The film starts off with some first person narration by India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) a special girl who sees and hears things others do not. She is very attached to her father and has never bonded with her mother Eve (Nicole Kidman, by favorite B-movie A-lister). When her father dies, his brother Charlie (Matthew Goode) suddenly shows up and has an unusual bond with with India.

The film is quirky. It is steep with symbolism, innuendos, and metaphors contained in the dialouge, wine, spiders, music, and shoes. Half of it I didn't get, maybe it was just a cinema thing. In any case the film had be fooled into thinking it was great. Charlie didn't eat and had a strange effect on women. A woman shows up who is named "Auntie Jen." Clearly there is something symbolic in antigen, right?

About an hour of intense watching, attempting to catch clues, the film dies for me as I realize the story behind the mysterious Charlie. It was one of the more cleverly done film of this genre, I think, and for that I give it 4 stars. Clearly not for everyone.

No F-bombs, that I recall. Sexual conduct, very brief nudity (Mia Wasikowska, or double.)
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Good to Great, 6 Mar 2013
This review is from: Stoker [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Okay, so I am approaching this review as a huge Park Chan-Wook fan and also with an immense sense of loyal relief that 'Stoker' (Park's English language debut as you no doubt know) has thankfully delivered the goods big time.

...Seriously though...can this guy direct or what!?

After watching 'Stoker' recently it struck me that 'not a lot happens' and that actually the adapted story is a fairly unspectacular one. Without wanting to sound anti-Hollywood, in less skilled hands this film could have been a bit of a bore. Throw in Park's trademark precision, a hatful of clever symbolism, stunning cinematography and his usual flirtations with the surreal and you have the complete package.

The acting was excellent; particularly from Mia Wasikowska although I thought this was also Nicole Kidman's strongest performance for some time too - as others have mentioned the musical score is typically excellent as well.

One observation of 'Stoker' is that it's more measured and reserved than say 'Oldboy' or 'Thirst'. I was expecting the usual 'squirm' moments and plenty of violence and whilst there are a couple of such scenes they are (probably with Hollywood in mind) not in the same league as say, eating live Octopus! In fairness this is a good move by Park who shows he can adapt as needed.

I won't go into the storyline as it's all been said before, but in summary 'Stoker' is a good film made great by a true master of his film-making profession.

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lesser work from the director, but a relative masterpiece for east-west crossovers, 4 Mar 2013
Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
The camera work, sound editing and editing at large in this film is about as good as you could expect from a director renowned for such things, like Park Chan-Wook is. Some of the transitions are beyond mere superlatives. The acting is a notable strength too, with Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode carrying with the film with their eyes, these two people say a lot with very little and its all done through their eyes. There's acting and the technical stuff, the least interesting aspect was the story, especially the final act. From the moment India discovers what her key opens the film all but looses its way. Even before that, it is a simple coming of age tale interspersed with sexual content and violence, it's nothing you haven't seen before. As far as Asian directors making the transcontinental leap its a masterpiece, but in the grander scheme it's lesser Park Chan-Wook. I'd probably say it's his worst full length feature. If you must get it, it needs to be owned on blu-ray it'll be eye-bleedingly handsome on that format.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a 94.....The year you were born., 15 Jan 2014
India was not prepared to lose her father and best friend in a tragic accident.

The solitude of her family estate, the peace of her town, and the somber feel of her home life is suddenly upended by the sudden arrival of her Uncle Charlie, whom she never knew existed.

When Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother, India thinks the void left by her father's death is finally being filled by him.

Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives.

Yet instead of being vexed, she becomes increasingly infatuated with him...

Miller has written a cracking story, and a terrific script, but the problem with this film is that it could have been at least 30 minutes longer to flesh out ore characters and see India spend more time with family.

The audience are kept at arms length from the three Stokers, and it feels like we only get a brief glimpse of the madness.

Other than this, the cast are fantastic, Goode overplays the staring 'is there something wrong with him?' act a little too much, and almost comes across like David in A.I.

Kidman has never been better, playing a character almost as cold as her house, but Wasikowska is fantastic as India, a sort of hybrid of all troubled teens seen in some other movies. Think Thirteen meets Carrie, by way of the recent Excision, and you get an idea of India.

She's not particularly strange by any means, but the arrival of Charlie sparks something off in her, maybe psychological, maybe genetic.

It's beautiful to look at, the mise en scene adds to the tension of the movie, and it has a fifties feel to it throughout.

It's as good as the directors domestic efforts, but with nods to Hitchcock and other thrillers, it's certainly a standout movie.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sick, Slick and Stylish, 23 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Stoker [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
While visually, this film is brilliant - the story left me a little cold after my first viewing. However, it did stick with me for days after. After a second viewing, everything clicked. It's a dark, eerie film with great aesthetics - if you are a fan of films such as The Virgin Suicides, you may like this.
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Stoker [DVD] [2013]
Stoker [DVD] [2013] by Chan-wook Park (DVD - 2013)
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