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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)



Reviews and Comments

A surprisingly strong thriller from director Curtis Hanson, who went on to make the great neo-noir L.A. Confidential. This is one of those movies where someone seems perfect but gradually turns out to be a psychopath. Plenty of thrillers, good and bad, fit the mold; this one is unusually good, though, because of how solidly it progresses. No artificial contrivances steer the plot, like the husband spending the whole movie thinking his terrorized wife is going crazy and working against her. Because the characters feel like they're actual people instead of screenplay constructs, we empathize with them, and that makes the rest work.