why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


Great Expectations

Starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow
Written by Mitch Glazer
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Website: www.foxmovies.com

IN SHORT:  Pointless.

More than once, while sitting through screenwriter Mitch Glazer's adaptation of Great Expectations, Cranky found himself thinking "where is this going?" For what takes up close to two hours of screen time is very pretty to look at as directed by Alfonso Cuarón but, when push comes to shove, a number of music video type scenes and a lot of unfulfilled promise.

There's very little of the original story left here, save the bare bones frame on which Dickens hung a masterpiece, and that could have been a good thing. Shakespeare has been adapted, battered, enhanced up the wazoo and at minimum has been interesting to watch. That's not the case here.

Somewhere in the South Florida Keys, a brutal killer (Robert De Niro) has escaped the law. God knows how he got anywhere with shackles and sores on his feet and no boat in sight is beyond me. He scares a little boy named Finn to death (ie. into helping him) and then vanishes for the length of the picture. If you know the story, you know what happens. If not, I'm not telling.

Also in the Keys is the "richest old lady in the state," a Ms. Dinsmoor (Anne Bancroft) who hires young Finn as a companion for her niece, Estella. Dinsmoor had been left at the altar and the remains of her wedding celebration still litter the grounds of her estate as she's gone quite cuckoo. Ten years later the hormones are raging, Finn's room is wallpapered with portraits of Estella and the pair have morphed into Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow. Their romance, or lack thereof, stutters like a car jerking along on fumes until Estella is packed off for school in Switzerland. Finn puts down his paintbox and takes up fishing and that would be the end of it until a mystery lawyer with a full purse shows up to finance a New York show of Finn's paintings.

This is where the music videos kick in. Estella and Finn are reunited in New York. Music plays. They move. Music pauses. They pause. There's a lot of rain. Finn runs through it. A lot.


It probably would help if you remembered the pieces and subplots of the original story but a) Cranky doesn't make those comparisons and b) short of the decaying wedding (cake, in the book) Cranky doesn't remember 'em. What he sat through was close to two hours of scenes stuttering like the car I wrote about above.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Great Expectations, he would have paid . . .


Hank Azaria, as Estella's fiance, is wasted in a role which could have been comic or pathetic. Azaria wasn't given the slightest clue. Yes, Gwyneth looks terrific but if you expect to see her naked, and you guys out there in Crankyland know who you are, she's quite out of focus. Enjoy the poster instead.

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.