cranky home
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

In Dreams

Starring Annette Bening, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea and Robert Downey Jr.
Screenplay by Bruce Robinson and Neil Jordan
Based on the novel "Doll's Eyes" by Bari Wood
Directed by Neil Jordan

IN SHORT: Cranky's Dreams don't make much sense either.

Once again, writer/director Neil Jordan delves thematically into fairy tales for a movie. He did it a decade ago with the story of Red Riding Hood in The Company of Wolves and this year it's Snow White in a failure of a flick called In Dreams, not a modernization of Snowie's tale, though apples and wicked females (sic) are all over this thing. Jordan has played with stories of insanity and horror before, most notably in last year's The Butcher Boy, but this time out you have to suffer through an hour of "what the hell is going on?" before everything starts to make as much sense as it is going to make.

God knows In Dreams does its best to hold your interest. We start with some lovely photography of an abandoned and submerged town. We meet a normal Massachusetts based family: airline pilot Paul Cooper (Aidan Quinn), his book illustrator wife Claire (Annette Bening) and their cute as a button daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona). The marriage isn't apple pie perfect, the worm in the center is the possibility that Paul is keeping a piece on the side but he denies it. He's more concerned about the visions/ dreams that his wife has been having, of missing children and orchards and other very unpleasant events. It's not crystal, but apparently there is a local kidlet girl who has been missing for quite some time (thus the scuba search that opens the film) and there may or may not be a link.

Cranky thought we might be getting into a "psychic working for the police haunted by her visions" bit, but the local cops are as unaware of Claire's abilities as anybody else. There's a lovely staging of Snow White by the kidlets in Rebecca's school. Paul flies off to wherever-ville and Claire realizes in stark horror that the visions she's been having are not about the missing girl mentioned above. They're about her own daughter who vanishes into the woods after the play.

So far so good. Claire's visions get more gruesome as bodies are found. A housekeeper goes off to buy cigarettes and disappears for a day. The garbage disposal unit vomits apple parts. Paul comes home to find the house wrecked and his daughter's name painted on the walls (either in blood or paint, hell if I know). Claire is committed and in her insanity realizes that her dreams are being fed to her by another person! Gee, it reads better than it looks on screen.

The screenplay, by the director and Bruce Robinson, flails about, dropping bits and pieces of the lifestory of the man with whom Claire is "linked" (that would be Robert Downey Jr. as Vivian), involving the aforementioned submerged town, an abusive mother, mental institutions, and a couple of murders. Not to mention a dog locked in an abandoned hotel, another kidnaped child and Claire's long distance mind meld (she relives Viv's backstory via waking dreams) and encounter with the killer. In Dreams eventually comes together but, by the time it does, you won't care.

What attempts to be horrific scares only by shock. What attempts to be terrifying isn't. There's at least one vital sequence in the film whose continuity makes no sense, at least to me.  It feels like material was chopped out in the editing process. And Stephen Rea's appearance as Claire's shrink is distracting as his Massachusetts accent sounds forced (and more New Yawkish than anything else).

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


For the lovely underwater photography.  In Dreams nearly put me to sleep.

click to buy In Dreams vhs lbx dvd

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   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.