Secret Window


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Secret Window
The Masked Reviewer

If you've seen movies like Misery or The Shining, you might think that novelists' lives are filled with excitement, adventure, and insanity.  If you see Secret WIndow, you'll be even more convinced.

Come to think of it, all of those films are based on books.  And all of those books were written by Stephen King.  And he is a novelist!  One can't help but wonder if Stephen King's life is exciting, adventurous, and insane. 

Johnny Depp stars in this thriller.  No, it's not a horror movie.  It's a thriller.  There's very little blood and gore, though there is some.  There are also a few horrifying images, but very few things jump out at you (aka cat scares).  The tension builds slowly and steadily, like watching a Pauly Shore movie. 

Aside from Johnny Depp, the film features Maria Bello ("E.R.", The Cooler, Coyote Ugly), Charles Dutton ("Roc", Alien 3, Mimic, Gothika, and Surviving the Game), and Timothy Hutton (Taps, many other movies).  John Turturro (Barton Fink, Jungle Fever, Miller's Crossing, O Brother Where Art Thou (not to mention Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, and Monkeybone)) also appears, but this time he's from Missississippissi...Mippissippi..Missippiissi...he's got a southern accent.  And a hat.

But Johnny Depp is the focus of the film.  And, the Masked Reviewer will tell you now...he's Depperiffic.  If you like Johnny Depp, you'll enjoy seeing this movie.  He's good.  He brings a subtle intensity to the role, and every moment he's on screen, he's doing something interesting.  Even when he's asleep.  He also elevates the level of humor in the movie from light chuckle to hearty belly-laugh.  Johnny Depp's nomination for Pirates of the Caribbean was an acknowledgement of the body of work he's done, which has been consistently good.  His performance is worth the price of admission.

As for the rest of the's impossible for the Masked Reviewer to really discuss any problems with the film without giving away the secret (it's called Secret Window, not Blabbermouth Window, after all).  Suffice it to say (as far as I'm concerned), while the story is interesting, it does seem a bit too familiar.  It also was predictable, even though the Masked Reviewer never read the Stephen King novella that the movie was based on.  Even knowing where the film is going, though, it's a fun ride.  While John Turturro, Maria Bello, and even Timothy Hutton are all good, it's all about Johnny Depp, and that's a good thing.

The film was written, directed, and written by David Koepp, who you may remember from such screenplays as Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, Mission Impossible, and Panic Room.  He also wrote and directed the Kevin Bacon thriller Stir of Echoes, which was interesting, too.

If you like thrillers like The Shining or Misery, or you like Stephen King books like Misery or The Shining, this is worth checking out.  If you love Johnny Depp, see this.  If you like Johnny Depp, you'll more than likely enjoy this too.  If you hate Johnny Depp, what's wrong with you?  Maybe you're in denial about some latent homo-erotic attraction towards him.  You can like Johnny Depp without any substantial threat to your own heterosexuality, you know. 


Expectation from the Title: When McDonald's added a new option for getting classified information at its drive-thrus, many people decided to pull up and have their mysteries answered.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Johnny Depp...what more needs to be said?

The Pros: Johnny Depp, fine supporting performances.

The Cons: Similar stories have been done elsewhere (can't say where without ruining it for you, sorry..), big ending is too predictable.

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