Top critical review
Depp's great performance ruined by a stupid 3rd act twist...
on July 15, 2004
After seeing Pirates of the Carribean, I think I would have liked just about anything Depp did that didn't involve him overacting in a bad Keith Richards impersonation (yes, I'm one of the 3 people who despised that movie). So the crackerjack hokeyness of writer/director David Koepp's Stephen King adaptation was a welcome change for the most part. Depp reminded me why he's such a valuable commodity as a star, composer Phillip Glass does an excellent tribute to Bernard Herrmann (redeeming himself for the worst score of the year, Taking Lives), and the whole alone-in-a-lakeside-cottage-with-writer's-block deal is perfect for a popcorn thriller. Secret Window is a blast for its first two-thirds if you get caught up in the trappings of the genre in which it indulges and don't expect much. But even I, who was really enjoying myself, couldn't get over the film's twist ending which simply fails miserably, to put it lightly. (Mild spoilers: if you haven't seen it, stop reading here) Koepp's screenplay and direction expect us to believe two different sides to Depp's character, and when he's played with such likeable nonchalance for most of the movie, his tribute to Nicholson's Jack Torrance just comes off as comical. I guess I could just blame it on the story, "Secret Window," around which the movie revolves, but that would be letting it off too easily. Someone I know described the end of the film as "annoying," and I couldn't agree more. Too bad, because it sank a potentially good flick. GRADE: C