'Sleuth' Critic Reviews

60%
MovieWeb:   5 reviews
36%
Rotten Tomatoes:   126 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    67
    It's like Deathtrap crossed with Cribs as staged by Stanley Kubrick.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    20
    In the remake of Sleuth, what was once insignificant is now insufferable.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    20
    A Dead Film Walking, a zombie of a film, a shuffling Frankenstein's monster of a film, leaking electricity from its badly-fitting neck bolts, tragically whimpering at the pointless agony of its own brief existence.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    63
    Caine and Law are in fine form bantering cleverly in this entertaining cat-and-mouse game, thanks to the inspired dialogue of Harold Pinter.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Little more than a sleek, stylish stunt.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    Sleuth gradually becomes soulless and no fun, and what's the point of that?
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    50
    So what's it all about? Got me.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    I think the movie works best if you know the original and have a taste for goofy revisionism -- say, Hamlet as a giant Hawaiian luau with the final duel on surfboards, or Paul Anka doing a finger-snapping "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    In Sleuth what he [Kenneth Branagh] celebrates is perplexing, ominous, insinuating material in the hands of two skilled actors.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    63
    Branagh, whose screen career with Shakespeare began on a high note with Henry V and has gone steadily downhill since, does a nice job keeping a stagebound piece relatively cinematic without resorting to the usual opening-up techniques.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Director Kenneth Branagh has mercifully pared the action down to 88 minutes (the first movie dragged on for 138), but the final act... still seems to go on forever.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    38
    Just terrible.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    This would have been a memorable night at the theater. Too bad they filmed it.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    34
    It sounds so promising. It plays so disappointing.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Randy Cordova Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    A grand exercise in watching two marvelous actors rip into some crackling dialogue. It's the thespian equivalent of jousting, and it's fascinating to watch.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Robert Koehler Variety (Top Critic)
    This is a radically different Sleuth, one that feels at times like Pinter self-parody.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    63
    Just when things should be getting exciting and complex, they become repetitive and predictable. Subtext becomes hint becomes statement becomes declaration. For once, Pinter is a little too easy to understand.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    40
    It doesnt work, and the reasons why are no mystery, no mystery at all.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    38
    Closed-circuit cameras and electronic gadgets are so much in abundance, bathed in the coldest of blue lights, it's as if Branagh chose to film his Sleuth in a Best Buy warehouse.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Sean Means Film.com (Top Critic)
    63
    Director Kenneth Branagh clearly is having fun navigating Tim Harvey's slick set design, but eventually the characters' deadly competitiveness becomes tedious.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    A wickedly entertaining four-man tour de force, Sleuth transforms Anthony Shaffer's Tony-winning, rather than rehashing the fine 1972 movie version.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com (Top Critic)
    It has a certain edge and daring, or more to the point it pretends to. That goes some distance toward concealing that Sleuth is a horrible mismatch of writer and material.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    63
    It's an interesting failure -- a film that works more successfully as a study of technique and writing than as a motion picture.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Richard Corliss TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    If you consider what the exalted quartet of Branagh, Pinter, Caine and Law might have done with the project, and what they did to it, Sleuth has to be the worst prestige movie of the year.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Carina Chocano Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    90
    Language this lethal has all but disappeared from the movies, and it's an unmitigated pleasure to observe Caine and Law attack it with such ferocity. Sleuth is nasty fun.
    Full Review » 7 years ago