Cape Fear (1991) - Crime, Thriller

Hohum Score



A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte
Length: 128 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 31 out of 288 found boring (10.76%)

One-line Reviews (197)

When it comes down to it, this 1991 version is so much more watchable and enjoyable than the first.

What many think is one of Scorsese's most blunt movies, is what I think a masterpiece worth watching several times.

The score for Cape Fear is very haunting and fits in well with the suspenseful atmosphere, and holds in your head for a long while afterwards, reminding you of the encounters between Cady and Bowden.

Pretty good entertaining and disturbing thriller .

The performances are probably the film's greatest achievement; the risky casting of Nick Nolte works fine, and his rambunctious persona works to the benefit of the clearly dis-likable character he plays, but what truly lingers is Juliette Lewis' absolutely amazing performance as the sexually curious, rebelling, naive and troubled fifteen-year old daughter of the married couple (Nolte and Jessica Lange), and off course Robert De Niro's disturbing, forceful, repellent yet fascinating Max Cady, recently released from prison after fourteen years.

Still, Peck and Mitchum turn in surprisingly enjoyable performances and there are some genuinely scary sequences.

Starring Robert DeNiro, Jessica Lange, and Nick Nolte, visions of intense sequences and perfected cinematic segments danced in my head.

Jessica lange is absolutly beatuiful and stunning.

compelling remake .

Gripping .

An Excellent and Gripping thriller .

Another tired horror movie cliche showdown between good and evil.

It is suspenseful throughout (very suspenseful), and I thought character development was well done as well; we get a sense of who these people are and how they act and think without having to learn their entire lives' histories.

The violence is intense, the psychological probing is disturbing, and the shocks are tremendously effective.

Max Cady is fascinating as played by De Niro .

This is one of the most suspenseful films I have ever watched!

Among many sharp encounters of his with multiple characters, the most riveting is the one he shares with Lewis.

Colorful swirls and X-Ray camera filters dominated some of the intense scenes from the first half of the movie, taking away moments that could have been apprehensive or even frightening.

Robert DeNiro gives a good performance that scares the audience, but besides his decent character, everyone else seem flat and uninteresting.

To me, while there is a much bigger preference for the creepier but more understated Mitchum and there are times where De Niro does fall into overdone parody, it is a very powerful and often scary performance in a fascinating, chilling and larger than life role, apart from the unstoppable Terminator-like traits in place bordering on the cartoonish.

Cape Fear is entertaining, and it does have some gripping scenes.

Super slow and no depth .

She is stunning in this film.

Instead, we see that stereotypical thriller music almost every scene, and it got boring and annoying.

He uses a snappy, shocking style of directing here that makes everything darker and more psychopathic, and I can think of so many horror flicks that would be better if the directors followed Scorsese's path here.

The parents are fighting, the daughter feels neglected and is sexually unsure of herself and the entire family feels open to a change of their otherwise boring and pedestrian life.

Overall, the sheer vitality of this ramped-up remake together with some great acting, makes it worthwhile, riveting and very much, a thriller of its time.

Although the end is somewhat a little farfetched, the rest of the movie is absolutely riveting.

Cape Fear is a good solid psycho thriller remake that maybe goes on for a bit too long & outstays it's welcome but is worth watching all the same.

Scorsese directs adeptly, often with a visual mastery, a knack of suspense and compelling character interaction.

They make bad choices that lead to an intense final act that has earned its place in Hollywood history.

Suffers in comparison from the original, but is still entertaining .

A very intense, very disturbing film.

Though Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), playing the role of Max's old lawyer, is as well intriguing.

It's a fascinating film that goes over-the-top, but not in a negative way, but in a great and enjoyable way.

The original Cape Fear is one of those hidden gems that was well-reviewed and well-revered, but so few people discuss it that when one catches it on TV they are taken aback by how potent and suspenseful it truly is.

Gripping crime drama that uncoils like a giant python and then strikes with the lighting speed of a deadly cobra as Cady drives the Bowden's out of their home and almost out of their minds.

The scene where he seduces her is one of the most creepy and riveting scenes I have seen.

She is not sure what to make of Cady, a man who is both intriguing and creepy at the same time.

that says something about how meandering, overlong and slow it is.

While Cape Fear can't even hold a candle next to "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas", it is still a fabulous remake of the 1962 noir classic and it keeps the viewer on the edge right through until the closing credits.

Robert DeNiro's horrendous southern accent is horrendous, making what could be a serviceable but predictable thriller into a comedy in every scene he is in.

The background sound, along with Robert De Niro's sick character make it agonizing to watch-- but very entertaining.

Unfortunately we found it to be boring, poor acting and drawn out.

If I had to pick only one I'd stick with the original for sure -- but I must say that despite some flaws in the 1991 version (it's too long; the cameos by Peck, Mitchum and Balsam are corny IMO), it was entertaining.

Even though Cape Fear doesnt rank with the best of Scorsese, it is worth watching.

Although the movie has some usual tactics (the villain is supposedly dead but we know he'll show up again in a second), with Cape Fear I found myself sitting on the edge of the seat more and more, while with most thrillers today I almost sleep and just wait to see how the villain dies in the end.

Intense .

Exciting movie experience, all the way.

Some good parts and development to the story, some more nice taunting, but mainly boring which is what pulls this film down to the rating that it got from me.

Marty's remake is a powerful retelling of a thrilling suspense movie, revisited with the Scorsesian touch, inviting the stars of the original film Martin Balsam, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum to memorable cameos.

Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear is an excellant and gripping thriller.

And if in the beginning, we feel empathetic towards Sam, his reactions in the Cady situation are revealing of some weaknesses that help the story because they elevate him above the uninteresting status of victim, and prevent the film from falling in the trap of victim vs.

Absolutely stunning.

Exciting & Scary .

I like this one better than the original because it's more modern and compelling, not to mention in color.

This is a strong suspense film that reaches to a breathtaking climax on a lake called Cape Fear.

The most fascinating thing about the movie is the building of suspense and horror.

"Cape Fear" is a suspenseful movie with a good set-up: Max Cady (Robert de Niro) has just been released from jail after doing time (14 years) for rape/sexual assault.

This was truly two of the most intense hours of film I have ever seen.

Every aspect of the film is great, and it bares Scorsese's trademark of great editing (from Thelma Schoonmaker), serving an entertaining and rather upbeat film that holds complex and dark matters, brutal violence and rather unsympathetic characters.

Very tense, gripping work from Scorcese, though DeNiro seems just a bit over the top.

The progression of the movie is of a downward spiral and rather predictable, however most scenes with Deniro are highly entertaining and ones with Nolte and Deniro are exceptional.

This version is a lot more intense as well.

Slightly Intriguing, Faaaarrrrr Over-The-Top .

Then again, considering how bad his recent movies have been (I'm referring to his dull Buddhist movie and all the ones with his new favourite actress, the blond girl Di Caprio) this isn't even that bad by comparison.

His family and more precisely is daughter is even slower to grasp the situation, although it is true that Sam doesn't reveal all the details.

It's longish, boring and not convincing.

Suspenseful and noteworthy for director Martin Scorsese to reuse Bernard Herrmann's impressionistic score.

The finale of the movie (filmed on Bowden's boat at Cape Fear) is dragged out and uses the Terminator model where the villain just keeps coming back.

But what made this film so thrilling is Robert De Niro.

All play their roles to perfection despite the amount of screen time given, and all help to build up the oppressive and intense world Scorsese sculpts.

De Niro's turn as Max Cady is possibly one of his most colorful and most intense since "Taxi Driver," and even went as far as to earn him an Oscar nomination the following year.

Many sequences in "Cape Fear", particularly the ones proving that the illiterate thug Max Cady turned into an intelligent and excessively eloquent criminal, are overlong and rather boring.

But more importantly this film is so slow and predictable I probably cut 20 minutes off the movie in just the second half fast forwarding and reading the subtitles instead of listening.

Preliminaries are the most enjoyable sexual moments, the growing intimacy, the warmth, a progressive sensation of hotness and a frenetically built up pleasure before it reaches its climax … now, consider this climax as the final confrontation between you and your personal enemy, the one who reminds you of your inner demons, those you'll only get rid of through a confrontation.

The whole movie has been staggering up to this predictable culminating denouement.

It was brutal and drawn out.

Robert De Niro gives a mind blowing performance as the psychotic vengeance seeker with a fantastically murderous accent and his mannerisms, costumes and hairstyle all subtly blend to give what I would describe as the perfect villain for a movie.

An intense remake .

Also good is the ending, a suspenseful and exciting piece of work, but the rest of the film is mainly boring.

So in closing, I find this film thrilling and intense!

There is none of the grand scale that marked out Casino, for example; and it perhaps lacks the intensity of Taxi Driver; or Nolte's bare obsession achieved in the slightly dull Scorcese segment of New York Stories.

I can understand the bad reviews this movie recieves , i watched the film again recently after a few years and when you think about it cape fears premise is ridiclious to say the least but its still entertaining i think this was the aim of scorseses direction and characterisation designed to shock the audience with something original in a film sense - A successful lawyer and his family are terrorised by a criminal the lawyer betrayed years before and had him locked away by burning the evidence he had in a rape and battery case ,that would have aquitted max Cady (de niro )- is realeased 14 years later somehow knowing of the lawyers betrayal decides to have his revenge .

Robert DeNiro was stunning and malicious as Cady.

While absorbing most of the time, especially in the first and second acts, a few of the Cady character building scenes did drag and go on for too long, 20-25 minutes trimming may have made things better.

For Cape Fear he sacrifices a little of his usual snappy ostentatiousness and directs with a drawn-out, creeping pace.

predictable, is all.

Were I to lodge any complaints against the film, it would be that fundamentally, it's a bit overstretched and loses some steam in its second half, with a slower pacing that doesn't always match the manic energy of the performances and Scorsese's visual aesthetic.

Quite predictable and few surprises.

If you're a fan of intense psychological thrillers you'll have this in your top ten.

Many times, the film dragged me into its thickening plot, only to throw away what tension they'd built with unnecessarily graphic violence or ridiculous conflict successions that did not add to the plot or even remotely make sense.

Gripping and extraordinary psycho-thriller with an unforgettable Robert De Niro who suffers incarceration and seeks revenge as a nasty criminal and believably creepy .

The truth is, his works are compelling and bestow something worthy to the audience, regardless of his religious affiliations (or lack thereof) because no one CARES!

Take Cape Fear for example it's one of the worst movies ever made.

One of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Though at the same time one could say Mitchum did a better job at blending into society than De Niro's louder, flashier and more violent take on the character and that's something that plays a big role as to why I find this remake to be some much more entertaining.

Truly an intense film about ugly characters delivered with a touch of class by its director and filled out with performances that range from great to legendary.

The movie slows down and is very long.

A Superior, Riveting Thriller.

But RDN turns this into a machine, into a cliché.

What Robert Zemeckis did with his masterful homage to Hitchcocks Thrillers "What lies beneath", is what Scorsese is doing with his remake of "Cape Fear", an every-minute-intense Suspensethriller without a clear line of "right or wrong".

She is terrified of Max and what he might do to her, only that she finds him waiting for her in the school, smoking his cigar, in one of the most suspenseful and frightning scenes in the movie.

tedious maximus: Carry On De Niro .

The music score by the legend Bernard Herrman (who did Hitchcock's classics) was used from the original movie and it is stunning.

Rating : Better than average, well worth watching .

The loud, energetic music gets your adrenaline pumping even faster.

I do, however, find that some of the directing technique is rather strange, the water theme is rather tedious throughout the film and seems a tad unnecessary.

Compared to the original film nearly 30 years earlier Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear is quite brilliant and vastly more entertaining than the somewhat underwhelming and ploddingly-paced original.

Though it barely falls short of equaling the original, Scorsese's film is very suspenseful, exciting, and genuinely terrifying.

I first viewed this film at the cinema, and I have to say I walked out of the theater predicting that De Niro had the Oscar in his pocket.

The long drawn out ending, breathtaking and hairy, on the houseboat, and I don't want to know how they did it, was the most impressive action piece of the movie, unbearably suspenseful at times, where this underestimated bastard, doesn't let you forget who he is.

Just watch the slow-burning scene between DeNiro and Juliette Lewis (also terrific as Nolte's daughter): it is a lesson in being sinister and, in my opinion, the best scene of the film.

On a visual level, I find that due to all his cryptic tattoo's and unruly hair, that frequently alternates from wild to greased back, De Niro's physical appearance is far more menacing/convincing then the image Robert Mitchum projected with his take on Max Cady; which I found to be dull and rather mundane.

Also, some of the bizarre camera angles and even predictable settings (not counting the location shot featuring a red sky which I thought was genius!

Still this an absolutely riveting film, 8/10.

He's utterly slow to understand that Max Cady (De Niro) is a danger to him and his family, even after one of his 'colleagues' gets raped and has her cheek bitten off.

Creepy riveting thriller as good as the original 1962 movie.

The acting was superb especially from an intense Robert De Niro.

So I started to watch it with the impression that its gonna be a bore so good time pass for some 30 minutes.

This brutal, violent and suspenseful thriller combines a scorching performance by Robert Deniro, sumptuous location photography, and a powerful script that raises disturbing questions about religion, sex, and class distinctions in our so-called classless society.

The last half hour is a little far-fetched but everything up to that point is well done and leaves you on the edge of your seat as you watch the creepy Deniro character and wonder what he's going to do next.

I was on the edge of my seat half the time.


Many scenes are too long and overly drawn out, while others fall helplessly into conventions and stereotypes.

Cady is a muscled, brutal man who has a rather intense streak of intelligence that belies his outward appearance of poor white trash.

A good deal of 'Cape Fear' is hugely entertaining.

And legendary DeNiro is somehow over-the-top and uninteresting at the same time.

The original "Cape Fear" was much more suspenseful and foreboding,not to mention, more believable.

De Niro and Nick Nolte give outstanding performances to make this thriller even more thrilling.

We all know the world doesn't work that way, but it's fascinating to watch a simple-minded tale being spun out like a well-told fairy story.

There are no plot twists lurking behind any corners here; you pretty much know what you're getting if you've read the back of the DVD box: A violent, creepy little thriller by one of the best directors of our time, with some absolutely outstanding scares.

This is a terrifying,riveting suspense thriller.

In this case I either totally missed it or there just isn't one because I was both bored and disgusted by Cape Fear.

Cady's fraudulent disposition with Mr. Bowden's 15-year-old daughter is sickening yet intriguing the way he swoons her with his manipulative nature.

An enjoyable experience with a great cast (and an Oscar worthy performance from Juliette Lewis).

The Music, plot, dialogs and De Niro's dialog delivery and acting, all of them make the movie really enjoyable.

While the remake has it's strong points and is a riveting movie at times, in the final analysis, the original "Cape Fear" gets my vote as the better of the two - a minor classic as it were.

The film is directed very well by Scorsese, always exciting, and the screenplay is also well written by Wesley Strick.

Scorsese remake of the 1962 original classic of the same name is just as thrilling.

Gripping classic .

The plot is clever, psychological, thrilling, brutal, violent, disturbing and has a cathartic ending.

, plus he kept the film at a very engrossing pace!.

The plot is tight, the action is gripping.

A disturbing and intense thriller .

It's an intense and often terrifying feature that stands proud alongside the original as a valid and important retelling.

Compelling, active camera work, good acting by De Niro (though not among his best performances) and Juliette Lewis, though I didn't like Nick Nolte.

" Other than Baker, the performances are dull and flat, as is the film itself.

I was only a kid back then, but even after all these years I felt again that this movie gives great doze of fear.

What makes the scene so gripping is the fact that we've already seen the brutality that Cady is capable of (the biting and the punching).

While Jessica Lange played the same, tedious character she perpetually plays, DeNiro again knocked his role out of the park.

On the whole, though, this is a powerful and exciting thriller which equals – and in some aspects surpasses – the original upon which it is based.

He does lose it a bit at the climax though with the old is-he-dead-or-is-he-coming-back cliché and setting everything during a howling storm with white water rapids gushing about.

Although the pacing, editing and sound are very much up to Scorsese standards, the new CAPE FEAR is more silly than suspenseful.

It's a real unpredictable character, that is capable of anything.

The update also makes a mistake that modern films make in thinking that it is somehow more fascinating/terrifying by showing morally flawed protagonists being victimized.

Whereas Mitchum played the character as evil but sane, de Niro plays a man on the edge of madness.

Entertaining, Stylized suspense-thriller.

And he knows precisely when to slow it down or ramp it up, giving us a varied but also harrowing and entertaining experience in terror.

Those moments at the house boat are pretty thrilling, with the psychopath out there to get you.

All those intense close ups, worked nicely for this chilling movie.

Nolte's transformation from a man who is essentially a wannabe "perfect guy" into a terrified and damaged figment is just stunning, and De Niro hams it up to perfection with his fire-and-brimstone performance as a deranged, sociopathic lunatic who is just as entertaining as he is deadly.

As stated before, the only problem with this film is in it's tendency to allow itself to shift from a tense, suggestive thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat to a blatant horror flick that instead leaves you cringing.

Well, Cape Fear examined all my hopes and did the exact opposite, causing an eruption of banality in Scorsese's followup to one of the best films of the '90s, Goodfellas.

Aided by Bernard Herrman's intense score (adapted from the original version of the film), "Cape Fear"-though flawed-is ultimately a fun, fascinating and often terrifying film that is part psychological thriller and part slasher flick.

Bottom line, one of the best movies of all times and a really intense experience to live...

I did really draw to the last line of the picture though, "When you live in the past, you die a little bit every day," it's the most moving moment of a picture that idolizes intense sexual scenes an an adult man and a minor.

Worst movie, (with the best reviews given it) I've ever seen.

And if this isn't Scorsese's best film , it certainly is his most entertaining.

Directed by Oscar-Winner:Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The King of Comedy, Taxi Driver) made an entertaining psychological thriller, which is based on the 1962 movie of the same name.

Scorsese pulls-off this sequence ever so slyly, it's really quite a marvel of film-making and a thing of great beauty, which in stark contrast to the first film, ends the movie in a most exciting and satisfying way.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole scene waiting for De Niro to attack.

This remake of the 1962 orginal film'o the book has some very good parts to commend it and some fine performances by some fine actors - however Scorsese opts toward the end for the most formulaic of plot twists and an embarrassingly overacted shakespearean demise that had me looking at my watch.

The film itself is too long as well.

Even otherwise very good, very delightful performances are nonetheless stained by this routine—one of the best actors ever transformed into a cliché—in a parenthesis, I will remark that the same thing was said about other three actors—Fresnay ,Jouvet and March.

The film is quite gripping and graphic in its depiction of the violence and terror that Max Cady brings to those in his path.

This thriller has a clear reminiscent to previous remake based on John MacDonald's novel titled ¨The executioners¨ and adding riveting psychological layers .

Those slow zooms on Cady, the whip cuts from one scene to another and the whole end sequence is a doozy.

This exciting film with interesting screenplay by Wesley Strick contains psychological characterization , grisly triller , tense situations and is pretty entertaining , though overlong .

Very thrilling and intense.

Nonetheless, the most intriguing aspect of the film is her attraction towards Cady, ready and willing to take advantage of her budding sexuality.

The film was scary and suspenseful and everyone's character was spot on.

It's just as intense as was the first one.

A gripping exciting film with lots of anger and emotion; rather scary in parts; the music is fantastic and arouses great emotion.

Remake of a 1962 thriller - brutal, relentless, exciting and atmospheric.

Whenever De Niro is on the screen it's all slow, static takes, a series of moody standoffs where the actors are allowed to just do their stuff.

Formulaic or what?

Worst movie, best reviews .

The movie is always interesting and suspenseful.

Perhaps the new version's morally-complex screenplay and dynamic cinematography highlight the fact that the old Cape Fear is a bit static and, well, dull.

Walking parallel-y Nolte is a convincing flawed human whose family is at risk and even though he never gets to score on De Niro's level, his own resistance towards the concept of life and death is intriguing.

One of the worst movie's ever .

Therefore, when you first watch it, you're on the edge of your seat.

Robert De Niro is good and I am bored of writing it as he is good in all his movies.

The dull film stock to convey a 1950's setting was so bland as to be a distraction in itself.

Also starring Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis, this is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I really did enjoyed it, and Scorsese proves that he is great in managing characters and overall tension, no matter what.