Frailty (2001) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



A mysterious man arrives at the offices of an FBI agent and recounts his childhood: how his religious fanatic father received visions telling him to destroy people who were in fact "demons."

IMDB: 7.2
Director: Bill Paxton
Stars: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey
Length: 100 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 78 out of 506 found boring (15.41%)

One-line Reviews (300)

Badly acted, simplistic plot, cliché after cliché--skip this.

The lulls are not suspenseful enough, even if the mental bodyblows are superbly crafted.

When was the last time you went to see a movie that made you think, one that stayed with you after you left the theater?

Especially when it turns out to be a PROPAGANDA FILM for something a modern civilized human, regardless of his/her religion, should stand against.

This movie had me on the edge of my seat.

It was intense and as I've said- disturbing!

Spoiler - What a boring, predictable film .

It was suspenseful, and original, and dug down at something that is unpleasant to look at.

This film is suspenseful, intriguing, and when you least expect it, jump out of your seat surprising.

From then on the story develops itself in successive intercalated flashback scenes which from a certain moment on begin to reveal little credibility and get even into a confusion of identities and stories.

Overall I found this movie to be fairly entertaining, even if it was very predictable.

Instead we're treated to -- ho-hum -- a sudden barrage of twists at the end.

Strange twists at the end - too confusing .

Although not perfect, I found it a quite compelling tale of how a vision from God can split a family apart and how it can lead to murder.

Matt O'Leary and Jeremy Sumpter did really well for teenage actors and their performances were engaging and promising.

I discovered this after I watched the film, so it's a bit more stunning now.

That doesn't mean they must be the same person, but it is compelling nonetheless.

One of those predictable scenes is followed by another one totally unpredictable.

The pace is slow, there is no suspense, and the acting is flat by Mr. Paxton and Mr. Boothe.

It is slow moving in the beginning, but once the father's 'habit' is established, it becomes intriguing.

I found the film to be suspenseful and I was glued to the couch during it, that is for sure....

The acting was solid and it really had you on the edge of your seat.

I found this movie to be exciting and thought provoking.

"Frailty" has many faces, it's a rich film, and it is very enjoyable, especially for those who love horror films.

After one hour I wanted to leave, because I was very bored (I didn't do it, as I never do that.

Poorly told, confusing and even somewhat incoherent.

The very plot in itself, the very story and essence of the film, is entertaining.

This movie had a slow development, shallow and unoriginal plot.

It is quite slow and it is mainly told in flashbacks but the story is quite intriguing, and the ending twist isn't completely predictable.

This film is very thrilling through and concludes with a fine twist with just a few holes that you can simply fill with imagination.

Something completely different, something completely unexpected and never seen before.

It's a contrived attempt at a point with a lousy script and a visionless director.

an actual horror/scary/suspenseful movie.

He was just that guy in all those bad James Cameron movies and the worst movie of all time (Twister).

Well worth watching if you're into spiritual spookiness.

The movie succeeds in provoking an intense feeling of empathy for the two children affected by their father's paranoid delusions of being "chosen by God to execute demons".

The movie takes an unexpected turn at the end.

Paxton is a well known but usually rather bland actor (except in Katherine Bigelow's "Near Dark").

Young Matthew O'Leary is another standout--you really feel his confusion.

I read a couple of reviews before I saw this movie, and I have read a few of the viewer comments here, and I am so surprised that no one else has mentioned that Frailty, while morbid and creepy and seemingly quite serious, actually contains quite a few chuckles, strange in a film with such grim subject matter, but at least the hunor keeps the film from being disturbing after you leave the theater.

However, the ending to this movie made everything that happened before it completely pointless and irrelevant.

Confusion and dissatisfaction is what I felt throughout the last 15 minutes of so.

Had he spend more time trying to make the (overlong) set-up an intriguing premise in itself (without just expecting the ending to make things right) then the result would have been far more satisfactory.

I won't tell you how it ends since i don't even understand it myself, but let's just say it was confusing.

It packs a wild punch and will keep you on the edge of your seats until the breathtaking end.

It was pretty suspenseful and just kinda nuts in some places.

It also functions as an enthralling crime drama with a compelling central mystery.

Is this some weird kind of born-again propaganda?

I barely hinted at one of the plot twists, but it still came unexpected and kept me glued to the edge of my seat.

stunning psycho-thriller .

The pacing seems pretty slow for over an hour.

With such a solid story and plots and great flow this movie it is far more enjoyable to watch than most horror I have ever seen.

Still, for most of its run time, "Frailty" is an exciting, complex horror-thriller.

I'm tired, I'm sick of watching films running cunningly and interestingly for an hour and a half, and then come that now predictable smell...

Though, it was a rather dark movie I enjoyed it immensely, especially the acting and directing.

A little strange, but I enjoyed it .

His diabolical character is convincingly compelling.

Good acting and fine directing but predictable.

A little Slow at first...

The film has a very slow and deliberate pace that slowly builds up the tension.

The twist at the end is well worth watching the film.

It depends on overdone sound effects that rush on you in a shock, and that have the two sons (as boys) watching the mayhem with a kind of dumbed down confusion.

SPOILERSThis is going to be very confusing,First of all, to the people who are confused about the ambulance.

It was boring and predictable.

It just dragged and dragged.

It definitely makes for an entertaining and thought-provoking hour and a half.

I also thought it was far too predictable.

bore off .

" The pressure that the children are under is unbearable, and tragic, and warps their entire lives.

This film twists and plays with your mind to an extent where you end up in a roll of confusion, energy, fun and depression.

Stunning film.

Very subtle camera work, foreshadowing, and set design give clues to an unexpected climax.

With what appears to be a simple and predictable twist, the film veers suddenly off into the unexpected.

The problem is that the events started to take a totally unexpected turn that upset my mind's apple cart.

Mediocre acting from Paxton, tedious "twists" and entirely uncomfortable for the wrong reasons.

What a real treat and quite unexpected.

Paxton delivers a steady, methodical pace that involves us so deeply in the dilemma of his two boys who are forced to participate in these gruesome acts that the tension becomes unbearable.

This story was filled with holes and ridiculous, horror-cliché decisions such as: The FBI agent who willingly goes with a weirdo into a murderer's burial ground in the middle of a dark and stormy night; A son cordially agreeing to join and lock himself with his axe wielding and violently insane father, who he is scared of, into the shed where he has watched him kill people; The local sheriff who just won't believe the kid when he reports that his dad is a murderer, before taking him back home and getting axe murdered by...

As `Fenton' reveals the intricate details of the case, a gripping tale of the power of insanity and of filial love and commitment emerges.

to its (minor) credit, i did jump once, and there were one or two small twists that i couldn't see coming a mile and a half away, but for the most part it was predictable and boring and the writing was pretty vile.

The most predictable film i've ever seen .

But it is solidly entertaining a just odd enough to make it stand out.

This movie can get pretty gruesome at times but its worth watching.

Non predictable and very Imaginative.

However because of Paxtons excellent directing and acting the film is well worth watching , especially if you are a horror film fanatic.

It was so boring I started counting the number of time the microphone appeared at the top of the screen.

Disturbing, possibly confused and a bit predictable .

It is a shocking but quite predictable thriller with certainly appealing cinematography and decent directing by actor Paxton (Aliens, Near Dark, Weird Science).

This was one of the worst movies EVER.

Well this movie is that good that it doesn't need a lot of words, its very watchable and enjoyable.

Frailty is such a movie - it is also totally absorbing for its brief, event filled, 99 minutes.

Most suspenseful movie I've seen since "The Shining.

All in all I found this film to be somewhat trite.

Most importantly, the suspense is expertly controlled, which makes the story that much more compelling.

This is a must see if you love plot twists, very good fast paced movie.

Slow moving and not very compelling .

I rarely, if ever, guess how a movie is going to end, as I enjoy being surprised but in this case the twists were so apparent because the movie is so dull up until the final 10 minutes that you figure something has got to happen.


But instead we get stupid & predictable crap like SCORPION KING, ICE AGE, THE ROOKIE, etc. that are taking over the box office, when its great films like FRAILTY that should be on top.

The direction the film took towards the end was obvious and trite.

We see the unexpected surprises coming from miles away.

From the light pouringthrough the slats in a shed to the light emblazoning the police cargrill onto McConaughey's face, the lighting plays the largest part inmaking this movie visually stunning, much like Alan Parker's AngelHeart.

it started off kinda slow (it takes about 30 minutes to get good...

There is, however, the intriguing fact that when Dad touches his victims, he has graphic visions of their sins--he can see vividly why they need to be killed.

It is an intriguing insight into extreme psychosis.

I am telling everybody I meet to see it, because it really was a good, entertaining movie, with a chilling story told very very good!

I am probably one of the very few which didn't like FRAILTY, but I must honestly tell you, I nearly fell asleep.

In summary, this movie is well worth the watch and I hope all who read this will give it a chance.

Slow moving .

Frailty was a very exciting to watch.

A waste of time (except for seeing Matt in a policeman's uniform - Helloooooo Officer!

For me, I found it very watchable and quite compelling.

For those of you who feel cheated by nonsensical plot twists after investing yourself in characters and plot for two hours, Frailty is a waste of time.

7.25/10 - A Thriller with real quality; definitely worth the watch.

The movie seemed to start a little slow and there just wasn't much action.

A true hidden gem in the horror genre, Frailty is a slow burn movie with a strong premise and fantastic acting.

A quite intriguing thriller .

The sequence with the sheriff is riveting.

And it's true, many of the horror films we've been getting lately are remakes, sequels or prequels which are ever exciting or pointless.

This film was such a disappoint from start too finish it was unoriginal predictable and low budget although not the worst film I ever watched it is far away from the best.

Ever since Scream became a surprise box office hit in 1996, Hollywood has literally saturated itself with unimaginative, predictable teen horror flicks so when a film like The Blair Witch Project or Frailty comes along its like a breath of fresh air.

Bill Paxton's feature directorial debut is stunning, disturbing, mesmerizing.. .

This is a horror movie for grown ups and I highly recommend it.

Absolutely Stunning .

Paxton and Alan Davidson surprised me as part of this carefully drawn out thriller.

+McConaughey +Intense, edge of your seat drama +Tyler's score +Child actors performances -Almost too disturbing at times -What was the deeper meaning and point to all of it?

I had to fight to stay awake and my girlfriend even dozed off a few times and STILL knew what was going on when she woke up again.

The whole thing was very insane, but engaging.

Now, I just felt bored most of the time.

What started out as a very impressive directorial debut transforms itself in an instant into a sour and pointless experience.

The children were exceptional, as was Matthew McConaughey, acting in ways he hasn't yet, giving us a thrilling and exciting performance.

It's about time for good fear-films to come out, after far too long of a time of mediocre Scream rip-offs and `modern' slasher flicks.


`Frailty' does move at too slow of a pace for some people and the second half is outdone by the first.

Much of the dialog is trite, and the movie just isn't scary.

The film is atmospheric and suspenseful; there is none of the tiresome self-referential "irony" that have marred other recent horror films.

There are scenes that reflect both points which adds to the confusion and gives the film more suspense.

Im giving this movie a five and that is only because the first hour of it was such an intense ride mixing horror and thriller.

Sometimes the twist is unexpected because it is so completely idiotic, that it has no right to be expected at all...

It is vusually stunning for its budget.

All we get is Matthew McConaughey sullen narration, bits of gore, and Powers Boothe's bored looks.

The film staggers, and becomes repetitive.

And the story is very intense and dramatic since the moment it starts until the end of it.

Because of this, the film has the potential to be a bit divisive— especially with its unquestionable conclusion— but taken as spiritual creed or contemporary myth, the film is enjoyable all the same.

Also, child actors Sumpton and O'Leary deliver unimpressive performances, sabotaging scene after scene while Paxton's desillusionment & despair-routine becomes really tiresome after a while.

The acting is this film is superb especially among the younger stars, it was very unexpected.

His manipulativeness, layered with foggy atmospherics, at first stirs a disorienting ambiguity but soon degenerates into tedious misdirection.

The plot was intriguing; the pacing, while deliberate, added to the tension and atmosphere; and camera work was appropriately gloomy at night and ironically sunny and golden during the daytime.

The film would have been pretty flat without it, so it is natural to assume that there had to be something in there at the end, especially in a era with twist endings in many slower-paced thrillers like The Sixth Sense and Memento.

The basic story is good but the movie is slow and a little boring, despite the killings & other stuff that goes on.


Certainly worth watching for the performance of Matt O'Leary, he was excellent (IMO)… Recommended.

But don't waste your time on this unless you have nothing better to do.

Overall, those who are tired of recent horror films (the boring "Resident Evil", the ridiculous "Queen of The Damned", or the fundamentally awful "Valentine", among others) will be pleased.

Many parts are quite predictable.

Throughout the first 2/3, I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next.

The actors were superb, the story line (plot) filled with twists and turns, creating a suspenseful delight.

The acting is good, even great in some cases (Fenton, dad), the story starts out very intriguing, and ends with a superb twist.

Intriguing twists and intense build-ups tantalise viewers into staying with this film to the end.

The plot was uninteresting and unoriginal.

Overall, I enjoyed it for what it was -- at times disturbing, suspenseful and eerie.

Absolutely stunning.

Really intriguing and powerful.

The ending was entirely predictable and not very credible.

It's exciting, sad and intelligent.

You could have a film filled with every hockey mask wearing, hatchet wielding, pin headed freak and it still wouldn't measure up to the horrors of one mans mind, making this one of the most original and riveting horror films top come around in a long while.

In both of those movies, the revelation is completely unexpected, and it hits you like a bombshell.

Average movie its ok to watch boring alot of it at the end getting better

Paxton really grabs the viewer and leads him down an intriguing path in which you really don't know what to believe and disbelieve.

Maybe it is just a bizarre and intriguing story out of the realm of fantasy?

Most of the ending was predictable (such as the flashback about Doyle), leaving no surprise.

It's a film that I looked at as a supernatural horror with a strong human factor, meaning that the story may surely touch on all sorts of subjects, but is mainly chillingly entertaining and takes you into a world all its own.

The movie and its characters delves deeper and darker as the movie progresses and the conflicts get more intense as a child must decide whether to obey his father even when he doubts him with all his heart, or do the right thing.

have a good and exciting watch

Sometimes this unexpected ending is very clever and makes perfect sense, in fact it makes everything in the movie snap into place.

Suspenseful, I was left guessing until the (disappointing) ending.

" The pressure that the children are under is unbearable and tragic, and warps their entire lives.

Now there's a compelling psychological piece of literature.

Yet the films disturbing themes and sickening effects are enough to make you leave the theater even after 20 minutes...

Great story and acting, but needs a shot of adrenaline .

The script is something else, despite a fairly predictable coup-de-gras, bit twist ending.

Political and Religious Propaganda .

Otherwise, this is literate and engaging, boasting a truly frightening performance from nice-guy Bill Paxton playing to form, as well as some excellent support from a career-best Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe, an actor who can do no wrong in my eyes.

Whichever side you end up believing, the film is well worth watching.

The acting was very dry and uninspired, and the plot was equally monotonous.

Unlike most filmmakers working in this genre - who mistakenly believe that terror is achieved in direct proportion to how over-the-top one can get - Paxton understands that the greatest horror is the one rooted in the mundane realities of everyday life.

His work in this case reminds of Eastwood and, like Clint (or Polanksi), the storytelling in "Frailty" starts slow and meticulous - in other words, Paxton is setting up the scene, so we'll get to know the characters and their world.

As a fictional Gothic horror story, the film is worth watching once.

Quite a compelling mystery thriller...

This deeply-disturbing film is filled with stunning visual imagery, and Paxton's barn house discovery of an axe and gloves (with which he can "destroy" demons) demonstrates such imagery poignantly.

Add in Matthew McConaughey & Powers Boothe plus a smart, gripping script and you've got a sure-fire winner for fans of understated horror & Southern Gothic-tinged crime dramas.

The entire premise is very simple, but that is what helps the film be so intense.

7/10 well worth watching.

Unfortunately his film is so predictable, every outcome telegraphed long before it happens, that suspense is never a factor.

The plot is gripping for the first half of the movie.

Intriguing and stirring accomplishments .

Not an A+ movie, but definitely a B+ and absolutely worth watching.

Impressive and breathtaking film!

The twists at the end are predictable.

Slow to start but an enjoyable experience .

The script was flawless and had a sort of dark but yet intriguing feel to it.

Well-acted, suspenseful, and fascinating on all counts.

The writing is trite and if you can see past the one dimentional characters it falls apart.

Chances are you'll be bored to death, just waiting for the end scene, much like in the 'Sixth Sense'.

" The fact that he dragged his two young sons into this carnage made it all the more sick and twisted - especially the younger boy, whose enthusiasm for his father's "mission" turned my stomach.

Frailty is also well-paced, reasonably compelling and it also has a few disturbing and creepy moments.

What's really fascinating here is the way the Father makes a difference between "killing" (the human beings) and "destroying " (the demons).

Sadly, it's quite boring.

This film had me on the edge of my seat even after the final credits rolled.

For those who haven't seen the movie there are several twists at the end, unfortunately they are very unsatisfying because the previous 90 minutes of the movie are boring!!!

Then it collapses in upon itself while trying to surprise the viewer with unexpected twists.

Quite frankly he just looks bored.

I left the theater in shock.

His "Dad" truly loves his children and believes he is doing the right thing by them and by God - which makes his character all the more frightening and intriguing.

All of the events invevitably culminating into a predictable hokey twist.

The screenplay is superb in the way it is very easily understandable and thrilling.

In my humble opinion: too predictable .

Creepy, scary and absorbing movie is part horror movie, part psychological thriller, part coming of age movie, part religious...

The final twist, predictable no doubt, is a perfect way to end the tale.

Slow, Unsuspenseful, Predictable .

The atmosphere is not bleak, nor dark, but pure evil; the story is beyond disturbing, completely stripped from blood and gore but gripping and over tensed; and the twist in the end is totally unexpected.

Both McConaughey and Paxton are at their best and Paxton is also a gifted director, he moves everything at such a slow pace that all the suspense seemed even more heightened than it already is.

Watching it this is a very gripping and often disturbing movie.

This movie had some interesting plot ideas, but it was very slow.

Over all, quite a compelling and powerful film that deals with the question of faith and how it can be misconstrued.

Despite the obvious allegory, the movie is exciting and entertaining.

In fact, there are no plot turns that you don't see coming.

See what I mean, sooo mind boggling, its great, keeps you questioning.

The rather boring yet mildy entertaining and disturbing series of events in a boys life shows a complete lack of suspense, every turn leaves nothing to the imagination.

The story was intriguing, nothing more.

He is utterly boring in every single thing he does.

It works well with substandard film-making formulas and makes it an enjoyable experience.

Instead we get a plodding flashback screenplay which takes too long in its scenes and doesn't develop any tension or fear.

I thought the acting was good and the story was compelling (two of the people I was with would disagree about the compelling story), but I thought the ending was such a cop out.

Taut suspenseful thriller with a twist.

But as an enjoyable movie?

I know you don't like reading long, drawn out reviews, so I'll make it quick.


The main concept of Frailty is the conflict between the young Fenton & his father, the way Fenton denounces God while his father insists he is right makes for some gripping scenes.

This move is, as said above, absolutely stunning.

I enjoyed it a lot and look foreward to seeing it again soon.

The story was very original and entertaining.

This is a very dark and intriguing horror type thriller based on the idea of religious murders.

It's taught and suspenseful, and really affected me.

Entertaining masterpiece .

I found this movie engaging with a satisfying ending.

Surprisingly, Bill Paxton delivers an enjoyable thriller using M.

All the way through I expected unreliable narrator, but the story just kept plodding along and there was no joy or cleverness to lead us into the reveal.

slow, predictable and down right dumb!!!!!

The end is confusing and you will be thinking if it is real or not.

don't waste your time.

As long as the audience can believe that the father is delusional and his religion and visions are phony (whether he really believes in them himself or not), one can buy into this as an intense horror thriller, at least if one is not in a camp that would insist that this is a vicious stereotype of all Christians.

Frailty is the kind of eerie film that starts slow, and before you know it has crawled right under your skin and scared you in the unsettling way that freezes your blood.

I do not want to give away the ending, but other viewer comments claiming that the ending was totally predictable, and that they had it all figured out are BALONEY!!

the angel that the Dad saw when working on the car) Save your money and rent sixth sense again.

I recommend this movie highly but be prepared to think about this movie days after you've walked out of the theater.

The framework around the story about Doyle I found to be less interesting, even it was probably meant to make it just that (or is 'entertaining' the right word there?

Trying to convince an FBI agent that his brother is a wanted notorious serial killer, a mysterious young man recounts how his father had divine visions and went on a killing spree when he was a kid in this compelling mystery thriller.

According to myself ,this movie is worth watching if you are a mystery and thriller movie lover.

I expected 'Frailty' to be another disappointing thriller but instead I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Horror movieshave long been known for creating twists when revealing theidentity of a killer, but rarely, has there been a horror movie thathas taken such an intellectual route to unveiling a story and thentrumping it with such an unexpected twist ending.

Bill Paxton's directorial debut is, in a strange way, more impressive than the film itself -- he handles the camera, the actors, the lighting, etc., in confident, intriguing ways.

While Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe are second and third billed as the mysterious young man and FBI agent respectively, the majority of the film actually takes place in flashback with Matt O'Leary turning in an intense performance as a young boy trying his best to deal with his father's murder spree and ravings of visions and messages from angels.

Thus, the film presents us with some intriguing moral and theological issues.

With great suspense and an intelligent story to talk about this directional debut from Bill Paxton is definitely worth watching.

Suspenseful white knuckler!

This film, despite what others may say, is fairly predictable, even up to the twist ending, which follows conventions of movies like this almost to the letter.

It has an intriguing premise that could have delved deeply into topical issues about extremists who believe they are following God's will.

Much of it was predictable.

Worst story since Abraham dragged Isaac off to sacrifice him to god.

This movie is easily the most appalling piece of propaganda since "Jud Suess".

In the end, it may end up only being the inbred Southern Gothic cousin of Kubrick's "The Shining"---but hey, that's a pretty damn entertaining notion.

The film is worth watching, though I confess it is not exactly my genre, neither my preferred style.

Too obviously contrived - the head investigator into the God's Hand murders also turns out to be a demon who just happens to be guilty of slaughtering his mother.

As soon as I saw that the entire movie was going to be told in flashbacks with voice overs, I knew this was going to be a VERY long and VERY boring movie.

- and nobody cares or even notices them; Then there is the good old pointless twist at the end where it turns out the guy talking to the FBI agent has been lying and is in fact somebody else...

Unique and compelling .

This is an absolutely horrifying and suspenseful film that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Yet on the surface, life appears to go on with an air of banal normality, a disturbing tone Paxton exploits to maximum effect.

And unlike the two other movie goers I dragged along (either side of me for support in case my sister was wrong) I didn't see a lot of stuff coming.

Crazy twisted thriller that gets more intriguing as it progresses .

Gothic thriller with some genuine moments of unsettlement evoked by Paxton (in his directorial debut too boot too) as a good natured widowed father raising two boys and enlists them in a dark journey of fear: he claims an angel has divined to him to be the slayer of demons within human form with blood-curdling results told in riveting flashback by McConaughey (one of his best low-keyed performances) achieving first-rate goosebumps in this top-notch suspensor well – crafted by screenwriter Brent Hanley .

Absorbing and disturbing .

Definitely worth watching.

In the tradition of 'The Usual Suspects', Bill Paxton's directoral debut 'Frailty' is as suspenseful and engaging a film as any I've seen.

Frailty is a fascinating film.

The film isn't advocating Christian murder, it is merely taking the viewer on a very unexpected ride.

Very intense.

If you like the sit on the edge of your seat suspense films this one is right up your alley.

Highly enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it seems the filmmakers were banking on this twist to make the movie, because the rest of the film is lacking in any redeeming qualities: it's slow in developing the story, lacks suspense and the good acting necessary to create it, and the ending is just plain stupid.

" It was suddenly unpredictable-movie by-the-books.

Convoluted and predictable, poorly plotted out and badly directed.

I also thought the form of the father's madness was a bit too predictable and not terribly realistic.

It is a very good horror/suspense movie with an old school style that will please fans of horror tired of the constant repetitive plots of modern horror films.

Totally absorbing 'twilight zone' movie .

It was boring and never scary.

O'Leary, in particular, gives a stunning performance as the older son who does not fall under his father's spell.

Although it may not be for the casual viewer, Frailty is very worth the watch.

it was like they were trying to be different and interesting and came out as repetitive and annoying......