Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film about a tough subject
This movie by Lynne Stopkewich (whose controversial first film was Kissed) shows off her depth as a director. This film deals with the story of a young woman trapped in a small town repeating the self destructive patterns she learned from her mother as well as not appreciating what you've got until you potentially lose it..... Molly Parker shines as the lead and the...
Published on July 11, 2006 by Margaux Paschke

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SHOWS PROMISE--BUT BEWARE OF SWANS BEARING SYMBOLISM
Director Lynne Stopkewich has dealt with a very important topic here: the low self-esteem some women suffer from AND the cruel ways that some men take terrible advantage of such women.

The two lead actors--Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie--are excellent in their roles as the abused woman, Leila Murray, and the abuser, Gary Jensen. The rest of the cast...
Published on April 30, 2006 by David R. Eastwood


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film about a tough subject, July 11, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
This movie by Lynne Stopkewich (whose controversial first film was Kissed) shows off her depth as a director. This film deals with the story of a young woman trapped in a small town repeating the self destructive patterns she learned from her mother as well as not appreciating what you've got until you potentially lose it..... Molly Parker shines as the lead and the secondary characters are good enough, just overlook the low budget feel to this movie to enjoy the compelling storytelling. The film was based on a book of the same title by Laura Kasischke and this movie made me want to go out and buy the book. I highly recommend Suspicious River to those who enjoy gritty independent films.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, June 25, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
This is a subject that isn't usually touched upon in film. The B movie feel reflects the dreary depseration of the life of the main character.

Parker plays Leila, a woman so bored and disillusioned with life that she actively seeks out abuse from stragers. She begins taking money from men for sex, not for the money, but for the degredation. Leila seems determined to make her life as dark and frightening as she can. Her childhood has traumatized her to the point of emotional numbness.

Rennie plays Gary Jenson, initially one of Leila's customers who eventually becomes her "boyfriend" and only reveals his true motivations at the end of the film. He manipulates Leila with alternating violence and empty promises. Leila seems to crave the violent lifestyle Gary is offering.

The acting is amazing. Rennie and Parker both give perfect performances. A lot of the story is told through facial expressions instead of dialog which Rennie and Parker both pull off superbly. Suspicious River is a dark glimpse into a frightening and dangerous, yet mysteriously seductive world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SHOWS PROMISE--BUT BEWARE OF SWANS BEARING SYMBOLISM, April 30, 2006
By 
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
Director Lynne Stopkewich has dealt with a very important topic here: the low self-esteem some women suffer from AND the cruel ways that some men take terrible advantage of such women.

The two lead actors--Molly Parker and Callum Keith Rennie--are excellent in their roles as the abused woman, Leila Murray, and the abuser, Gary Jensen. The rest of the cast manages to be adequate. (By an eerily odd coincidence, two of the minor cast members--Don S. Davis as Golf Shirt Man, and Michael Shanks as Ball Cap Man--both went on to star in the TV series "Stargate SG-1.")

Two main problems with this low-budget effort are the production values and the script. Technically, this often looks like a class project for an undergrad course in film making, with the lighting and color being major difficulties. The script is uneven, too, with its heavy-handed parallel subplot and its "happy ending" that is too rushed, sketchy, and implausible. As for the symbolic swans that hang out in the river, they may be just what YOU like, but to me they seemed like one more pretentiously artsy thing that a teacher in Screenplays 101 should have advised the writer(s) to cut out.

If you like Molly Parker, watch her in Stopkewich's KISSED and in the HBO-TV series "Deadwood." Both are better vehicles for her talents.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and disturbing, yet compelling, December 4, 2010
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
My husband and I watched this as an instant play via a movie rental site we subscribe to. The reason I chose this was because I like Molly Parker's acting, and this seemed like an interesting independent flick based on some reviews I had read. I was not prepared for the emotional impact of this movie, which is hard hitting.

Molly Parker plays Leila Murray, a young woman living in a small town, stuck in a monotonous and boring job (receptionist at a hotel), and also `trapped' in a stale marriage. At first, I wondered why Leila seemed so emotionally detached from her husband, but the reason becomes apparent as the movie progresses. Leila is a very troubled young woman, scarred by her childhood experiences which become apparent as the plot unfolds. She seeks solace by subjecting herself to debasement at the hands of the male customers who come into the hotel - she offers `extra' services for a fee, prostituting herself, in a desperate attempt to fill the emotional void in her life.

Things change when she meets a dangerous and handsome stranger, Gary Jensen (Callum Keith Rennie). Initially, Jensen and Leila get off to an explosive start when he hits her in a moment of passion. Later, the relationship becomes more intense and passionate and Leila slowly finds herself falling in love with Jensen, ignoring everything else. She even leaves her job for Jensen, but is Jensen her savior or tormentor?

There is another interesting parallel story involving a young girl who befriends Leila and acts as her `conscience'. This young girl's role also becomes clearer as the story progresses. There is even a hint of a supernatural element toward the end of the story. For an indie movie, this is quite well done. Viewers will have to ignore the cheap production qualities, but the acting, especially by the two leads is compelling. This is a gritty drama about a young woman's journey into darkness and is hard to watch, yet riveting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a tough watch, July 8, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
no doubt this is a tough watch. the topic matter controversial and grim. although tough viewing, i enjoy movies like this because it challenges me to look at my views and reflect on life and the lives of others i know. an interesting thing: view this movie and then watch billie piper's "diary of a call girl" to see a totally different perspective view on the same topic. i disagree with a previous reviewer saying this is like a student project and the color is off. this is a well done movie, very professional to the highest degree. if he would have listened to the commentary, she explains the shots and color. if you like dark, grim movies, then this is mandatory viewing. if you offend easily, or think your morals are better than others, go watch disney. for people who take their movies seriously, this is highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "So many bad men, and so little time!", February 21, 2006
By 
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
This film is very depressing and disturbing sexually. It's so nasty the kind of things that Leila(Molly Parker) had to go through. Her character is so discontended, and traumatized sexually, emotionally, and physically. It's a truly a star showcase vehicle for Molly, because she gets to display a great deal of dark and painful emotions. Callum Keith Rennie is very good as the deceiving and malicious boyfriend who gets off by manipulating Leila for sex, money, and betrayal to her husband. It seems that Parker has developed a fondness for dark and sexually disturbing films, examples like Centre of the World and Marion Bridge.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars great movie, July 5, 2012
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
I never heard of Suspicious River before buying it at Hollywood Video. Hollywood Video was closing in a few day's. There weren't many good movies left. I am a DVD colletor, so it didn't matter if it was good or not I bought it any ways.

Well I really enjoyed Suspicious River. It is very sexual and crazy. I can't believe she trusted a man so much that she would let him do those things to her. I can understand the position she was in at the motel. If I didn't have respect in my self I would be doing the same thing with those guys.... lol. But that is just a sexual fantasy for me lol.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been much better, but not terrible., December 29, 2011
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
<strong>Suspicious River</strong> (Lynne Stopkewich, 2000)

There's something about this movie that's just not right.

That is a statement that may not make sense, at least not coming from me. After all, the last time Stopkewich and Parker teamed up, they made <em>Kissed</em>, the 1996 film based on Barbara Gowdy's short story "We So Seldom Look on Love", in turn based on the story (and trial) of necrophile Karen Greenlee. And <em>Kissed</em> has been on my list of the hundred best movies ever made for well over a decade now. Given that, what variable changed to make this movie... well, not <em>Kissed</em>?

The obvious, if possibly facile, answer is the source material. I will note right up front that I have not read the Laura Kasischke novel upon which this movie is based, and so everything I'm about to say here is pure, unadulterated speculation based on the past performances of the appropriate parties. But there's a men-are-evil streak that runs a mile wide through this movie. It doesn't appear in <em>Kissed</em>; while the male lead there is something of a heel, he's at least a well-meaning heel, who tries to figure out ways to make himself more attractive to Parker's necrophile because he has a genuine fondness for her (rather than just a fascination for her particular kink). On the other hand, and I should probably put SPOILER here just in case, there's not a single male character in <em>Suspicious River</em> who doesn't deserve to be removed from the gene pool immediately, while the movie's women, what few of them there are (the more to make room for disgusting, nasty men, of course), are all saints or angels, driven to the extremes they go to because they are forced to live in the male-dominated world. Which may sound like exaggeration. Trust me, it isn't.

Leila (Parker) is a front desk clerk at a motel in the backwoods town of Suspicious River. The area is economically depressed and Leila's husband is a good-for-nothing layabout, so offered the choice at one point, Leila takes up prostitution, servicing hotel customers who want a little something more than the continental breakfast with their rooms. Initially, this is presented in a detached, almost whimsical fashion (there's a great cameo by the late, great Don Davis as one of her early clients), but all that changes when she's approached by, and beds, Gary Jensen (<em>Memento</em>'s Callum Keith Rennie), who turns out to be a local and wants to keep seeing her. (If you've seen the film, did it cross your mind as well that in a town this small, how did she not know this guy already?) After one of her dates goes bad, instead of turning to her husband, Leila finds herself calling Gary, and soon enough, the wheels are set in motion for the tragedy we know is going to occur, for Gary, too, is married. There's also a subplot with a little girl (<em>30 Days of Night: Dark Days</em>' Katie Keating) who lives in a house close to the motel who idolizes Leila, but that subplot, and the deeper meaning behind it, kind of get short shrift in this screenplay.

Despite my ranting and raving in the opening paragraph, I don't want to imply that you shouldn't see this film. If for no other reason, you should see it because Parker's performance, as all of her performances I've seen to date, is powerful and lovely. I grant you, from what I have read of the novel underlying this film, had her character been as complex as Leila-the-novel-character was, she might have stepped into Oscar territory with it, but what we get is about what one would expect from an actress of Parker's estimable caliber. More surprising is the turn from Rennie, who inhabits his scumbag with an enthusiasm that's kind of disturbing, really. Stopkewich once again teams up with DP Gregory Middleton (<em>Slither</em>), who does really, really good work in the kind of outdoors-woodsy-claustrophobic settings Stopkewich uses for her pictures, and once again he does a fantastic job of making this all look as bleak and barren as it should be.

It could be much more than it is, but what's here is worth your time, at least. ***
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, thought-provoking, original, September 15, 2005
By 
M. Schreuder (provo, utah United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
A small-town hotel clerk trapped in a lackluster marriage and backwater town near "Suspicious River" plans her escape from a life of loveless tedium by turning male guests into tricks at $60 a pop. Things spiral out of control when she falls in love with a rough-hewn stranger who turns out to be a thug, con-man, and pimp. A parallel story concerns the disintegrating marriage of the parents of little girl who seems to be a younger version of herself. The little girl and woman's lives intersect as the clerk flees for her life.

Superb acting, original story, and relentlessly depressing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but don't think too much, February 23, 2008
By 
N. Stepro (new albany, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Suspicious River (DVD)
or else you'll wonder why a man would go to all that incredible trouble to get a woman to turn tricks for him when there's so many other easy and willing women out there.
Sadly, you won't wonder why a woman would let such a man abuse her because, well, so many do.
It was 'nice'<ahem> to see Shanks in a minor bit as baseball cap creep/bad guy when he was already established as all around good guy in stargate sg1.
Slight annoyance- her wearing these flimsy sun dresses in what looked to be fall/cold weather, but both Parker and easy-on-the-eyes Rennie were excellent in their roles.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Suspicious River
Suspicious River by Lynne Stopkewich (DVD - 2004)
$14.98 $12.99
Usually ships in 5 to 7 days
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.