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The Night Listener (2006)

Robin Williams , Toni Collette , Patrick Stettner  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, Toni Collette, Rory Culkin, Joe Morton, Bobby Cannavale
  • Directors: Patrick Stettner
  • Writers: Patrick Stettner, Armistead Maupin, Terry Anderson
  • Producers: Armistead Maupin, Brett Williams, Caroline Kaplan, Daniel Feiner
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000J3FBDO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,141 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night Listener" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scene
  • "The Night Listener Revealed" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R) winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1997; ONE HOUR PHOTO, INSOMNIA) is unforgettable in a riveting, critically acclaimed psychological thriller based on true events! Gabriel Noone (Williams), a celebrated writer and late-night talk show host, becomes captivated by the harrowing story of a young listener and his adoptive mother (Toni Collette – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, IN HER SHOES). When troubling questions arise about the boy’s identity, however, Noone finds himself drawn into a widening mystery that hides a deadly secret! Also starring Sandra Oh (SIDEWAYS, TV’s GREY'S ANATOMY) and based on the best-selling novel by Armistead Maupin, THE NIGHT LISTENER delivers unpredictable twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovers of Maupin - get this October 7, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Based on the theatrical release. THE NIGHT LISTENER is a psychological thriller based on the international bestselling novel by Armistead Maupin. The story revolves around a celebrated writer and popular late-night radio show host, Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams), who develops an intense phone relationship with a young listener named Pete (Rory Culkin) and his adopted mother (Toni Collette) just as his own domestic life is undergoing drastic changes. When troubling questions arise regarding the boy's identity, it causes Gabriel's ordered existence to spin wildly out of control as he sets out on a harrowing journey to find the truth.

This was an interesting movie. Almost like a heart warming film at first, only to become a much darker film. I wish the film went at a faster pace. But I am a fan of Maupin (the writer) from his Tales of the City. (This is not a gay film.) While not Oscar level, I liked it for a rainy afternoon.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It could have been fabulous but missed the boat January 30, 2007
By MLRapp
I really wanted to love this film for a few reasons: (1) the very compelling premise (a radio storyteller in the midst of his own relationship troubles starts receiving calls from a young fan who is trying to publish a book about his childhood abuse, only to realize this "Petey" may not be who he claims to be, if he exists at all); (2) Robin Williams played a serious role which is so rare - it was wonderful to watch him play a gay man (in what I thought was an unstereotypical way) who was so emotionally raw; (3) Toni Collette was DYNAMITE in her role as the "boy's adoptive mother" (she should have been nominated for her role); and (4) it started off in such a way that I was constantly trying to figure out what was happening, which kept me on my toes, so to speak.

However, somewhere along the line the movie missed the boat, and my above-mentioned reasons for wanting to love it were outweighed by the lack of fulfillment I had upon finishing the film. If I were a movie expert perhaps I would be better able to explain what exactly was missing from this film, but as a lay person I just felt like it didn't live up to its potential, despite the interesting plot and wonderful acting. The ending (I won't give anything away), while interesting, was completely predictable and didn't really make up for the fact that the viewer was "in the dark" for the first half of the film.

I wouldn't recommend buying this movie (or even renting it), unless you are solely interested in Toni Colette's performance which was great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Sinister August 23, 2007
There have been many criticisms of this unusual film - some warranted, others not so - though it is adeptly written, well thought-through, perfect atmosphere, excellent acting from the entire crew, including Mr. Williams as the broken hearted radio story teller and Toni Collette in the role as a social worker for a sick little boy. This is not a horror story with all the clichéd trimmings, but a true to form thriller including that required eeriness to pull off this kind of strange psychological tale.

As the film unfolds there began a cold tingle at the back of my neck which instinctively told me there was something terribly sinister hovering just under the surface. In fact, the word sinister adequately describes the entire film.

The plot itself is bizarre enough: publisher receives manuscript, a well-written manuscript from a 14 year old boy, and asks Noone (Williams) if he will take a look at it. At first reluctant, he reads the manuscript and becomes obsessed about the young author. Evidently the boy had been a victim of pornographic abuse, paedophilia and now is dying. A relationship ensues between Noone and the boy by way of the telephone. Something is wrong, however, because Noone becomes obsessed about meeting the child but whenever the opportunity arises, it always falls through.

Something else hints through as the story unfolds: oddly the little boy's voice and his carer's are somewhat similar in tone and intonation - the begging question presents itself, Are the "carer" and the dying little boy the same person?

Gabriel Noone's obsession moves into hyper drive, thus he travels across country to prove this little boy's existence.

The film picks up pace from here, of course, though it is surely Toni Collette's sinister, and very creepy performance that for me, stole the show.

Please do not let the negative reviews put you off seeing this film...if you like creepy thrillers, see it.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In Search of a Friend Who May Not Exist January 31, 2007
Night Listener is a movie based on the true story of Anthony Godby Johnson and stars Robin Williams and Toni Collette in the main roles. Williams' Gabriel character develops a phone relationship with a young boy named Pete but eventually becomes suspicious that his "friend" may not exist because no one has ever seen him. He doesn't want to accept this but he starts to wonder if it really is true. His suspicions are deepened with another person tells Gabriel that a psychological disorder exists that explains this type of behavior. Gabriel is bound and determined to find closure to this mystery and he sets off to Wisconsin in seek of the truth.

This sounds like the buildup to a great thriller/suspense film but the fact of the matter is The Night Listener doesn't quite deliver the amount of pulse- pumping, heart- thumping suspense action its premise suggests. There are a few creepy scenes in the film and some surprises. But the creepiness and the shock value never quite approach the level of a great suspense thriller. This isn't to say that Night Listener doesn't have its moments because there are a few. Toni Collette is responsible for most of the film's best and most memorable moments. Her Donna character is a blind woman; a little unstable and a little weird. You don't know exactly what she might do next and she is responsible for the few moments of suspense present in this film.

Besides the suspense, there is a deeper message to this movie and it is one that becomes more obvious as the movie drags on. It is a message of wanting to gain attention and feel the strong ties of a relationship. The lengths that some people will go to fulfill this need are varied from person to person. But you see it happening in this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love all things Robin Williams. He will be truly missed - a great comedian and actor.
Published 1 day ago by Haooy One
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great thank you
Published 3 days ago by victor m ortiz
3.0 out of 5 stars Cool yet Creepy
This movie is emotionally dark and different. Robin Williams did good in this movie as well. It was okay, but I've seen him do a lot better. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Justacitygirl2014
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good
Kinda creepy. Robin W. does a great job playing a vulnerable character who wants to believe. Has you guessing right up to the end. Not a 4 or 5 star movie but pretty good.
Published 5 days ago by Cathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, true story
Will make you mourn Robin Williams all over again. Toni Collette is incredible. Bobby Cannavale is excellent.
Published 6 days ago by Phillip E. Bovender
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved when he did these unexpected roles
RIP Robin. I loved when he did these unexpected roles.
Published 6 days ago by K. Bourgeois
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
intetesting mvie
Published 10 days ago by amalitsa anastasiou
4.0 out of 5 stars Based on true events
Good movie
Published 10 days ago by Lillian M. Billingsley
4.0 out of 5 stars we pretty much know what was going on but you have ...
Sometimes life can be stranger than fiction. This movie is based on true events and the main character is masterfully played by Robin Williams. Read more
Published 16 days ago by John Richardson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good psycological thriller, not scary, but a good hanging ending
Published 18 days ago by Holmes
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