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3.7 out of 5 stars
The Quiet
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
Dot (Camilla Belle), an introverted deaf/mute girl moves in with her godparents after her dad gets killed. Not a welcome change to her new godsister, Nina (Elisha Cuthbert), who wants nothing to do with this "freak" at home or school, where she is a popular cheerleader. Dot tries to keep to herself, but she soon becomes a confession magnet due to her deafness to those who feel the need to get things off their chest to someone, but without the repercussions of revealing their secrets. Unfortunately for pretty much everyone in this movie, nothing is as it seems, and their actions lead to events that will tragically change the lives of those involved.

This is defintely one of those movies where you will thank your lucky stars if you have even a semblance of a good family life after watching. Dark, colorless and depressing to be sure, but surreally beautiful at the same time. Performances are excellent from all involved, particularly Belle's demure turn and Cuthbert, who has successfully increased her skills since the shaky 24 days.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2007
This movie (the trailer I saw) is very misleading, I was thinking it was going to more like teen horror, but it is actually very realistic and quite brutal in a realistic manner. You get what's going on about 20 minutes in and it's tough to watch. Believe me it gets harder. Cuthbert and Belle were very good in this, that cannot be taken away, but be sure you're ready to watch something this somber.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2007
The Quiet" is a surreal and creepy film. It is like "Twin Peaks" or "Mulholland Drive" but without the supernatural elements. It is funny in that it is really weird, but the characters in the film do not realize how strange they are.

Dot is deaf and mute and moves in with her Godmother's family. They seem to be a normal middle class family, but they're not. The father is sexually abusing the daughter and the mother is a drug addict. The daughter is cruel to Dot in front of the other kids at school. Dot makes no effort to make any friends.

But then the strangeness starts. People go out of their way to find Dot by herself and tell her their deepest and darkest secrets. Then we find out that Dot has some secrets of her own.

This is a disturbing film, especially the incest. It is filmed like a horror film. Most of it takes place in the dark. It has one of the most intriguing endings I've seen in a long time.

The professional critics missed the point of this movie. If you are in the mood for a surreal and creepy film, "The Quiet" gets my highest recommendation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2007
I am not going to summarize the plot of this movie again since it has been nicely done by several other reviewers already, but I would like to stress out that the cast of this movie is excellent. Edie Falco, Martin Donovan, Shawn Ashmore are tremendous. Camilla Belle who plays the young Dot is quite touching and very true. But most of all Elisha Cuthbert (Popular Mechanics for Kids, 24, The Girl Next Door), dazzling as usual, gives here an insight into her great skills as an actress by vividly portraying a teenage daughter who conceals her fragility under an apparent casualness, torn apart between the love she feels for her father and the deep-rooted hate she has for him too.

The subject of this film, quite dark as you probably know by now, benefits from a great visual and musical atmosphere. I would like to take off my hat to the Director of Photography who did an awsome job here.

The only tiny little flaw I see in this movie is the ending. I grant this film only four stars because of that (although I have to say that four and a half stars would have been more fair, but it is not possible!). Indeed even though the outcome is quite unexpected and very well thought, the conclusion of "The quiet" feels a bit rushed (shortage of money? lack of time? poor choice during the movie editing?), as if the Director had to push herself into getting through the end of the film faster than planned. However this is the only minor flaw of a movie you won't soon forget after watching it and moreover, I have to admit it, you will watch (and watch all over again) with renewed interest and pleasure.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 27, 2007
The Quiet fails on almost all accounts. I think the best part of this DVD is the cover and the title (I mean, that's a pretty catchy, timely title, when we have movies like The Grudge, The Prestige, The Messengers, etc. etc.). Anyway, from the very opening frames The Quiet starts to lose the credibility that a film starring Camilla Belle should have. (I mean, this is the girl that made the remake of When a Stranger Calls into a decent thriller).

The basic plot is that the "perfect" suburban family (Martin Donovan and Edie Falco, and cheerleader daughter played by Elisha Cuthbert) have taken in their goddaughter Dot, a troubled young girl who is deaf and dumb... or IS she? Believe me, I'm not spoiling the plot, she's narrating the very first shot of the film. This is where the plot seems to falter. The characters in the film don't know that Dot can hear and speak, but the audience clearly does. This great divide doesn't provide the kind of voyeuristic knowledge you might think. It just makes it seem obvious and makes the other characters seem duller.

Especially when they start telling Dot their "deepest secrets" thinking that she can't hear them. The worst part about this is that they look right into her eyes while telling her, even though they know that she can read lips... so her being deaf has nothing to do with whether she "hears" their secrets or not.

The problems with this film are multi-faceted, but the main issue really seems to be uninspired directing. Most of the scenes just fall flat. And often there are sets that appear to be filled with smoke, but why? Why? To provide some sort of eerie feeling to the audience that the script isn't driving home?

The story is overtly creepy and melancholy, but not in a way that really connects with the viewers. Mostly audiences will come off feeling dirty for watching and ready for the whole thing to be over. Even the climactic few scenes are severely lacking in emotional connectivity. How can we care about the immense tragedy occuring, when we don't care about any of the characters?

The DVD contains a few extra featurettes, but they're just as uninspired as the film itself. The featurette entitled THE CAST is the best simply because you get to see a very bored looking director (Jamie Babbit) talk about how she didn't get the cast she originally wanted, and then half-heartedly try to cover that up by vaguely touching on the qualities of her actors. (i.e. "Camilla Belle will play a much different Dot than Thora Birch would have.")

Overall, after viewing this film, it's very clear why it took two years to make a theatrical and DVD release. There simply isn't the audience for this film. Hopefully the next releases from Burnt Orange Productions will be more inspired than this one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2007
Now this is one of the sickest and most disturbing storylines I've come across. But, if you fight your urges of disgust and sit through the whole movie and judge the movie, not the story, you'll realize what a powerful and extremely well made movie this is. This is sure to haunt you for weeks after watching. But that is testament to how well the movie is made.

Camilla Belle is simply awesome in portraying Dot. Elisha Cutbert also shows that she can indeed act (you'll know what I mean if you've seen her previous movies). You'll keep hearing the music of the movie long after it done. So please watch and enjoy this wonderful movie before judging it on it's creepy story. You'll talk about the quiet after the storm with your friends once you've watched this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2007
At first glance, "The Quiet" appears to be the same pseudo-psychological thriller starring the hottest cast of teenagers around. It's actually quite far from that. It's a film that's part John Waters part David Lynch, but without the class of the latter and the humor of former. It's unlike anything that I've seen in this kind of film for a long time. It stars the super-talented Camilla Belle as Dot, a deaf and mute girl who is taken in by her godparents (Martin Donovan & Edie Falco) when her father dies. Her new sister Nina (Elisha Cuthbert), a beautiful, 17-year-old cheerleader hates her. Because of her problems, Dot is immediately labeled a freak and social outcast. It's clear, obvious really, from the beginning that Dot is hiding a secret or two. Same with Nina, although it doesn't take you long to figure out exactly what's going on with that. Now this is a twisted film that isn't aimed at the teenage audience most of these films are aimed at. It's looking for an adult audience as it deals with a lot of sexual topics (indeed, 75% of the dialogue is sexual in nature), incest, murder, and a whole jubilee of other weird stuff. One thing "The Quiet" captures well is the way teenagers talk. Sex is a touchy subject among teenagers in movies, while sex here is completely unhibited. A lot of the dialouge though is stuff that teenagers think and wouldn't actually say. "The Quiet" could have been a bigger hit with critics (with this subject matter, it would've never been a box-office hit) if the material was handled better. This is familar material, but it's not usually handled in major motion pictures...And the writers have clearly been watching too many soap operas. Falco, a talented actress, as Nina's mother is the stereotypical pill-popping mother we see in at least 10 movies each year. Donovan, as the father, seems to have based his performance upon Stellan Skarsgaard in "The Glass House" and it's not a stretch to say Falco seems to have got inspiration from Diane Lane in that same film. "The Quiet" does stray away from other stereotypes like the "happy ending." The bad guys essentially get away in this film...But it makes a lot of mistakes along the way and many "serious" scenes border on parody. The director messed up too by filming a few scenes here-and-there with a different camera, giving it a cheap straight-to-video look. "The Quiet" will surprise you when you pop it in and find out it's not the sister-sequel to "When a Stranger Calls" and then they'll be pissed when they don't know if they're supposed to be shocked or crying with laughter.

GRADE: C+
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2007
WHAT THE BOX DOESN'T TELL YOU

The truth, but that is meant as compliment in every way. Trailers and the less than extrodinary DVD case would have you believe you're renting another run of the mill thriller, which unapologetically casts its young beauties in roles they are more well known for centering around angst-ridden teen struggles situations of mild horror. Expect something different.

WHY I WOULD RENT IT AGAIN

There's some deep situations both girls encounter on their road back to friendship and their individual fight for emotional survival. The movie won't leave you feeling empty inside. Good direction by Jamie Babbit ensures you'll get from beginning to end without encountering weak segues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Quiet us a very disconcerting movie. The entire movie is very dark, from the story to the setting. It deals quite frankly with sexual abuse and violence. After her parents die, Dot gets adopted by the family of one of her childhood friends. Since she does not hear or speak, she becomes a sounding board for all of the family secrets, as well as some of her friends from school. Many of these secrets have dramatic effects on people by the end of the movie.

I liked this movie, but only watch it if you have a strong stomach.
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on March 4, 2013
For full disclosure, I watched this in HD on "free" TV, where it was edited for content. I'm going to have to watch it again since, while I knew what people were saying, there were too many blips that took away from this underrated film.

This is the first movie that I've seen with Camilla Belle, and I think that she has some pretty decent acting chops. She doesn't say much in this film -- she supposedly is deaf and mute -- so she has to make up for this with mostly action. Nice work. (After watching this film I decided to watch "From Prada to Nada," which I will review later.)

I believe that some of the subject matter in this film turned off the critics, or more likely, they didn't want to acknowledge that they liked it because of that subject matter. If so, shame on them. Without going into too many details, this stuff goes on in the real world so just deal with it already and stop burying your heads in the sand, I say! Sometimes life is just plain dirty, and movies should mirror what happens in real life. Otherwise, filmmakers are just lying, which segues us right to our theme. . . .

But this film is mostly about secrets, and probably more important, dishonesty and lying. Everyone here lies, even Ms. Belle, in an ironic twist. But the real question is: is it better to never hear anything, including lies, or is it better to be able to listen to lies that are interspersed with little truths here and there? On somewhat of a side note, I have read that everyone lies, including non-human animals, and those lies actually allow societies to exist. Could you imagine if you had to tell everyone the truth all day long? You surely wouldn't want to talk with anyone! "Does this dress make me look fat?" might be the most tortuous question of the day, for both the asker and the answerer.

This is surprisingly good dark comedy, and I really enjoyed it. I considered going a 5, but just couldn't do it. But a strong recommendation, and a strong 4 from me.
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