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Secret Window

A movie directed by David Koepp

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Another Depp Goodie!

  • Mar 13, 2004
Pros: Great actors, interesting story

Cons: A little predictable, you'll either like it or you just plain won't

The Bottom Line: The bottom line at the theatre was to long, due to The Passion. But I loved this movie!

My boyfriend surprised me last night by taking me to see Secret Window because it stars my real boyfriend; Johnny Depp, and he knew I'd see it one way or another. I had heard mostly not-so-good things about this movie, and wasn't expecting much from it. However, despite many people's claims that it wouldn't be that great, I thought it was fantastic.

Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is a writer suffering from writer's block. He recently found out his wife Amy (Maria Bello) is cheating on him, so he is currently staying in a cabin on the lake, hoping for peace and lots of time for writing. His writing however, isn't coming easy, and the stress of his life is beginning to show. His dog and his house-keeper are the only real companions (if you can even call them that) that he sees day to day, and being companion-less doesn't do much for a man's spirit either.

Then one day, Mort meets John Shooter (John Turturrow), who immediately informs Mort that he stole John's story. Mort, who we get the feeling later in the movie has plagiarized once before, is not happy about this accusation, but though he tries to take it with a grain of salt he can't stop thinking about it. After a restless nap, Mort wakes up one evening looking for his dog, whom he soon finds, though not alive and well. After this and a few other disturbing incidents, he realizes that Shooter will go to extremes to get Mort to "fix the ending" of his story. Mort enlists the help of a detective friend, despite Shooter's advice that he leave the police out of it.

As the story unfolds, we begin to wonder who, exactly, John Shooter is. We also see how Mort's character goes from pretty stressed to, well... more stressed. He's not getting along well with his wife and her new boyfriend, especially since they are currently so determined to get Mort to sign the divorce papers.

The ending, while some people seemed to strongly dislike it, was probably my favorite part. We do eventually find out who John Shooter is, and where he came from, and its surprising, indeed.

I really liked the camera work in this film. Someone else mentioned this as well in another review; the camera angles and cuts seem to mimic the current state of Mort's mind. They change and alter as the film goes on, though it happens subtley. I also really liked the fact that Secret Window mostly seemed to be filmed in the same location; at Mort Rainey's cabin. There wasn't too much gore, or too much detail, but this subtleness only added to the psychological horror of this movie. Also, this movie had quite a few various humorous parts. Some of the parts made everyone in the theatre laugh; others made only me laugh, possibly because it was dark or sarcastic, and I'm into that more than others seem to be. The very last scene is the funniest, and I think everyone will agree with me.

As always, Johnny Depp made this movie fantastic. His character, Mort Rainey was right up his alley; his forte seems to be weird characters. John Turturro also did a great job; he played a character that was innocent looking, but scary and just plain weird at the same time. I remember him from Mr. Deeds; my boyfriend often quotes, "Don't underestimate the sneaky." He seems to be a pretty flexible actor as well.

This movie is based on Stephen King's novella "Secret Window, Secret Garden." I plan on reading it as soon as I get done writing this (I'm at work -the library-).


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More Secret Window reviews
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Being an avid Johnny Depp fan, I watched this movie for the 50th time again last night. Based on Steven King's "Secret Window Secret Garden" this film is one that I can watch over and over again and still be entertained.                                                      Depp plays author Mort Rainey who …
review by . November 07, 2009
Some windows should never be opened...
I've seen psychological thriller's that try to scare you more than melt your brain, this one I'm proud to say does both. It's a very, very malicious and haunting thrill machine. I t brings the very essence of how horror and Psycho thriller's are suppose to be done, not with over the top gore and CGI, but with old school conventional means.          Secret Window is as sinister as it is smart it rolls along at a very steady pace and brings more to the table than what …
review by . April 30, 2009
Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) a writer in a remote house in upstate New York, encounters an "apparent" fan, a character named Shooter (John Turturro). Shooter has accused Mort of stealing his story and threatens to kill Mort and everyone he may have ever known if he doesn't fix the situation.       Mort hires a special investigator (Charles Dutton to locate Mr. Shooter and try to stop him.       Shooter begins affecting Mort and his life almost immediately, …
review by . January 26, 2009
Johnny Depp plays a strange character in this movie. I am not going into much detail on this review because I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone that intends on watching it. To give a brief summary Johnny Depp catches his wife cheating on him at the beginning of the movie and they separate and file for divorce. He is a successful author and is working on him next book when a man shows up at his front door and complains that he stole his story years ago. This man threatens and continues to …
review by . November 15, 2008
Secret Window
Back in 1990 Stephen King wrote a fairly forgettable short story in his "Four Past Midnight" collection (more widely known for the story 'The Langoliers') called "Secret Window, Secret Garden." Fourteen years later it comes to sighing, whispering life on the screen, portrayed with excellent acting and a very clean script.     Johnny Depp has morphed into a truly great actor, talented and versatile, and he brings Mort Rainey's quirky writer's personality into a fully fleshed out …
review by . November 17, 2008
This is a typical Stephen King story, well adapted for the big screen, and held together by the intriguing and extremely talented Johnny Depp. Depp plays Mort Rainey, author of a novel titled "Secret Window", who is suffering from writer's block, nicotine withdrawal symptoms and being nearly divorced from his wife (Maria Bello, looking the opposite of Coyote Ugly)     The title of this review has a triple translation. The first is because Mr. Depp is so good in it; the second …
review by . March 04, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) a writer in a remote house in upstate New York, encounters an "apparent" fan, a character named Shooter (John Turturro). Shooter has accused Mort of stealing his story and threatens to kill Mort and everyone he may have ever known if he doesn't fix the situation.     Mort hires a special investigator (Charles Dutton to locate Mr. Shooter and try to stop him.     Shooter begins affecting Mort and his life almost immediately, Mort's …
review by . February 04, 2005
Pros: Johnny Depp     Cons: .........     The Bottom Line: ______________     Well now.       Original storyline? No. Incredible delivery? Yes.       I won’t try to blow smoke up your bum, this would be just another Stephen King book brought to the screen in a mildly amusing manner if it wasn’t for Johnny Depp. It’s not like the story itself is original, although King adds his own whimsical …
review by . February 01, 2005
Secret Window, is listed as suspense rather than the usual horror label, an adaptation of a Stephen King story, "Secret Window, Secret Garden". But with a cast featuring Johnny Depp, John Tuturro and Charles Dutton, I thought this movie would be worth the effort. And it is, as far as the acting concerned, but the acting seriously outweighs the quality of the screenplay, which begins promisingly enough, but fails to deliver much in the way of ongoing suspense. However, there is an uneven tension …
review by . July 19, 2004
Pros: Johnny Depp - pretty scenery     Cons: The plot - the dialogue - could not be taken seriously     The Bottom Line: This should win a Golden Turkey Award. Bad story, bad acting, just all around a let down.     I am a fan of Johnny Depp. I enjoy his acting and seek out his films. He always brings a unique perspective to his work which I enjoy. I am also a big fan of John Turturro and have seen almost all of his films. Again, he brings …
About the reviewer
Laura Elizabeth 'Anderson' Brack ()
Ranked #319
I'm brand new to Lunch and looking to get settled. I write on epinions.com as laurashrti, and enjoy writing product reviews.      I'm a 27-year-old library employee working … more
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About this movie


Starring Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro, Timothy Hutton
Directed by David Koepp
Writer:  David Koepp (screenplay) Stephen King (story)
Based on the short story "Secret Window, Secret Garden" by Stephen King

Product Description
Mort rainey a writer just coming off a troublesome divorce with his ex-wife amy finds himself stalked at his remote lake house by a psychotic stranger who claims mort stole his best story idea (changing just the ending). Based on a steven king novel: secret window secret garden. Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 09/20/2005 Starring: Johnny Depp Maria Bello Run time: 96 minutes Rating: Pg13
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Director: David Koepp
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Release Date: March 12, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 22, 2004
Runtime: 1hr 46min
Studio: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Grand Slam Productions
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