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The Shipping News

Drama . Romance

An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life.

Actors: Kevin Spacey , Julianne Moore , Cate Blanchett , Judi Dench , Pete Postlethwaite , Scott Glenn , Rhys Ifans , Gordon Pinsent , Jason Behr , Katherine Moennig
Directors: Lasse Hallström
Country: USA
Release: 2002-01-18
More Info:
  • William Arnold

    In a time when even the best of big Hollywood movies all seem to be mired in a certain nagging, unimaginative visual sameness, this one dares to take us to a place we haven't been before.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Gregory Weinkauf

    Hallström has leavened the story's bleakness with great warmth, fashioning one of the finest films of the year.

    New Times (L.A.) Full Review
  • Russell Smith

    It's a consistently entertaining story.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    Beside its major virtues, it contains a vice: that one flat lead performance. Who would have thought Kevin Spacey would ever go dull on us?

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Bob Graham

    It's hardly possible to overstate what a welcome change of pace The Shipping News is for admirers of Kevin Spacey.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Kim Morgan

    Stays engaging, chiefly, through the textured, ambiguous performances of Spacey, Moore and Dench.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    It's worth seeing at the very least because it is so different from standard Hollywood fare.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    The choice made by Kevin Spacey in taking on the role of Quoyle in the film adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News nearly sinks it. But not quite.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Despite its haunting artistry and its winning eccentricities, The Shipping News is a vehicle that's still very much at sea.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    But, lord, the characters are tireless in their peculiarities; it's as if the movie took the most colorful folks in Lake Wobegon, dehydrated them, concentrated the granules, shipped them to Newfoundland, reconstituted them with Molson's and issued them Canadian passports.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Spacey is endearing, bringing his shy character to life despite glaring psychological gaps in the screenplay.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    This morbid and self-consciously literary adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer-winning novel is no crowd pleaser.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Everything has a fusty, embalmed quality: Whatever gave the novel its vitality has been smothered.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Michael Dequina

    A passive film, playing it quiet and safe, hoping that the viewer will extend some good will towards it.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Jessica Winter

    In lieu of vaporous message-mongering, the languid, episodic narrative -- centering on hapless sadsack Quoyle (Spacey) -- streams along by the gentle force of a convincing melancholic undertow, a dejection and longing that's not so much surmounted as sustained.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Doesn't really work but has a good cast and great craggy ocean-framed scenery.

    Slate Full Review
  • Robert Koehler

    Seems to be playing the author's music, but like a string quartet that plays a half-beat off.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lisa Alspector

    This atmosphere-heavy drama, with its comfortably quirky characters, elegant performances, and ever shifting tone, is so innocuous it's not worth panning.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    A limp and sodden downer.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    Spacey mucks up an otherwise pretty and pleasantly vague take on E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Full Review
  • John Powers

    Spacey is nobody's idea of a goodhearted innocent, and I wonder why nobody has told him he'll blow his career if he keeps trying to pass himself off as Mr. Sensitive. It's time to go back to playing assholes. That's what he's good at, and that's why we love him.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The final product is soft at the center, a rustic cinematic greeting card.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    It's a portrayal so unconvincing it makes it close to impossible for the rest of the film to function as intended.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    Awash in hackneyed old-time secrets and hydrophobic metaphor, never consumes us as it should.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The language is leaden, the pace glacial and the characters indecipherable. It's easier to read the actors -- they all seem eager to win an Oscar. Fat chance.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    The Shipping News is good news, but not as good as it could have been.

    Boston Globe Full Review
Add Soundtrack

  • sex

  • adultery

  • based on novel

  • fishing

  • isolation

  • newfoundland

  • kidnapping

  • survival

  • reporter

  • drunk

  • newspaper

  • ship

  • wake

  • employee employer relationship

  • husband wife relationship

  • canada

  • single parent

  • parenthood

  • redemption

  • winter

  • urn

  • ocean

  • father daughter relationship

  • widow

  • rural setting

  • woman on top

  • watching television

  • vomiting

  • sex scene

  • brother rapes sister

  • newfoundland canada

  • houseboat smashed up

  • dead man arises at wake

  • house collapses in storm

  • head in coolbox

  • irish

  • party

  • newspaper article

  • story

  • remote control

  • nightmare

  • pirate

  • cove

  • flashback

  • candle

  • cadaver

  • ancestor

  • thunder

  • magic

  • ritual

  • ice

  • lightning

  • cairn

  • graveyard

  • ice skates

  • superstition

  • rite

  • chainsaw

  • gravestone

  • ice skating

  • sewing machine

  • decapitation

  • atlantic ocean

  • newspaper headline

  • ambulance

  • visions

  • kite

  • bandage

  • anger

  • musician

  • computer

  • pattern

  • children

  • leukemia

  • reference to robert burns

  • doll

  • custom

  • reference to adolf hitler

  • tradition

  • playground

  • mental retardation

  • scream

  • newspaper office

  • carpenter

  • reference to william shakespeare

  • writer

  • moose

  • car wreck

  • photographer

  • notes

  • fever

  • corpse

  • newspaper editor

  • campfire

  • hockey game

  • rescue

  • search

  • job interview

  • remoteness

  • detective

  • wound

  • ice hockey

  • investigation

  • father son relationship

  • diner

  • infidelity

  • voice over

  • nightclub

  • printer

  • factory

  • memory

  • time

  • raining

  • bar

  • little boy

  • underwater

  • rope

  • lake

  • hospital

  • snow

  • boat

  • fish

  • dream

  • village

  • baby

  • woods

  • tears

  • weather

  • pregnancy

  • map

  • island

  • crying

  • ferry

  • accident

  • cable

  • sweat

  • bridge

  • desertion

  • babysitter

  • panties

  • bartender

  • mortality

  • metaphor

  • casual sex

  • hearse

  • body bag

  • little girl

  • buttocks

  • symbolism

  • three word title

  • tragedy

  • single father

  • seaside

  • poverty

  • mother daughter relationship

  • marriage

  • incest rape

  • haunted by the past

  • death

  • death in family

  • aunt nephew relationship

  • adulterous wife

  • abusive wife

  • box office flop

  • single mother

  • boat accident

  • starting over

  • marital problem

  • fisherman

  • compassion

  • car crash

  • aunt

  • wire

  • typewriter

  • thong

  • television

  • telephone

  • tea

  • river

  • rain

  • photograph

  • paper airplane

  • nursery school

  • kiss

  • ibm

  • drunkenness

  • driving

  • dinner

  • camera

  • bra

  • ashes

  • accordion

  • house

  • landscape

  • storm

  • rape

  • mother son relationship

  • curse

  • back from the dead

  • small town

  • outhouse

  • piracy

  • journalism

  • severed head

  • outsider

  • car accident

  • incest

  • capsize

  • pulitzer prize source

  • widower