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A nail-biting psychological thriller, that never lets you go. Set in New York State, the story center's on juvenile murderer, Eric Poole, who at 18, is released from jail having served his sentence for the murder of a young girl. Russell Crowe plays the hard-bitten detective who put him away and who is sure that Poole is a potential serial killer who will reoffend. He makes it his mission to keep Poole under surveillance as he sets off on a seemingly innocent road trip up-state. But all is not as it seems as Poole soon finds himself on the run with a young girl who has become obsessed with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Crowe's lumbering presence is a relief from all the gothic heaviness, but director John Polson's elliptical storytelling style quickly becomes an irritant."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"An arty psychological thriller that never catches fire as either a serial killer flick or character study."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Polson maintains an unsettling tension throughout the narrative, building his slow-burn thriller to a climax that deliberately runs counter to the in-your-face genre principles of which he proved such a master with his first two thriller outings."
‑ Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia)
"Cormier himself called Tenderness a tough book written in "a minor key" and perhaps Polson was inspired by the description. But if so, he doesn't come close."
‑ Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
"The mood that Polson creates is a little like walking into a thick mist and finding yourself lost in the fog. Perhaps we get a little too lost within, but much of the film is engrossing, as are the performances"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
"A movie undone by its formulaic plot conventions, and its need to give its star more screen time than his characters merits."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Russell Crowe stumbles through lifeless thriller."
‑ Don Groves, sbs.com.au
"Since moving to Hollywood, Australian director John Polson has become a very competent filmmaker. I hope he finds better scripts for his future projects."
‑ Jason Di Rosso, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"It does have a few plot contrivances, but the tension is skilfully built and the cast is uniformly excellent."
‑ David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)
"Crowe, who spends the movie trudging along ... and waxing lyrical about pain and pleasure, must be hoping no one sees this mawkish blunder. He will probably get his wish."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"The picture is crowded with captivating tones and contemplation, navigating a tricky tale of murder, perversion, and obsession with a fine edge of suspense and an interesting take on the human condition."
‑ Brian Orndorf, DVDTalk.com
"It's hard to understand what keeps these characters moving, and without true indie grit or the runaway tension that would otherwise satisfy the multiplex, Tenderness drops somewhere in-between...and that is mostly a disappointing nowhere."
‑ Colin Fraser, FILMINK (Australia)
"This is a fascinating study, but the adaptation struggles to get the story across with as much punch as it might. On the other hand, John Polson shows a lucid eye for the genre"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
More reviews for Tenderness on Rotten Tomatoes