The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is director Curtis Hanson's suburban horror story of a demented nanny bent on revenge for past wrongs. Peyton (Rebecca De Mornay) was once a happily married woman, but when her doctor husband is accused of assaulting a patient and he commits suicide, her world falls apart and she plots revenge. Claire (Annabella Sciorra), the woman who made the accusation, hires Peyton as a nanny, not knowing of their past involvement. Peyton then proceeds to terrorize the family, attempts to seduce the husband and generally destroy Claire as she feels she has been destroyed.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is De Mornay's film and she's a wicked treat, looking daggers at her enemy one moment and then glazing over with sweetness the next."
‑ Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
"With its banal, docile household threatened by an enemy within, the film is like The Stepfather without wit or irony."
‑ Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is that rare thing, a realistic thriller wise enough not to sell short any of its characters. Just be prepared to become very, very scared when you see it."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, though it positions itself as chilling suspense, is not even mildly scary; it's just offensive."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"Five years before adapting and directing the modern masterpiece L.A. Confidential, Curtis Hanson helmed this sizable box office hit that, like 1987's Fatal Attraction, used home invasion as a crafty commercial hook."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"The film is unusually gripping."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"At its best, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a bright, nasty psychological thriller with a joker up its sleeve."
‑ Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times
"This is pure unbridled hokum, of course, but extremely effective until the last 30 minutes, when the plot rapidly self-destructs."
‑ Sue Heal, Radio Times
"Exploitation of child abuse and baby-stealing make this one a particularly nasty business."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"De Mornay seems to have found her true vocation playing the nanny from hell, but while the ensuing thrills may well be enjoyed by many, anyone with offspring of their own would be wise to stay away."
‑ , Film4
"The careful structure of THTRTC guarantees that the movie will generate a fair amount of suspense throughout. But the single-mindedness of the movie is a genuine limitation, and, watching it, you begin to feel spoon-fed."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Unpretentious and efficient."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"All of the best parts here go to women -- Sciorra, De Mornay and Julianne Moore in a funny supporting bit as Claire's cynical, suspicious friend."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Things go about the way you expect them to, but Curtis Hanson, who directed, manages to make it work."
‑ Lou Cedrone, Baltimore Sun
"This jovially sinister, middle-class morality tale-cum-horror show is predictable, implausible and fiendishly entertaining."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Rotten Tomatoes