The Secret Lives of Dentists
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Directed by Alan Rudolph, The Secret Lives of Dentists is based on a short story written by author Jane Smiley. With his loving wife Dana (Hope Davis), three daughters (Gianna Beleno, Cassidy Hinkle, Lydia Jordan), and a thriving dental practice, David Hurst (Campbell Scott) believes things couldn't possibly go any better. The façade, however, quickly crumbles after David sees his wife kissing a stranger. As David slowly goes insane, his regular conversations with a belligerent dental patient (Denis Leary) take a turn towards the surreal. Just when matters appear unable to become any… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Rudolph's fondness for angular, oblique characterization is ideally suited to the movie's incidental story of sublimated feelings and contradictory impulses."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"It's funny, honest enough to make you squirm and a film that may make you feel a little bit of the pain on the other side of that shrieking drill."
‑ Roger Davidson, Orlando Sentinel
"Retrata com sensibilidade o cotidiano de uma família em crise e representa mais uma prova dos talentos de Scott e Davis."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"...[T]he potency is abrogated by Rudolph's indulgent pretension of including Scott's personified conscience in the form of an obstreperous patient..."
‑ Greg Muskewitz,
"Refuses to chuck us under our chins and tell us everything is OK."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Domestic scenes with the kids are drawn with letter-perfect naturalism."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Rudolph's past work has been spotty, but his stress here on familial sovereignty is moving, as is his direction of the three children."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"One of those quietly brilliant indies, so small in scope that it takes a little extra attention to appreciate how deeply it plunges into its characters."
‑ Kim Linekin, eye WEEKLY
"Funny but not a comedy, slow but not plodding, narrow in scope but not uninteresting."
‑ Chris Knight, National Post
"[Campbell Scott gives] a brilliant performance, with hints of humor, rage and agony all lurking around the edges."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"There are movies that have a way of hitting you at a certain time in your life, and this study of being married with young children speaks in satisfying ways."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"A faultlessly constructed, artistic look at love, loss and truths we can't ignore."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"The Secret Lives of Dentists is a provocative title, promising much more than this domestic melodrama is able to deliver."
‑ Daniel M. Kimmel, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"For me (unlike some critics who have embraced this film), Leary becomes so persistent, so grating and so bloody irritating that I want to scream: Stop the madness! End the pain!"
‑ Bruce Kirkland, Jam! Movies
"The sly, little irony of The Secret Lives of Dentists is that their lives are pretty much the same as your typical accountant, electrician or secretary. And most likely, your life as well."
‑ Jeffrey Bruner, Des Moines Register
More reviews for The Secret Lives of Dentists on Rotten Tomatoes