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Straw Dogs (18)


L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.

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The critical consensus

The 2011 version of Straw Dogs is a bland, soulless confection, devoid of cultural resonance, and a waste of time for cast, crew and audience alike.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Eddie Harrison, The List, 12/10/2011

Lurie's remake doesn't bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table. The thick fug of moral ambiguity, so disconcerting in Peckinpah's film, is missing, replaced by certainties rife in modern horror. The result is a bit of yawn enlivened only by James Woods' delirious bad guy.

**(*)(*)(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 31/10/2011

This version feels like a potboiler that can’t match the shocks of the original Straw Dogs, partly because it is out of sync with changed times.

**(*)(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 01/11/2011

Director Rod Lurie keeps the action fast and furious, yet because the characters are so simply drawn the tension just isn’t there.

**(*)(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 03/11/2011

The plot boils up nicely.

***(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 03/11/2011

This is a fairly straightforward tale of rednecks versus city folk and it lacks the original’s chaotic carnivalesque undercurrent.

***(*)(*)Robbie Collin,The Telegraph, 03/11/2011

A solid set-up, with its parade of drunken hillbillies, means it simmers steadily and retains a certain clammy power, though it is overlong and some of the 180 degree turns are a bit hard to buy.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 03/11/2011

A depressing sign of the times.

**(*)(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 04/11/2011

An intriguing, if flawed, update.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 04/11/2011

An unnecessary remake – most of them are – but not short of subtlety or excitement.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 03/11/2011

Uneven but intriguing and much, much better than expected. Uneven but intriguing and much, much better than expected.

Jonathan Crocker, Little White Lies, 03/11/2011

It isn't badly made, but what's the point of rebooting Straw Dogs, if the only object is to repackage it, and make it marginally less offensive?

**(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 03/11/2011

Rather than spinning in his grave, Peckinpah is probably merely rotating.

****(*)Daily Record, 04/11/2011

Rod Lurie brings key aspects to heel but his Straw Dogs is worth a walk around the block. It certainly deserved more than $10m at the US box office.

***(*)(*)Jamie Graham, Total Film, 04/11/2011

Ultimately Lurie's film isn't in the same class as Peckinpah's flawed classic, but it's a respectable, respectful and rather good film.

Philip French, The Observer, 06/11/2011

Straw Dogs (18)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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