cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


Starring Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani,
Kathy Bates, and Chazz Palminteri
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik

IN SHORT: Do not pay your hard earned dollars to your local theater to see Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani, Kathy Bates and Chazz Palminteri in Diabolique.

And here's some unsolicited advice to the theater chain which upped its ticket price for this abomination. New York City is a small place. Raising your prices on films with absolutely no reason for being, is not the way to bring customers back in. I have six weeks and lots of theaters to choose from to avoid the extra four bits.

And more unsolicited advice to the suits responsible for green-lighting and putting this dreck into production. If you want the audience to sympathize with a pair of murderers, you'd better give us a reason why. A story that made sense would be good. A script that didn't make the audience laugh because the characters aren't speaking like real people would be good. Direction that gave the actors some idea of what they were supposed to be doing would be good. For that matter, believable acting would be good as well.

Diabolique fails on every level that there is. Yes, it is based on a film classic made 40 years back, but Cranky doesn't make comparisons. So let's view Diabolique as its own entity and take this thing apart.

Chazz Palminteri is the headmaster of a school for boys -- last stop for JD's is how it's put -- and his wife is an ex-nun, unless she wasn't. The script isn't clear and that bit of character possible background pops out of nowhere once or twice and then vanishes into the muck. It is supposes to explain the general passiveness of Adjani, but it doesn't. We're supposed to view their relationship as one of classic codependance. He has physical and sexual control over both women, and they want out.

Palminteri's character is supposed to be a bastard. He makes his wife eat chipped beef on toast with mushy peas. He stands passively by while her heart palpitates and fails -- she has a condition you see, and if she dies he gets the school.

Oh yeah, the school. For a bunch of JD's these are certainly the most passive bunch of boys I've ever seen. Then again it could be because they're stuck to their seats watching their teachers. Sharon Stone, as a modern woman, parades around in 1950s era slut wear (it wasn't slutty then, but that's how it looks now). Everything too tight. Everything pushed up. Garters and stockings under short skirts -- in the 90s??? --every teen boy's dream!!!

In-your-face intimations of a lesbian attraction between Stone and Adjani are mitigated by the fact that both women are sleeping with Palminteri, and both know and accept it. It's that passive thing again. Adjani wants him dead because Stone wants him dead for beating up on her. It's also the only way she can retain title to the school. So they kill him.

Which brings in Kathy Bates as a one-breasted detective who comes in to solve the crime without a lot of publicity. And the mastectomy remarks come flying at you with nauseating regularity.

Diabolique is supposed to be an edge-of-your-seat, you-can-hear-a-pin-drop thriller. Almost. The only sound heard in the theater where I saw it, besides that coming off the screen, were the snores of a man one row down and five seats over. Really.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Diabolique, he would have paid . . .


And no one who walked out of the theater with me (when it was all over) disagreed.

Click to buy films starring Sharon Stone
Click to buy films starring Isabelle Adjani
Click to buy films starring Kathy Bates

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.