Box art for Sleuth


comedy, drama

In this mystery thriller, two of Hollywood's finest actors, Academy Award Nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Academy Award Winner Michael Caine (Cider House Rules) battle wits in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Intense cat-and-mouse thriller is for adults only.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sleek, adult-oriented thriller tackles mature themes -- infidelity, violence, murder -- from the get-go. Swear words (including "f--k") and other inflammatory language are hurled like weapons; later, actual weapons (including guns and knives) are brandished. It's clear from the beginning that main characters Milo and Andrew aim to annihilate each other. Even older teens may find the film's brutality uncomfortable: This is no cartoonishly violent video game, but an ugly, down and dirty obliteration.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about infidelity. Can it truly drive people to extremes like the ones shown in this movie, or is that an exaggeration on Hollywood's part? Why is the media so fascinated by love gone awry? Why do you think the filmmakers choose not to show Maggie? Should they have? If you've seen the 1970s original, you can compare and contrast the two. How are they similar and different? Which do you like better? Why?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 30
    see all Sleuth reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Pinter's pauses, and the dour air of so much of the interplay, just don't fit on a story that's this slight.

- Alonso Duralde, MSNBC, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Little more than a sleek, stylish stunt.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, October 25, 2007


- Bob Mondello,, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I came into this movie quite skeptical. After all, the original film was quite good, but its goodness was based on its surprises. Ergo, I reasoned, the same story would fail to surprise me and consequently fail to be good. But that reasoning underestimates the abilities of Harold Pinter, he of the pregnant pause, one of the best playwrights of the twentieth century. Pinter re-worked the script and made it his own, and the new Sleuth surpasses the old. Wyke goes from a rather dangerous eccentric to a sadistic psychopath, and Tindle goes from a handsome though quick-witted playboy to a bisexual male whore. And these interesting changes say nothing about the moments in between, the actors who fill the silence with sharp characterizations or mesmerizing stillness. The film does suffer from an almost-too-busy set design, and at the end of the day, while this may seem like a contradiction, there truly is only so much even a writer as skilled as Pinter can do with this material. Overall, this is worth an hour and a half of your time, especially if you saw the original.

- hunterjt13, Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1 star

Two actors, one set; a classic stage production movie. However, for such a movie to work it needs top quality acting and a witty, sharp dialogue. This has neither. I've not seen a film with so many quotes that are memorable for being so bad in a long time.

- RossCollinsUK, Monday, August 30, 2010

2 stars

everything beside the acting is so wrong...

- citawijaya, Thursday, January 21, 2010