Saturday Movie Review – “Conspiracy Theory”

The Saturday movie reviews continue.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Mel Gibson as Jerry Fletcher

Julia Roberts as Alice Sutton

Patrick Stewart as Dr. Jonas

Written by Brian Helgeland

Directed by Richard Donner

Complete information is available from the

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Past movie reviews can be found here.


Jerry Fletcher is a conspiracy nut who publishes a
small newsletter
details the conspiracies he sees around himself. It
looks like he
might have gotten one of them right.

High Point

The opening credits. First, the Warner Brothers logo
becomes an ad on
the side of a bus, setting up the ongoing “things
aren’t always what
they seem” theme that pervades the film. Then the
credits roll, shown
as the reflections of neon signs in the windows of
Jerry Fletcher’s
cab. While these credits roll, we hear Jerry rant
about numerous
topics, telling people about tracking strips in $100
bills, locator
chips in pets that could eventually be used to track
people (and he
wasn’t far
on that one), and other topics, often
amusing the audience
enough to get us to like the guy. Then Jerry has one
of his episodes,
and we see a very different side of him.

Low Point

The dialogue strictly adhered to the script even the
props no longer
matched up. (For example, referring to a “painting”
that is obviously
an expanded pictures, or giving 23 as a number to a
combination for a
lock that isn’t big enough to use more than single

The Scores

This openly admits that it’s not the first movie of
this type, so you
know it can’t be great when it comes to
originality. I’ve
seen a few of these movies, though, and this one is
certainly the most
fun. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects are minimal in this. In fact, I
think they’re
limited to the use of different lens formats when
Jerry’s taking his
gravy, but that’s all the script called for, and it
worked fairly
well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story has many subtle points that come
together nicely as
the film progresses, with some twists and turns along
the way. In
general, the script works very well. The only portion
that I find
hard to accept is the part where a guy this paranoid
gets hit by “love
at first sight.” I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is very well done all around. Mel
Gibson carries
the film, often with his muttered conversations to
himself. (I love
the “nobody ever sees what I see” line in particular.)
The rest of the
cast do very good work, both as supporting players and
as characters in
their own right. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very good. The
movie is still fun
and involving after several viewings. It’s just a
really fun flick
with some genuine mystery involved. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The production has style, multiple camera
angles, unusual and
inventive shots (such as the opening credit
reflections mentioned
above), and a variety of shot depths which work well
to draw the
viewer in and out of a character’s psyche. Carter
Burwell’s score is
also a great one, underpinning the story with music
that is both dark
and uptempo, capturing the tone of the film very well.
I give it 6 out
of 6.

Overall, this is a very fun and enjoyable
movie that I
heartily endorse. The DVD is cheap enough that it’s
certainly worth
owning rather than renting, especially as there are a
number of
subtleties that aren’t obvious on a first viewing. I
give it 5 out of

In total, Conspiracy Theory receives 36 out
of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Join us next week for a review of Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon

2 replies on “Saturday Movie Review – “Conspiracy Theory””

  1. A Favorite
    I really enjoyed this movie and have fond memories of it. I was, however, a bit disappointed that *all* of his conspiracy theories came true by the end of the movie (the black helicopter comes to mind)–I think that was overdoing it a bit. The guy was paranoid, and it would have been better if we’d had to weed out the truth versus fiction.

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  2. Surprisingly good
    I saw this at theatre as a substitute for a movie I wanted to see, but it had just gone off the roster the day before.

    This turned out to be better than what I wanted to see : )

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