Critic Consensus: Like a grand staircase within the famous mansion that inspired it, Winchester appears poised to get a rise out of audiences, but ultimately leads nowhere.
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Critic Reviews for Winchester
What is Helen Mirren doing in what is essentially a B-movie? I can't say but she brings great dignity to lines that are, at times, literally unspeakable.
This speaks to Winchester's overall failure of imagination-it's the sort of forgettable movie that could have been a memorable one.
It shouldn't happen to anyone, much less a Dame - not a movie of such barreling awfulness that it strands the great Helen Mirren in a gothic house of cards that collapses on actors and audiences alike.
In "Winchester," the Spierigs have made a blunt and pissy American political film about the national curse of firearms and the unslaked, violent, destructive anger of the defeated Confederacy.
You watch "Winchester" thinking about the movie that might have been, and wishing that those ghosts would transport Mirren into that movie, immediately.
Audience Reviews for Winchester
Inspired by a "true" story, Winchester is an atmospheric supernatural thriller. While visiting the estate of eccentric heiress Sarah Winchester to conduct a mental health assessment, Doctor Eric Price notices several strange occurrences, including an attack on Mrs. Winchester, and learns that she's constructing an elaborate series of rooms to contain the ghosts of those who died violent deaths at the hands of Winchester firearms. Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke lead the cast and delivers fairly solid performances. But the storytelling is rather poor and the director doesn't really explore the strange and bizarre design of the house to any great degree. Still, there's an interesting mystery as to who or what is behind the attacks at the house. And, there are a number of creepy and suspenseful moments. Yet overall, Winchester is a mediocre horror film that doesn't live up to the mystery of the real house and the woman who built it.
If you have nothing better to do, it may help as a pastime. Apparently, only once.
A old curse hangs over the fortuned old house of the famed Winchester repeating rifle empire, whose property is overseen by the eldest Winchester (played decently by Dame Helen Mirren). A psych doctor is called to check on her mental acuity ... maybe the old bird is bonkers, yeah? But no. The house is haunted, and haunted indeed. And you get a decent time at the flickers, yeah?
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