The Gift (2000)

gift 2000 movie poster review cate blanchett
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Great cast

Story is too cliche of a mystery

Movie Info

Movie Name:   The Gift

Studio:   Lakeshore Entertainment

Genre(s):   Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):   December 21, 1999

MPAA Rating:   R

gift cate blanchett psychic giovanni ribisi

You’re psychic…you can see this ending coming a mile away!

Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is making ends meet after the death of her husband by giving readings using her psychic gift in her small Georgia town.  When Annie raises the anger of Donnie Barksdale (Keanu Reeves) who is abusing his wife Valerie (Hillary Swank), she becomes a target of his rage.  When a local socialite named Jessica King (Katie Holmes) disappears, Annie’s gift could be the key to finding her…and could turn the town against her!

Directed by Sam Raimi, The Gift is a horror-mystery thriller.  The script was written by Billy Bob Thorton and Tom Epperson and was met with modest reviews decent box office returns.

I saw The Gift in the theater.  I remember thinking is was kind of entertaining but not a great film.  Finally rewatching it, the movie maintains this view…I want to like The Gift more, but it is just an average (and predictable) thriller.  Due to the story, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

gift katie holmes ghost

I don’t want to wait for my life to be over!

Despite heavy marketing as a horror, the movie is primarily a mystery, but it isn’t a very good one.  From the start, Keanu is the obvious killer so if you know mysteries it isn’t him…then you look at the least obvious who is Kinnear.  The Gift doesn’t work as a mystery if you know anything about mysteries and the basic mystery structure.  You throw in the psychic portion with the cliché ghost story ending involving Giovanni Ribisi’s character and it becomes really predictable.

The movie does have an all-star cast (especially for 2000).  Cate Blanchett does what she can in the role of Annie, but like most of the cast is tied to a predictable story.  Katie Holmes tries to leave her good girl Dawson’s Creek image behind in the movie and Hillary Swank continues to be a solid “redneck” character (this time teamed with Keanu Reeves).  Greg Kinnear plays his typical nice guy but in the context of the film it is too nice and therefore leads to a predictable end for his character.  Other appearances include Giovanni Ribisi (in the role almost given to Billy Bob Thorton), Michael Jeter, Gary Cole, J.K. Simmons, and Rosemary Harris.

gift 2000 keanu reeves gary cole

I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow….that would be great.

The movie doesn’t have a ton of the classic Sam Raimi visuals, but it does have some of his classic moves.  There are some jumps, but a lot of the jumps involving Annie’s visions and many audio jumps with sudden rushes of sound.

The Gift is a thriller and watchable, but you can see where it is going through a lot of its turns.  This doesn’t make for a good mystery and the movie is primarily a murder mystery.  If you’ve seen any movie about psychic powers and murder, you probably can guess where this film is going…but you can maybe still enjoy the ride.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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