Cape Fear (1991) Movie Review

Cape Fear Cover Poster Art

1991 | R | Thriller, Crime
128 minutes /

User Score: 73/100

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Cape Fear Review


A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Martin Scorsese directed Cape Fear (1991) is a crime thriller movie. Cape Fear was nominated for 2 Oscars and won 4 movie awards with another 15 movie award nominations. Cape Fear had a $35 million estimated movie budget and grossed $79.1 million at the US box office.

In Cape Fear, Robert De Niro plays Max Cady, an illiterate criminal who has been imprisoned for eight years on rape and battery charges. Nick Nolte plays Sam Bowden, Cady’s lawyer who intentionally buried a valuable document, which may have allowed Cady’s prison sentence to be significantly shorter. Cady learns to read while in prison. He starts with "See Spot Run," then proceeds to study law books. Cady’s rage and desire for revenge grow with each additional day that he is in prison. Although Cady’s original prison sentence was only eight years, it is increased to fourteen years due to the battery of another inmate. He memorizes the Bible and tattoos his body with scripture referring to vengeance. When Cady is finally released from prison, he immediately seeks out Bowden and his family. Cady has become a scripture slinging psychopath hell bent on revenge.

Cape Fear is a film is good but most time melodramatic. The Bowdens are immediately shown as not picture perfect, and you have the feeling that they are responsible for what happens to them. The story does not play out as a careful cat and mouse story but very blunt and brutal. If you are into those kinds of movies, this film will entertain you. The performances of the actors, especially Robert De Niro, are captivating.

About Cape Fear 1991

Title: Cape Fear
Year: 1991
Runtime: 128 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.6/5 stars from 11 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 11
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Illeana Douglas, Billy D. Lucas, Juliette Lewis, Joe Don Baker, Linda Perri, Fred Dalton Thompson, Will Knickerbocker, Gregory Peck, Martin Balsam, Edgar Allan Poe IV, Rod Ball, W. Paul Bodie, Joel Kolker, Ken Collins, Antoni Corone, C.C. Costigan, Tamara Jones, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Roger Pretto, Gar Stephen, Parris Buckner, Elizabeth Moyer, Jessica Lange, Margot Moreland, Catherine Scorsese, Charles Scorsese, Robert L. Gerlach, Jackie Davis
Writers: John D. MacDonald, James R. Webb, Wesley Strick
Director: Martin Scorsese