In association with
Review published
September 30, 2003
A.J.'s Rating:  ZERO
Cold Creek Manor
Directed By:  Mike Figgis
Written By:  Richard Jefferies
Starring:  Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff, Juliette Lewis,
Kristen Stewart, Ryan Wilson, Dana Eskelson, Christopher Plummer

MPAA:  Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality.
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    The Tilson family has just moved into a new house.  It's a great big one, and boy, what a bargain!  Can you say 'distressed property'?  Cold Creek Manor, as it is called, is in upper state New York, near one of those lazy little towns where everyone either knows or is related to everyone else.  Sure, the grounds may need some work, and extensive interior renovation is definitely in order, but the head of the family, Cooper, played by Dennis Quaid, thinks he's up to the challenge.  Yes, the Tilsons are finally safe and sound in their new home, or so they think.  But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.  You may be wondering why they decided to move in the first place.  After all, Cooper is a moderately successful documentary filmmaker, and his wife Leah, played by Sharon Stone, is also successful in business.  Not only that, but they lived in New York City, the greatest city in the world! 
    Well, you see, it was for the children, Kristen and Jesse.  One day, Coop was dropping the kids off at school, and seven-year-old Jesse almost got run over by an SUV.  Don't worry!  He's okay.  He just got bumped to the ground, that's all.  Of course, it never would have happened if he'd been minding his father's instructions to hold hands with his sister as they crossed the street, or if Coop hadn't been double-parked in front of the SUV, which honked and flashed its lights in frustration while Coop sat there talking away on his cell phone.  Damn SUV's; there ought to be a law!  Anyway, rather than teach little Jesse not to play in traffic, Coop decides that, for their safety, they all have to get out of the mean old city as soon as possible.  There's a fine bit of parental logic, don't you think?
    And it's all downhill from there, folks.  You know, most moviegoers like to see films in which bad things happen to good people.  It's the drama-filled anticipation of a happy ending, with those good people having courageously persevered to overcome adversity.  Of course, all of that goes right out the window when the movie turns out to be filled with bad things happening to really stupid people.  I would have to go scene by scene to mention all the idiotic things that Coop and the rest of his family do in this movie.  Be thankful that I'm not.  I will, however, divulge the big plot-twist.  Ready?  The twist in this flick is that there isn't one.  Don't worry, I haven't ruined the movie for you.  The filmmakers already did that.
    So, rather than spending two hours in Cold Creek Manor with the terrible Tilsons, use that time more wisely.  Spend it at home with your own family and friends.  Believe me, you'll be glad you did!  (and you'll save nine bucks, too!)