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The Woodsman

7.21 h 26 min2004R
After 12 years in prison, Walter (Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon, "Footloose") moves into a small apartment, gets a job at a lumberyard and mostly keeps to himself. He finds unexpected solace from Vicki (Golden Globe winner Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"), a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past.
Nicole Kassell
Kevin BaconDavid Alan GrierKyra Sedgwick
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Michael Shannon
R (Restricted)
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4.0 out of 5 stars

313 global ratings

  1. 53% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

AliReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Well done movie. I would normally stay away from films like this one because life is hard enough as it is, if I want to cry my eyes out I can watch the news. But this film was worth watching. It approached a hard topic seriously, soberly. No one wants to talk or think about childhood sexual abuse, no normal person anyway, but it’s happening all around us. Predators, those wanting to change like the character in the movie, those desperately looking for the next victim, those trying to convince themselves that there are no victims, they are a reality, and no predator has a sign on his forehead saying “beware”- so, the longer those who can protect children bury their heads in the ground because the topic is too upsetting to our sensibilities, the more vulnerable our children become, as if they were not already. I guess some reviewers interpreted this film as trying to excuse the main character’s behavior, that was not my conclusion. I saw a man battling himself, hating himself, realizing, against his will almost, that all the b.s. he’d told himself in the past (“I never hurt them”) is that: a load of B.S. The film did an excellent job of showing how common this is, while we try really hard not too look it’s happening under our noses, it’s a person outside a school casually talking to children, three brothers looking at their sister, a father asking his daughter to sit on his lap ... I’d advocate for fewer sensibilities and more awareness and I think that’s what this film tried to do.
30 people found this helpful
ABCReviewed in the United States on April 24, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A daring move by Bacon and Sedgwick--
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however difficult this is to watch, I think it has value as an initiator of thought and conversation. We don't know much about sexual predators, how their sexual preference is determined, how such can be "managed," etc. And our culture suffers because of it. We can't change what we don't understand.

I have new respect for Kevin Bacon, whom I've always considered a lightweight. He is absolutely believable in this very, very challenging role.
33 people found this helpful
James R. McgeeReviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Bacon shines
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I absolutely could not finish this movie due to the subject matter. Why a movie like this has to be made is beyond me. Aren't we supposed to be watching movies to be entertained. Well, if thats the case we are lost as humans because there is nothing entertaining about watching a movie that is portrayed in a manner to make you feel sorry for a child predator. Kevin Bacon shines brightly as Walter a new released con who was doing time for child molestation. We watch Walter as he struggles with his demons while at the same time pursuing a young girl. I quit watching at less than 30 minutes remaining as it appears Walter is losing the battle as he sits in the park with the little girl. I couldn't bare to watch anymore. Some will watch this movie and give some deep philosophical garbage how this film shows that these predators have feeling too. I agree they do but like all dangerous animals they need to stay locked up so the rest of society, especially our young, can live our lives. There is no sympathy from me.
16 people found this helpful
StargazerReviewed in the United States on May 27, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
This movie really surprised me
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I read what others have to say about a movie in the hopes of not wasting money. I wanted to complete my filmography of Kevin's work but the subject matter set me aback cuz there is an scene in killer Joe from another actors movie that I wish I had never seen cuz I liked him up to that scene. But this movie is more about a man who doesn't want to be a child molester. And now that he's out of prison & being around little girls again... It's haunting him. Until he meets a girl & as he's talking to her... And not in an innocent way either... I'm praying I don't see him do something to her... But his character figures it out that she's being molested by her father & he tells the child to go home. I wish the movie showed the girl going home & turning her father in. It's simply a story about a man struggling with his demons and trying to live a normal life
13 people found this helpful
GrahamReviewed in the United States on May 20, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely disgusting
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I can only assume that the positive reviews are from people who don't have kids, or who "identify" with this monstrous character. I tried to give this film a chance, the acting is compelling, however there comes a point where it is absolutely sickening. This is not entertainment.
19 people found this helpful
DGGReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
A sympathetic movie towards a child molester.
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This is a movie meant to show the mindset of a child molester who has just been released from prison. He is trying to avoid doing it again but is falling back into the mindset again. He's got a cop watching him closely who is just waiting for him to recommit a crime again and a tough new girlfriend who is sympathetic because she cares about him and feels he can be healed.

This movie very clearly sets it up as if he is the victim. When he gets beat up by people at work when they find out what his crime was, we are meant to feel sorry for him.

The acting was very good from all the cast. But he plainly did molest his sister and possibly others for some time till he was caught. If he stopped doing it completely, I again might have felt some sympathy. But sure enough, after being released from prison, he begins watching school kids outside his window and follows a girl who is all alone to a park and wants her to sit on his lap. Which for him was the beginning of his ramping up to sexual advances. So its very difficult to feel any sympathy for a man who clearly would fall back into the same patterns without his girlfriend and the cop watching him. There are a few twists of plot in this movie, but frankly, I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for this guy and so didn't see any redeemable characters in this movie. And at times, the dismal nature of the life he leads to keep from thinking about kids, just makes for a slow dismal movie.

So while this movie was well acted and scripted, the subject matter and slow pace stops it from getting my recommendation.
2 people found this helpful
Carolk9sReviewed in the United States on December 4, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Mixed feelings, compelling yet troubled
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I like that I got to know the characters a bit before he revealed his crime. I dislike that after he has his realization that he WAS hurting young girls and decides to leave Robin alone BUT he tells her to go home to her father who is abusing her. Knowing full well the abuse will continue. Then he beats the heck out of the guy who molested a young boy. And poor little Robin was still left in her situation. Hard to accept the ending as it played out.
2 people found this helpful
SkyeReviewed in the United States on June 28, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A daring movie to EXPOSE not promote one of the worst illnesses that plagues our entire planet
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I'm a mother, first and foremost. This is NOT a pro-pedophilia movie!! We're going to have to start facing the fact that we need to know what creates this very horrific mindset. In no way does this movie condone pedophilia. He faces that horror in the end. A daring movie to EXPOSE (not promote) one of the worst illnesses that plagues our entire planet. Excellent acting and cinematography.
4 people found this helpful
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