Wicker Park

This dopey thriller isn't worth your time.
  • Review Date: December 28, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Tension and suspense.


Explicit sexual references and non-explicit sexual situations.


Brief strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, character gets tipsy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has brief strong language, some explicit sexual references, and non-explicit sexual situations. Characters drink, and one becomes tipsy. There are tense and suspenseful situations and some jump-out-at-you surprises.

What's the story?

WICKER PARK centers around Matt (Josh Hartnett), an executive who has recently returned to Chicago after two years away. He has a good job and is about to propose to his girlfriend, who conveniently happens to be the sister of his boss. The three of them are at a swanky restaurant, having lunch with important clients to celebrate a deal Matt is about to close in China. Matt's girlfriend slips him some pills to help him sleep on the plane and he swallows them at the restaurant. Then he hears the voice of a woman on the phone and the last two years seem to evaporate. It sounds like the voice of Lisa (Diane Kruger), the woman who broke his heart. Flashback time. Matt is a sweet, shy, artistic guy working in a photography store. He glimpses a face on a videotape brought into his store for repair. And then he sees the same woman across the street. He follows her. He meets her at his best friend's shoe store, pretending to be a salesman. He orders the black shoes with red soles in her size. They fall in love. And then...well, we don't find out what happened then for a while as the movie shifts back and forth between the past and present and between different characters' points of view.

Is it any good?


Wicker Park is a dopey thriller that sets up an intriguing puzzle and a nicely spooky vibe and then spoils it all by explaining too much and having that explanation be both achingly obvious and sometimes unintentionally hilarious, retroactively dissipating any creepiness created earlier and dumb-ifying the entire story even further. It's one of those movies that depends on its characters' inability to make a phone call or ask a question to straighten things out.

Matthew Lillard flounders in an attempt to play Matt's best friend. Rose Byrne as a mystery woman who shares Matt's girlfriend's name and shoes is slightly more interesting than the drippy character she plays, but her efforts to play Viola/Cesario in Twelfth Night (a character in disguise who does not tell her love, get it?) are simply dreadful. Harnett and Kruger move through the story like sleepwalkers who hope they won't wake up until the movie is over. I know how they feel.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the dividing line between love and obsession. Do you believe in love at first sight? What do you need to know about someone to be willing to make a commitment?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 3, 2004
DVD release date:December 24, 2004
Cast:Diane Kruger, Josh Hartnett, Matthew Lillard
Director:Paul McGuigan
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexuality and language

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byB Mackabee April 9, 2008
age 0+

Please Don't Watch

This movie simply was not very good. The entire premise of the movie was ridiculous- it took place in the modern day, yet miraculously, none of the characters had cell phones! Of course, this would have meant that the movie would have only taken up about half an hour. In addition to this, most of the scenes were seen several times in the points of view of different characters. It became exhausting after a while to have to see the same things over and over and over and over... you get the point. Don't pay to see this movie- it just isn't worth it.
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmilyB123 August 16, 2010
age 13+
Don't waste your time watching this movie like i did
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 11 year old Written byjsharpe October 17, 2009
age 14+

perfect for older teens

to much sexual content
What other families should know
Too much sex


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