What Does SMH Mean?

Every one-star review for every number one box-office movie of the 1990s


1991 Hook
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Produced byKathleen Kennedy / Frank Marshall / Gerald R. Molen
Screenplay byJim V. Hart / Malia Scotch Marmo
Story byJim V. HartNick Castle
Based onPeter and Wendy
by J. M. Barrie
StarringDustin Hoffman / Robin Williams / Julia Roberts / Bob Hoskins / Maggie Smith / Charlie Korsmo
Music byJohn Williams
CinematographyDean Cundey
Edited byMichael Kahn
Amblin Entertainment
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release dateDecember 11, 1991
Running time142 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million
Box office$300.9 million

Hook is a 1991 American fantasy swashbuckler adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo. It stars Robin Williams as Peter Banning / Peter PanDustin Hoffman as Captain HookJulia Roberts as Tinker BellBob Hoskins as Mr. Smee and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy. It acts as a sequel to J. M. Barrie‘s 1911 novel Peter and Wendy focusing on an adult Peter Pan who has forgotten all about his childhood. In his new life, he is known as Peter Banning, a successful but unimaginative and workaholic lawyer with a wife (Wendy’s granddaughter) and two children. However, when Captain Hook, the enemy of his past, kidnaps his children, he returns to Neverland to save them. Along the journey, he reclaims the memories of his past and becomes a better person.

Spielberg began developing the film in the early 1980s with Walt Disney Pictures and Paramount Pictures, which would have followed the storyline seen in the 1924 silent film and 1953 animated Disney film. It entered pre-production in 1985, but Spielberg abandoned the project. Hart developed the script with director Nick Castle and TriStar Pictures before Spielberg decided to direct in 1989. It was shot almost entirely on sound stages at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

Released on December 11, 1991, Hook received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances (particularly those of Williams and Hoffman), John Williams’ musical score, and production values, but criticized the screenplay and tone. Although it was a commercial success, its box office take was lower than expected. Spielberg also later came to be disappointed with the film. It has gained a strong cult following since its release. It was nominated in five categories at the 64th Academy Awards. It also spawned merchandise, including video gamesaction figures, and comic book adaptations.

IMDb’s One Star reviews from the last decade

Believe… This movie IS an absolute mess!

donovandesign 13 January 2021

I have a general rule of thumb about movie reviews. When they start out with the words, “Don’t Believe the Haters”, you can be sure the “haters” are 100% correct in their critical judgement.

It still amazes me though, even 30 years later, just how many confused, soppy messeges they managed to stuff into this overly produced, ham handed, musical, fantasy, comedy, adventure, fairytale, family/divorce-traumatized, after-school, “the more you know”, grammar school morality play.

Spielberg rarely, if ever bombs. But just this one film almost wiped out the blindingly artistic and humane brilliance of his other masterpieces. It’s almost as if he produced it to show off to his kids just how wonderfully “child-like” he can still be as an adult, parent and artist.

what is this garbage?

FeastMode 1 July 2020

Warning: Spoilers

I loved this movie as a kid. unfortunately it has zero appeal to me as an adult. this movie is horrendous. it’s so stupid. it’s completely childish without a semblance of cleverness. nothing makes sense. it takes forever to start, about 30 minutes of boring setup. and everything “cool” in this movie is only “cool” to a child.

it’s filled with dumb moments (like 3-day amnesia…. WHAT?!?!), cheesy dialogue, cliches, and even things like continuity errors. and there are a bunch of REALLY weird things too. numerous parts made me cringe. i can’t believe it was almost 2.5 hours. and i was shocked when the end credits rolled to “directed by steven spielberg.” really? you made this garbage? lame

something else i found odd was some of the content in here that doesn’t seem appropriate for a PG kids movie. i actually looked up the MPAA rating because i thought it might be PG-13. just to be clear, this played no role in my rating. it doesn’t bother me. but makes me question some of the decision making behind he scenes.

peter banning is a married man, but his adopted mother who is 50 years older than him tries to kiss him. i legit couldn’t believe it. so awkward. that same married man kisses 3 sexy mermaids underwater. i understand they were giving him air, but i question why this scene would be included. and that same married man has another kiss. what is happening. there is talk of killing children and “indians” like it’s normal. there is one swear word, and a complement about julia roberts’ “lovely legs.” not one of these things fits the tone of the movie or the intended audience.

the only thing i liked was dustin hoffman’s performance. i was going to give it a 2/10 but the final shot of the movie made me cringe so hard that sunk it to a 1 (about 5 viewings, 6/30/2020)

“Hook” Is For Schnooks! (Just Kidding)

strong-122-478885 10 June 2014

Well, movie fans, if this one isn’t a stupid idea for a flick, then I don’t know what is.

Get this – Peter Pan, the eternal boy, grows up and becomes, of all things, a slimy, Manhattan lawyer.

Yuck! What a despicable premise for a movie-plot.

HOOK could have only come out of the self-satisfied head of Steven Spielberg, one of America’s most idiotic and over-rated directors, ever.

The children portrayed in this flick actually made my skin crawl. Yes, they were that insufferable and obnoxious.

According to this flick – Steven Spielberg is the self-appointed expert on rearing children. And, this joker says that mothers need only to be themselves. Yeah. That’s OK. Mothers aren’t required to do anything else, but, just that – Be mothers.

But, on the other hand – Fathers must transcend beyond just being mere fathers. They must do cartwheels and, literally, turn into Peter Pan (just like Robin Williams did) before they can be allowed to gain acceptance from their snooty, little brats.

It’s the truth. If you pay real close attention to HOOK’s unbelievably biased story it clearly defines the role of each parent in this ridiculous manner.

And, with that in mind – I think that Spielberg should take a good, firm grip of HOOK, and shove it right up his keister. Who the hell does he think he is? – Him and his failed marriage to Amy Irving.

Another of my stonking blunders

eyesour 7 June 2012

Warning: Spoilers

Seduced by the low, low price, I quickly glanced at the cast list, and chucked this DVD (dud?) into the supermarket trolley, without checking out the rest of it. I saw it said “Hook”, but I knew it wouldn’t be the malingerer from Zulu, so it had to be the other one, the Captain. Anyway, after slotting the disc into place, and starting to watch it, I fairly soon had this funny feeling. No credit list? Why was that? Precious. Funny, I thought. Funny. Then an unpleasant sense of overly twee schmaltz began to overwhelm me, along with mounting unease and confusion, of an infantile nature. What was this about? Where were the celebrity stars, Hoffman, Hoskins, Roberts? Why had Maggie Smith, a much greater actress, spookily materialised out of the dark at the top of the stairs? After about 15 minutes of nothing very much happening, and slowly, I started to fast forward, seeking escape from this increasingly incoherent mess. It got worse and worse. Hoskins and Hoffman did nothing for this disaster. But I’ve always felt there was something fairly cute about Roberts, in spite of her two-mode facial expressions, and over-worked sidelong glances.

It wasn’t enough. What a ghastly muddle! What a blithering load of astounding silliness, fake sentiment, aimless plotting! Brainless, feckless, pointless. The Neverland sets were hideously over-furnished. Could have been the Island of Dr Moreau. Was that a Polynesian Maori from Hawaii, pretending to be a skate-boarding Red Indian? Had that Obese Boy been lifted out of something by Dickens? Interminable sludge. The height of inanity. Whoever heard of an English housekeeper called Liza — with a zee? Ugh. Baseball ? Huh? Huh? Finally the end credits rolled, and everything became clear: directed by Steven Spielberg! No mystery here. Close Encounters, ET had consisted of nothing much except interminable doses of murky atmosphere. This was the same, only worse. Let us not mention that risible Looking for Soldier Kelly. Kubrick once said, according to another reviewer, that some film-makers adapt stories without understanding them. The pot blackens the kettle! Neither of these two directors understands anything, except how to rake in silver dollars. Hype, Hype, Hurrah!

There is no worse film ever made; Would that it never existed.

derekcurrie 24 October 2011

It physically nauseates me to watch this grotesque horror of cinematography. What puts the bowel movement icing on the cake is that it was nominated for several awards and actually won two of them. More than any other film in existence, this film proves the inherent disease of bad taste running rampant in what we call ‘Hollywood’. There has been no more unpardonably bad film ever made. J.M Barrie, author of the eternally classic Peter Pan, will be spinning in his grave until this catastrophe of bad ideas is wiped from human memory. I’d give ‘Hook’ a negative star rating if it would cause this fetid celluloid abomination to be sucked into a black hole and deleted from time. Watching ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’ would be a relief…. You get the idea. ;-D

James Barrie would hate this film

Richard-Nathan 28 March 2010

One of the main points that Barrie stresses in his “Peter Pan” is that childhood is a special time, but eventually there comes a time when everyone (except for Peter Pan) has to stop being a child and assume the responsibilities of adulthood. At the end of Barrie’s play, Wendy cannot return to Neverland, even though she would like to, because Neverland is reserved for children.

This film is typical of the selfishness of many in the “Boomer” generation. They steal the specialness of childhood from their children by refusing to give it up themselves.

Barrie would have hated this abomination.

1991 Hook