Cillian Murphy's Rotten R-Rated Thriller Is Not So Bad 12 Years Later

Cillian Murphy's Rotten R-Rated Thriller Is Not So Bad 12 Years Later
Image credit: Millennium Entertainment

In fact, its Rotten Tomatoes score is surprisingly low.


  • In 2012, Cillian Murphy has already proved just how great he looks in thriller movies
  • Now that he enjoys his new wave of success with Oppenheimer, his 12-year-old underrated thriller is a rare gem to revisit
  • Despite its surprisingly low critics and audience scores, it is still an X-files coded gripping thriller that delivers suspense and captivating performance
  • In the 2012 movie, Murphy is joined by Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver

If you are a huge fan of all things nerve-tickling and feel like you have watched absolutely everything that is a go-to among your fellow thriller fans, sometimes the best choice is to search for new gems in the land of the rotten.

Not all certified fresh movies are masterpieces; and not all panned films are necessarily as bad as critics decided. We think that's exactly what happened to one of Cillian Murphy's early thriller gems, which is Red Lights — a movie about a couple of skeptics who have to deal with what everyone believes is a true gift of clairvoyance.

Cillian Murphy's Rotten R-Rated Thriller Is Not So Bad 12 Years Later - image 1

But not the characters of Murphy and Sigourney Weaver, who only believe facts and won't fall for any illusion of the supernatural, no matter how masterfully it's crafted. Needless to say, De Niro's character Simon Silver is very convincing, to say the least: a blind old man, he makes everyone believe he's an even better seer than the sighted.

Is he, though? That's what Murphy and Weaver are set to uncover: is Silver's gift just yet another spectacle, or is he their first exception in the streak of victories for common sense?

Is Cillian Murphy's Red Lights Worth Watching?

If you ask Rotten Tomatoes, then it's a really quick no — Red Lights has an underwhelming audience score of 36%, with its Tomatometer ranking even lower, at 31%. What happened?

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Well, according to some critics, the movie "doesn't offer the sense of release, or of surprise, that it seems to take for granted" — even though it literally ends with an explosive resolution of the biggest question. Others believe that the story in general is not too convincing.

"This film - despite its relative obscurity - is one of my go-to answers whenever there's a general query about "Bad Twists in Film", and I stand by it. It's such a cheat, entirely dependent on the main character suddenly revealing something crucial about himself that makes absolutely no sense, even on the film's own terms," said Redditor AmeliaMangan.

However, even the most merciless reviews note that the performance of the actors is out of this world; some even noted that Red Lights manages to preserve the spirit of The X-Files even after it's long gone.

"Obviously I'm in the minority but I actually really enjoyed this film. I can't think of any other movie with similar plot and I thought the performances were just fine. Was it an amazing but I wouldn't say it was bad or a waste of time to watch," argued Redditor RustySwitch.

Where to Watch Red Lights?

Unfortunately, you won't be able to stream Red Lights for free with any of the most popular subscriptions, but you can rent or buy the movie on Prime Video and Apple TV.