Domestic Disturbance

Domestic Disturbance

Directed by Harold Becker

(John Travolta, Teri Polo, Vince Vaughn, Matt O’Leary)



It is mind-boggling and disturbing to see a child sent home with his stepfather after having claimed to have watched him murder a man. Maybe this is the new policy in Maryland (or Hollywood more likely), but it just seems like a bad idea to me.

When Dan (Matt O’Leary) sees his stepfather murder a man, he promptly tells the police. The police, thinking the boy is lying, send him back home with his stepfather. Now his father (John Travolta) must save the boy and his mother from a murderer.

Given that the story has been to the pawn shop and back, John Travolta is able to hold onto a shred of diginty by playing a man who, ironically enough, has no diginity, something he has never done before. Although Travolta is promoted as the main character, he distances himself from the film by spending as little time on the screen as possible.

Vince Vaughn, while an excellent actor, is not scary, and scenes where he looms over his victims make it easy to shrug off the suspense. Steve Buscemi, who’s been getting more work then anyone else in Hollywood, (he’s already had five movies come out in 2001) does a great job playing the exact same role he had in Fargo — a dirty, ugly criminal.

Domestic Disturbance is the same old manufactured Hollywood crap that we’ve come to expect over the last two years. This movie wasn’t made to win any awards — it appears to have been thrown together in a week.

Knowing from the get-go who the murderer is, the film lacks the intensity that is usually found in suspense films. Domestic Disturbance is a simple movie derived from a simpler idea, its plot is linear and has no real twist. Beneath it all, there is a good movie within the custody battle between Travolta and his ex-wife, but we call that movie Kramer vs. Kramer — and we’re not ready for that particular remake.

-Nicholas Conant


Domestic Disturbance opens today in theaters nationwide.