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Targets
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Targets

1968
Suspense/Thriller
1h 30m
A retiring horror movie actor decides to make one final public appearance even while a serial killer goes on a shooting spree. (imdb)
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Targets

1968
Suspense/Thriller
1h 30m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 65.88% from 541 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(539)
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Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
61st
What a freaky and cool movie. It manages to make a point about the relationship between horror movies and "real" horror by juxtaposing a showing of a campy horror movie and a crazy man going on a killing spree. Boris Karloff plays a very thinly veiled alternate version of himself, and his performance adds a touch of both humor and melancholy. However the movie is very obviously limited by a shoestring budget, and some sections are severely lacking in cohesion.
Rated 15 Mar 2010
70
65th
I thoroughly enjoyed watching old Karloff in this juxtaposition of two seperate plot strands, his being the most interesting. The other, focusing on a shooter, is okay - standard thriller material. The strenous coupling, supposed to draw parallels between the monsters in the films by Karloff's director character and the shooter (with whom he deals as coldly as he treats his incompetent successors in the movie industry), seems a little forced but there's plenty of individual scenes to appreciate.
Rated 25 Jul 2023
80
77th
Fucked how relevant this will always be, thanks idiots we live in a nightmare.
Rated 27 May 2010
3
80th
Its only real problem is that occasionally it's obviously low-budget. Otherwise, it's a clever, self-reflexive mini-masterpiece that juxtaposes the hugely outdated Byron Orlok with the horrifying subplot of Bobby Thompson's sudden, completely unemotional decision to shoot anyone he can. The victims are often kept at arm's length, and are reduced, yes, to targets. It's fascinating.
Rated 26 Oct 2017
83
90th
Meta horror decades before Scream, and no less effective, with Bogdanovich pitting the old guard against the new and seeing what narrative comes out on top. Chilling in the way it offers no explanations, heartwarming in the way it lets Karloff go out on one of the best performances of his entire career.
Rated 11 Aug 2009
100
95th
Completely awe-inspiring, one of the best thrillers i've ever seen. The story behind its production is fascinating, and for any obvious flaws that may be apparent because of this it is more then made up for by the sheer loopy power of how the story unfolds.
Rated 13 Mar 2010
87
91st
Somewhat disjointed but on the whole satisfying thriller which manages both to haunt and bemuse with its dark sense of humor. Karloff is given one final curtain call which garners a much deserved standing ovation.
Rated 13 Jun 2012
88
85th
Peter Bogdanovich's damned impressive debut: the stories of a weary horror film star (Boris Karloff) who wants to retire and a quintessential middle-class WASP (Tim O'Kelly) who goes on a killing spree are deftly intertwined, and elevated by the script and acting. Karloff is marvelous; suave, commanding, and poignant, it's one of his last and best roles. O'Kelly is likewise spot-on. Smooth cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs. A few dry spots, but constantly compelling--and truly thought-provoking.
Rated 19 May 2020
82
83rd
Compelling, shocking, and still relevant.
Rated 29 Jun 2007
73
79th
A thoughtful (though not overly brainy) thriller, Targets hits right on the mark.
Rated 26 Jan 2013
60
36th
The film ends with Karloff slapping the serial killer into a state of disillusion. The synopsis of the film pretty much covered everything else up to that point.
Rated 27 Feb 2011
88
90th
What a wonderful surprise this was. Bogdanovich shows his love of movies in interweaving a tribute to Boris Karloff and a contemporary horror/thriller. It's both fun and terrifying and really well paced.
Rated 24 Apr 2019
70
71st
Bogo's debut is pretty remarkable when you properly consider the context of its production; it's amazing that it hangs together as well as it does. His inexperience is occasionally evident, as are its financial constraints, but the mass shooting on a crowded freeway is chillingly realistic and superbly executed, and he manages to sneak in a commentary on violence that's still relevant today. Old violence vs new violence reflecting changing tastes, sensibilities and social-economic realities.
Rated 27 Aug 2016
87
86th
I was expecting a 'crazy young dude flips his shit and goes on a rampage' kind of film and I ended up satisfied enough by that (along with all that ambiguity). What I wasn't expecting was how much Targets refers to horror filmmaking and reflects upon how a new era of more realistic, news-inspired horror films that comment on the horror in real-life would take over from the more traditional supernatural kind of horror -- I found this interesting as hell and was conveyed in a subtly clever way.
Rated 10 Mar 2010
82
52nd
A good first directorial effort by Bogdanovich, marred by lack of money. Karloff gives a sweet, melancholy performance, playing a man a lot like himself.
Rated 01 Dec 2009
5
81st
Very low-budget / very cool ideas.
Rated 17 Dec 2008
8
84th
Gripping. Never lets go. The climatic scene is at once stripped down and really, really tense.
Rated 15 Sep 2018
88
85th
Love the way this plays these two very different stories off of each other--two people, one seeing and wants to be seen, the other seen and wants to be invisible. The deep discontent in both unites the stories thematically. And while the final sequence does feel a bit pat in bringing them together, I do appreciate the chaotic tension that Bogdanovich wrings out of it.
Rated 07 Jul 2019
8
79th
Bold and strange mix of plots, deftly handled by the auteur.
Rated 09 Apr 2020
85
72nd
This film is made of two contrary halves, and they don't really fit flush. They are like dovetails meeting and separating as the film progresses. Targets works in spite of its restraints; the inclusion of Karloff, and because of it, it is a very obtuse and irregular film, but that's also part of its charm and makes it memorable. Having Karloff smack around O'Kelly at the end is a nice wrap-up; Karlof is a monster, O'Kelly is just a sick kid with a gun.
Rated 17 Apr 2020
75
75th
Good "big idea, small budget" thriller comments on the nature of film horror in a world too cynical for the likes of Boris Karloff. Tarantino, who (word has it) wrote a lengthy review of Targets at "New Beverly Cinema", was obviously influenced by it in his similarly themed and structured Hollywood movie - lots of moments in Targets seem blatantly referenced in OUATIH. And a hand holding a lit cigarette has never been so chillingly shot. And Nancy Hsueh was insanely gorgeous.
Rated 16 May 2022
80
77th
I've always thought Targets had one of the best trailers ever youtu.be/rwlTB8836xM and the movie certainly lives up to it
Rated 26 May 2020
80
78th
An impressive B-movie that compares the "horror" of creepy movies and the real reality of mass killings (and from a time when they weren't an every-day occurrence). The ending doesn't quite hold up with the rest of the film. Even with the low budget trappings, this still makes a strong movie today.
Rated 03 Sep 2020
80
77th
Realistic, disturbing violence elevates the half-baked concept. Shocked it isn't more well-known.
Rated 14 Oct 2020
80
76th
The passing of classical Hollywood to the renegade freewheeling 60's Hollywood. How America and it's peoples are interacting with the new found "freedoms" in the post WW2 boom. How it's starting to experience a generation of bored people with nothing but an unlimited access to guns and vapid pop culture. The scene where the shooter kills his mother and wife has to be one of the best sequences I've seen. Tarantino cribbed a lot of this for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Rated 14 Jan 2022
85
78th
Em honra de Peter Bogdanovich (1939 - 2022). Isso é uma prequel espiritual de A Última Sessão de Cinema, o cinema da old Hollywood encarando a violência do cinema contemporâneo, ou seja, a própria Nova Hollywood que Bognadovich faz parte. É um embate geracional quase fordiano, mesmo tendo como pai físico o Roger Corman que navegou entre esses dosi mundo como um elo de ligação. BlurayRip no MakingOff.
Rated 26 Sep 2012
95
93rd
Viewed September 25, 2012. Bogdanovich's brilliant directorial debut simultaneously tells the story of an aging horror icon and a well-to-do, aw shucks kind of a guy who decides to go on a killing spree.
Rated 01 Dec 2022
6
86th
my dude never misses it seems. this certainly drags in places despite its short runtime but it's one of the few films from this decade that elicits genuine shock; a troubled, trembling old man movie that's very much a precursor to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, an elegy for the days when horror was boris karloff hamming it up on the screen at cozy drive-ins, not terrorists and school shooters.
Rated 31 Jul 2023
84
72nd
Hugely effective portrait of an industry - and a society - in a period of transition, as cartoon villains and monsters became replaced with sick, sad, scarily human killers and New Hollywood was about to take over. Cannot believe this was Bogdanovich’s DEBUT, good lord, what a talent
Rated 03 Nov 2023
95
86th
As much a swan song meta take on Boris Karloff's legendary career as it is an insight into the mind of a psychopath. Feels a bit too relevant even today.
Rated 06 Apr 2024
68
88th
Experiencing "Targets" was akin to drifting along a lazy river ride. The journey unfolds at a gentle, meandering pace with a couple of little drops, culminating in a thrilling drop at the conclusion, exhilarating the entire experience. It's a testament to the power of skilled storytelling in film, illustrating how a masterful director can elevate the cinematic experience of even a low-budget movie.
Rated 25 May 2024
88
61st
Sort of two films in one. The mass-murder plot features great set-pieces, prescient in their intensity and evocation of a society where violence can only be avoided through random luck. There is also a real sense of place, a feeling we have left the fantasy of Hollywood and descended into a massive liminal space of freeways and strip malls. Karloff is good in this, but his side of the movie did not feel as essential. Overall, an impressive debut from Bogdanovich.
Rated 15 Oct 2011
70
72nd
Really makes you wish Bogdanovich had stayed this hungry and restrained rather than becoming too enamored with himself by the mid-70's to ever make a decent film again. Karloff is surprisingly good.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
93rd
Very, very tense. It still resonates today.
Rated 01 Feb 2008
90
86th
For a cut-and-paste job this is very good. Both the mad-killer story and the other story where Karloff and Bogdanovich basically play themselves work very well
Rated 16 Apr 2010
79
56th
Interesting clash of generations here as Karloff's aging horror star (himself) bumps up against a smiley boy scout-type who loses his shit and starts picking off random people on a California freeway with a sniper rifle. Plenty hoaky in parts (and unfortunately, the worst is saved for the climax), but I was shocked at the level of violence for 1968, especially the snipings themselves, coming so closely after MLK, JFK and RFK's assassinations. Doesn't always work, but pretty adventurous in parts.
Rated 21 Oct 2010
88
80th
Suspenseful film; Karloff is excellent (an Oscar going begging); Tim O'Kelly equally good as deranged sniper. Freeway scene with random cars being shot at particularly creepy.
Rated 14 Feb 2011
6
81st
Undeniably contrived (the ending feels especially forced), but still quite effective.
Rated 16 May 2011
78
38th
Effectively combines an old-school horror icon with a more modern type of terror.
Rated 27 Jun 2011
74
67th
Bogdanovich's first film is a tautly paced thriller using the Charles Whitman saga as the basis for its narrative. You can see the seeds of a crafted director being sown in the framing and pacing of the film. For a first film, Bogdanovich also shows restraint and good editing technique to keep the film moving forward without any hiccups.
Rated 08 Aug 2011
89
81st
Targets has a quirky charm all its own. Karloff is mordantly marvelous as the movie actor and Bogdanovich has some nice scenes with him as the burgeoning director who boozily tries to convince him to stick around for one more picture. Bogdanovich is especially strong as he alternates between sequences that exhibit very different tones. It would be easy for the film to feel problematically off-balance, but Bogdanovich turns it into a virtue, charging the film with grand unpredictability.
Rated 28 Nov 2017
85
87th
Bogdanovich's debut deftly explores the differences between classic and contemporary horror, providing a uniquely compelling experience with its intercutting of violent sniper murders with witty, laid-back conversation between director and star. Both threads eventually come together for a fanciful but nevertheless satisfying ending, giving screen legend Boris Karloff a superb career send-off in the process.
Rated 23 Feb 2012
75
69th
Niepozbawiony wad, ale przyjemny w odbiorze thriller. Kilka scen swietnych po dzis dzien. Warto obejrzec.
Rated 04 Apr 2012
70
27th
A bit over-rated on Critiker in my view. It's an interesting retro 60's feel, but failed to create any suspense for me. I'm more interested in the cute Chinese-Irish supporting actress Nancy Hsueh who, according to the Internets died aged only 39 in the 1980's. Sad.
Rated 16 Aug 2012
70
53rd
Fantastically written [if you consider every detail of the film].
Rated 24 Aug 2012
69
39th
Not surprisingly the plot was pieced together from Roger Corman's leftover footage of Karloff, some new stuff and a completely independant plot from Bogdonovich. Therefore by the time you're done you feel like you watched three movies in one sitting, none of which was any good.
Rated 15 Jan 2013
70
42nd
sinema yildizi, yasli sinema yildizi, korku filmi artisti, sinemayi birakan adam, aile, silah tutkunu, silah, psikopat, ailesini katletmek, otoyol kenarinda insan avi, kesikin nisanci, sinemada insan avi, kaderine yürümek (azrail, bagdat, samarra hikayesi) (isini birakma karari alan sinema yildizi cevresi tarafindan razi edilmeye calisilir. babasi ile silah tutkusunu paylasan gencin kafasindan kötü düsünceler gecmektedir. genc ailesini katleder. Finalde artistle yolu kesisir. ilk 40 dk agir
Rated 16 Jul 2014
85
75th
Pretty slick. Very entertaining and unsettling. The fact that no motives are presented, possibly because there are none, make it all the more unnerving. The scene between Karloff and Bogdanovich, drunk, in the hotel room is a pretty fascinating and entertaining bit.
Rated 19 May 2015
88
67th
A nice warmhearted tribute to a film legend juxtaposed with a dark Vietnam era reflection of the state of the world at the time. The premise is great, and given the budget restraints, Bogdanovich worked a miracle, but a majority of the movie is quite bland, and unfortunately those are all from the Boris Karloff side of the story. The killer parts are quite excellent in how sharply brutal they are in comparison to anything else put out at the time, and even today they still sting with cruelty.

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