review for Raising Cain on AllMovie

Raising Cain (1992)
by Keith Phipps review

After the critically and financially disastrous Bonfire of the Vanities, Raising Cain marked a retreat into familiar territory for Brian De Palma. A bizarre psychological thriller starring one of his favorite actors, John Lithgow, Raising Cain pays homage to more filmmakers than can be counted on one hand, in the context of De Palma's most out-there plot since Sisters. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. Lithgow, as always, is a perfect match for De Palma's material, turning in a performance always on the safe side of hammy. But while the director remains on his game technically, his heart seems elsewhere, making for a film that seems to confirm every charge his detractors level at him. De Palma's last film in his classic mold was the repetitive Body Double; this one feels like two too many trips to the well.