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HD   R Closed Captioning

David Atkins

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About the Movie

The hilarious Steve Martin heads up an outstanding cast that includes Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern, and Scott Caan in this darkly comic tale of a good man gone bad. Dr. Frank Sangster (Martin) is a respectable, law-abiding dentist who's always lived life on the straight-and-narrow—until an innocent lie transforms his ordered existence into a whirlwind of illicit sex, illegal drugs, and inexplicable murder in this brilliantly offbeat, bitingly comedic gem.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 107
  • Fresh: 41
  • Rotten: 66
  • Average Rating: 4.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: By the end you may need an aspirin to dispel the hectic racket Novocaine becomes. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Rotten: There are many things wrong with Novocaine, but the film's most gnawing pain is its clodhopper farfetchedness. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: With Bonham Carter's been-there, done-that performance and a plot that spins out of control, we end up with a movie that you can't quite sink your teeth into. – Claudia Puig, USA Today, Jun 18, 2002

Fresh: [Atkins] brings to his direction of Martin a finesse shared by only a few of the directors who have worked with the comedian-actor. – Jay Carr, Boston Globe, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Dark Comedy for the Light Hearted

Great movie for people torn on dark comedies. I don't like the really dark ones but this is just right. Steve Martin wins in this. Helena Bonham Carter is what you'd expect but that's a good thing for this role. This was a surprisingly winning combonation.

Dark Comedy

If you expect this to be Steve Martin's usual knee slapping comedic fare, you will be disappointed. This is a dark comedy and as such does a great job. I am always up for a good dark comedy (i.e. War of the Roses ). Many try and fail; but this one hits the right spot. I thought the writing was good and the performances credible. Good stuff.

Great film!

Excellent story and script. Great performances and a great twist. I can't believe more people don't know about this film.

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  • $5.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 2002

Customer Ratings