Doctor Sleep receiving new fans and love thanks to release on HBO Max

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½  – The Director’s Cut

Some at the time were saying this movie “bombed” in theaters, but it didn’t deserve that type of label. It came out just before Halloween 2019 for early access viewing in theaters and the following week for the rest of the United States.

My #2 favorite movie in 2019 and for good reason: it’s an excellent film that managed to do the impossible. If you want to hear why I think this, read my review or follow my critique here: 32+ Doctor Sleep Reviews – Stephen King’s Views Softened On Kubrick’s Adaptation of The Shining

Anyway, I’m excited to see the film is now receiving a new wave of interest and appreciation on social media thanks to its release last weekend on HBO Max.

I wasted no time buying the director’s cut on Vudu when it went on sale (see: Doctor Sleep Director’s Cut adds 30 minutes). $9.99 was an awesome deal.

Great news for those with HBO Max you can see this same version I purchased as part of your HBO Max subscription!

Warner Bros. really got behind director Mike Flanagan in making the best director’s cut he could make.

“I’m really excited that WB let me create this cut, much less release it,” Flanagan shared in some comments to Collider. “They really supported it – to the point that they made sure all of the new material with VFX was fully finished, additional score was composed and orchestrated just for this cut, and we did a full mix as well. They really let us do this right – it’s a finished, complete, fully polished new cut of the movie. Nothing in it is temp.”

Doctor Sleep Fans Are Flooding Twitter With Ewan McGregor Appreciation Posts

My #1 favorite movie of 2019 was the Oscar-award winning 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½, which technically I saw in January 2020, but was released in December 2019, hence counting it as a 2019 release. So, if we say of new movies actually seen in 2019, Doctor Sleep was my favorite. I added another half-star to the rating after seeing the awesome director’s cut version mentioned in this post.

Also, caught Doctor Sleep a week before it was released in theaters thanks to an early release offer from Fandango (see: EARLY ACCESS REVIEW: Doctor Sleep (no spoilers!) Yes, It’s Better than Joker!). I sure hope they do more of those early releases open to anybody that buys a ticket, not just media and film critics.

What’s your favorite director’s cut movie? Perhaps it’s something we haven’t seen. Or if you want to comment on your feelings of what you thought of Doctor Sleep, let us know below.

Doctor Sleep Director’s Cut adds 30 minutes

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

My second favorite movie of 2019 has hit the streaming circuit, complete with a director’s cut that adds 30 minutes of additional character backstory and footage.

For the home video and streaming releases, though, Warner Bros. has also released the director’s cut of the film. And its additional 30 minutes of footage improves on Flannagan’s already-impressive work. The new cut provides a more empathetic theme for the entire Shining series, both the movies and the books.

The Doctor Sleep director’s cut is a huge improvement – Polygon

Interesting to see Polygon calling the director’s cut a “huge improvement.” For me, the film was great as it was, so of course I’d like to watch director Mike Flanagan cut and see how, if any, it improves the film. Just making the runtime longer could be a detriment, but not if the new footage illuminates and/or adds something not experienced in the original theatrical version.

On Amazon Prime buying the director’s cut, as of this writing, costs $19.99 for the HD version. On Vudu there is a sale running as of this writing and it’s $9.99:

If you haven’t seen Doctor Sleep, it’s on sale at Vudu, including the director’s cut for $9.99

I’ve 10/10 anticipation for seeing this additional 30 minutes of footage and see how it adds to the film, so I’m sold. Yeah, I could just rent it, but that’s $5.99, so why not spend another $4 and get to keep my second favorite movie of 2019 forever digitally. There are also three additional bonus features: behind the scenes material, it seems.

I realize there are articles online that explain in detail what those 30 minutes add to the theatrical version, but rather than spoil the experience I’m going to watch and compare versions myself.

Has anybody else reading already seen the director’s cut? What did you think?

32+ Doctor Sleep Reviews – Stephen King’s Views Softened On Kubrick’s Adaptation of The Shining

#1 recommended of wide movie releases

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ is performing under expectations at the box office, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie. There are many movies that have done worse than expected at the box office and went onto greatness like, er …

The Shining ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director Mike Flanagan seems to have done the impossible with author Stephen King. He took an author who has disliked an revered by fans adaptation of his novel The Shining by legendary Stanley Kubrick and somewhat reconciled the two. All by making a great movie.

“I finished the movie, I brought the film to Bangor, [Maine, where King lives], and I showed him Doctor Sleep. I sat with him in an empty theater and watched the movie with him. I spent the whole movie trying not to throw up, and staring at my own foot, and kind of overanalyzing every single noise he made next to me. The film ended, and the credits came up, and he leaned over and he put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, ‘You did a beautiful job.’ And then I just died. The rest of the day we talked a lot about Kubrick, we talked a lot about his other adaptations, we talked a lot about modern politics and Trump and about the state of the world, and we talked about shows on Netflix we liked, and we just talked. He was like, ‘Having watched this film it actually warms my feelings up towards the Kubrick film.’ That’s when I really kind of freaked out. The whole goal from the beginning was to inch those two back together in any way, to reconcile that gulf of distance between the Kubrick Shining and the King Shining. If there was ever a way to do that, even a little, that was what I wanted as a fan.”

Stephen King says Doctor Sleep ‘redeems’ Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining |


Other Blogger Reviews

My opinion of the film is that it is one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2019, and it also has the most likes of any review I’ve done to date (like four times as many likes of any other movie review).

Doctor Sleep review received four times the number of likes of any other review I’ve written

Plenty of other movie reviewers enjoyed this film. Let’s take a look at what others have to say, both recommended or not.


  • Nightmare on Film Street: “With strong new characters and an obvious affection for the original, Flanagan gives fans the movie they’ve been waiting for. It is a movie that stays with you, settling into a quiet corner of your psyche — much like the ghosts of The Overlook Hotel.”
  • skuldren: “In welding all these elements together, fusing them into one smooth running and engrossing story, he delivers a fantastic movie. And it really is a fusion of film and literature.”
  • Mr. Sculpin: “By paying tribute to the source material and treading new narrative ground, Doctor Sleep is a film that skirts past “sequelitis”, and becomes one of my favorite films of the year.”
  • Peter Kanelis: “Time will tell if this will be some kind of horror classic, however I think it was a pretty solid bit of entertainment.”
  • Seongyong’s Private Place: ” Sure, it is less perfect than its predecessor, but it distinguishes itself well on the whole as paying homage to both King and Kubrick as demanded, and I like that.”
  • Flamingo Lifestyle: ” The movie’s score was haunting, and the visuals were stunning, I was not disappointed. Doctor Sleep is one of Stephen King’s best film adaptations as well as one of my favorites.”
  • Craig’s Movie Report: “This is how you do a sequel to such a legendary movie … build on a great concept yet take nothing away from the original.”
  • Lee Hall: “It’s a great sequel full of atmosphere, gripping performances, cinematography and dark imagination. Those who are into horror will enjoy this whether you have read or watched the first story; it doesn’t matter, this one will get ya! “
  • The Movie Burners: “I enjoyed this film immensely. It’s one of the better King adaptations and a film I will undoubtedly rewatch many times”
  • Nerdtropolis: “This movie had me captivated from beginning to end. I didn’t know I needed a sequel to the original “The Shining”, but Mike Flanagan changed my mind”
  • Movie Metropolis: “It has a lot of tension and a ton of good qualities that gives me no qualms with recommending it for fans of both King and horror films in general. However, there is no way I can say it’s the best King film since Shawshank. I would say that It, Gerald’s Game, and The Night Flier are all better than Doctor Sleep.
  • The Nerds Templar: “Pull away all The Shining stuff (besides the ending) and it’s a solidly made film with strong performances from McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson.”
  • Chicago Indie Critics: “…the fascinating character studies of the film’s first half haunts us enough to make the lonely quiet moments of the night more existential by actualizing the literal and metaphorical dark through those closest to it.”
  • DOTT: “Flanagan has done something not many filmmakers adapting novels and making sequels can do, and that’s please just about everyone (for the most part), King fans and Kubrick fans alike.”
  • Clay Bones: ”  It’s a movie that takes time with its development, but once the ball gets rolling, it draws you into every element with an hypnotic effect.”
  • Social News XYZ: “…that rarest of spin-offs driven by veritable curiosity and interest with characters. Albeit excessively long by at any rate 20 minutes, it is increasingly accessible and doesn’t excessively punish the individuals who haven’t seen the first film.”
  • Jordan Woodson’s Reviews: “…. a sluggish first act, but the rest of the film, Flanagan’s directing as well as the incredible talent on display truly make this a movie that would make both King and Kubrick satisfied, despite their differences.”
  • CJ Film Mafia: “…all credit to Flanagan and all involved, it’s highly entertaining, which certainly makes it one of the strange surprises of 2019.”
  • Irish Film Critic: “While “The Shining” had almost 40 years to seep into the public’s consciousness, with time, I feel that “Doctor Sleep” will follow suit and will be viewed by many as a superior successor to its less-than-stellar predecessor.”
  • Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys): “…never comes close to matching the highs of its forefather and while this over-long film outstays its welcome as time wears on, there’s enough here to warrant a viewing, especially with Ferguson creating one of 2019’s most memorable villains along the way.”
  • Calilou Pettis: “…is an utterly bone-chilling, skillfully acted, tension filled masterpiece that serves as an incredible sequel to The Shining. “
  • Glyn Williams: “It doesn’t try too much to be a sequel and instead makes sure it’s a interesting film by itself. You care about the characters, much due to the actors performances,”
  • Kevin Boyle: “…is a wonderful film. It’s emotionally honest and it uses the horror genre to tell a story about recovery, about how it sucks, and that you just have to keep on keeping on.”
  • natezoebl: “Flanagan has reverence for both King’s source material and the beloved 1980 film, and bridging the two is a source of enjoyment.  “
  • Film Geeky: “It strikes a careful balance in recognising Kubrick’s contribution to the universe of The Shining and building a view of the world beyond the Overlook hotel, and as a result delivers an impressive and engaging dark thriller.”
  • Comic Book Debate: “Overall, Doctor Sleep is one of the best movies of the year. The film is a worthy successor to The Shining, and honors both Kubrick and King equally as it delivers a story that will satisfy film and book lovers alike.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  • Dr. Filmlove’s Film Reviews & Ratings: “….its biggest fault in entering an arena of bickering and strong-minded visions is that it only offers a few of its own. And that’s a shameful fact, given that the ones on display are actually worthy of substantial, stimulating, and sometimes shocking merit.”
  • reelhit: “….thought it was a surprisingly well-done movie, ranking very high on the list of all-time best Stephen King adaptations “
  • Your Intrepid Host: “I don’t want to call the film ‘bad.’ It isn’t bad. It has a good, entertaining story. There are beautiful shots in the film. Flanagan knows how to make imaginative scenes and captivating imagery. Also it features a very cute cat.”
  • Little Movie Reviews: “The scary parts, early on in the film, are few and far between. And to add insult to injury, the third act’s scary moments are only homages to The Shining, and are a repeat of the scenes that horrify you in Kubrick’s version.”
  • Howard for Film: “Although DOCTOR SLEEP won’t go down in cinematic history as the best film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, it should be remembered as a fairly respectable one.”
  • Aspiring Human Shazam: “The film is a near three hour long endurance filled with too many characters, too many subplots (all of which are mostly unoriginal) and nowhere near enough scares or iconic scenes.”
  • Society Reviews: “While there are without question, signs of brilliance here, the 2 1/2 hour runtime and lack of cohesion makes The Shining 2.0 ultimately nothing more than a mediocre attempt of providing a second chapter to a story that was good enough with the first.”
  • Flattout Studios: “If you’re looking for a traditional horror film or something as iconic or shocking as The Shining, then you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you allow yourself to get drawn into the craft and atmosphere of the film, you experience something special, which doesn’t come to theaters all that often “
  • Mr. Jabbatron: “It certainly isn’t a bad film, but it is flawed and the length is definitely 30 minutes too long for no good reason”

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Doctor Sleep, Last Christmas, Midway, Playing with Fire

Have you seen this yet? You should!

Want to know what we recommend seeing that opened this 11-08-2019 weekend #45 at the movies? All wide releases were seen, rated and reviewed with links on the movie titles below.

#1 is …

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – just go see this already! It doesn’t even feel like a sequel. Director Mike Flanagan really knows how to tell Stephen King stories on the big screen.

There are some bad reviews out there (we’ll cover that in another post), and some posts that are mixed, but this film, in our opinion, is the most entertaining of the four films being released wide this weekend. It has the most immersive story, excellent acting from Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat and young actress Kyleigh Curran as Abra (she is just fantastic, really!), the only based on a Stephen King story (so you just know the source material is going to have a certain kind of feel to it) and pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s masterful horror creation.

Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  – a romcom with a troubled woman playing an elf and a mystery man who helps get her life back on path. Has a Twilight Zone like vibe to the story. We liked this one and recommend. If you are not a fan at all of horror and suspense, then this is our secondary recommendation. It’s the first film in theaters this holiday 2019 season we’ve seen and it definitely has that holiday magic. Get the mistletoe and eggnog ready!

Midway ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – reminded me somewhat of Pearl Harbor, only this one takes place mostly at sea with the historic naval battle at Midway. Plenty of exciting aerial battle scenes, explosions, fire and some tense WWII action. Recommended.

If you don’t like horror and aren’t quite ready for any holiday-themed movies, then this war movie would be our final recommendation of the movies opening wide this weekend. It is timely with Veteran’s Day coming up on Monday, too.

Playing With Fire⭐️½  – cliche-ridden tale of kids in a smokejumper/fire-station getting through the weekend. John Cena can’t fight this misfire. Not recommended.

Even the trailer looked kind of cheesy for this one and there are much better options at the theater than this one.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater that are recommended. Any movie we rate at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

  1. Harriet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  3. The Lighthouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Motherless Brooklyn ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Black and Blue ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Zombieland: Double Tap ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Haven’t seen Jo Jo Rabbit or Parasite as of this writing. Jo Jo Rabbit is going to be playing next weekend, so will catch up with it then most likely. Parasite is playing and will see that soon. It was previously limited screening. All other films now playing are not recommended to see in the theater. You can see all our movie reviews on Letterboxd, including those on streaming channels.

Opening 11-7-2019 in Theaters: Doctor Sleep, Midway, Playing With Fire, Last Christmas

Wide releases for Doctor Sleep, Midway, Playing With Fire, Last Christmas, on 11-6-2019

Wednesday, yay! Join us here each week every Wednesday as we look forward to the widely released new movies coming to theater. When we can look back and say it doesn’t matter cinematically what happened last weekend, good or bad, and enjoy what new is being made available. Good times!

This week is a bit unique in that I’ve already seen one of the new releases. The first up in fact …

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Steam-powered horror bliss! I’m so excited for those of you who have not seen this movie yet getting to experience it for the first time. I’m hoping to catch it again.

Stephen King likes this so much that it has warmed his opinion on Kubrick’s version of The Shining

Anticipation: 10/10 (to see/experience/enjoy it a second time)


War movies are hit or miss for me. This one could be interesting. Probably will compare it to Pearl Harbor, which I liked.

Anticipation: 2/10

Playing With Fire

Kara is really excited about seeing this one. She doesn’t mention many movies she’s looking forward from the preview to seeing and this is on her radar. It seems like one of those goofy family films with a Home Alone type vibe. I’m usually into these for the fun one time viewing, at least.

Anticipation: 7/10 (Kara) 5/10 Me, 6/10 = both

Last Christmas

Looks like one of those fantasy Christmas elf romcoms. This time a year, I’m a sucker for these movies. Bet my wife is looking forward to seeing this too.

Anticipation: 5/10

ANTICIPATION for Week of 11/7/19 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 11-7-2019 movies?

  1. Doctor Sleep – 10/10 (to see a second time)
  2. Playing with Fire – 6/10
  3. Last Christmas – 5/10
  4. Midway – 2/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

All four are wide screenings and available in our area, so the plan is to see all of them.

EARLY ACCESS REVIEW: Doctor Sleep (no spoilers!) Yes, It’s Better than Joker!

On 10/30/2019 at 7pm, I was able to see Doctor Sleep a week early through Fandango purchase

Waited eagerly until midnight PST to post this. Even though it’s Halloween somewhere in the world, I just wanted to say I posted it on Halloween. Plenty more goodies coming today. I sooooo love Halloween!!!

Thanks to the Fandango Early Access program that is open to anybody, not only film critics and amateur movie reviewers and whatever you want to classify me as (ardent moviegoer? constipated blogger? fan of films?), so long as you purchase a ticket, you can see movies early. The second I learned about this, I went for my wallet. Seriously, I can see one of my five most anticipated movies of the Fall 2019 season early?!?! I’m sooo there.

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Advance movie review for Doctor Sleep

For those who don’t know the history of this movie, author Stephen King had been hounded by fans and his own thoughts to write a sequel to The Shining. He resisted because Stephen King is not known for churning out cash grab sequels. He has done some series work, notably The Dark Tower, but sequels are different. He didn’t just want to cash in on the greatness that was The Shining. unless he had a good story to tell about what happened to young Danny Torrance.

So at the beginning of this decade, King got the idea worked out in his mind and then had to write it down, generating the novel published on September 24, 2013. It currently has almost 10,000 ratings on Amazon with a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. King has rabid fans, but you don’t get 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with that many reviews unless the book is good.

Before seeing Doctor Sleep, I decided intentionally not to re-read (not something I do very often with any work, actually, but have done with a few Stephen King books) or rewatch The Shining. It’s been well over 20 years since I originally watched The Shining (1980) which was Stanley Kubrick’s vision and adaptation. Stephen King was not a fan of Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, The Shining, but everybody else pretty has been. (Rotten Tomatoes: 83% critics / 95% audience, IMDB: 8.4). In fact, there is an awesome set of integral scenes for The Shining in Stephen Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

So, I was going into my screening of Doctor Sleep fairly cold from the past of The Shining. Sure, I remember parts of it, but I didn’t want to freshen up my entire memory of the original movie before seeing the sequel.

I have started reading the novel, Doctor Sleep, but did not finish it — also, intentionally — before seeing the movie. Just didn’t want to ruin the ending of the movie (and therefore won’t know if the book ending and movie ending are different) and/or be caught up in over comparisons of the book and the movie too much in the review.

I am enjoying Doctor Sleep, the novel, but to me it’s not as gripping as The Shining. King’s writing style has evolved over the years. I don’t find his writing as taut as was the first 10-20 years. That isn’t necessarily a knock on him — as he’s clearly still one of the very best at his craft (he will probably go down historically as the best modern day storyteller ever), but I liked more of Stephen King’s writing when he was more laser focused. Books like The Stand, all of his early short story works and the staples: Carrie and, of course, The Shining, Dead Zone, Christine, Pet Sematary (perhaps the scariest book I’ve ever read!) and so on. His storytelling for me started to get headier around the mid 90s. I have read and enjoyed some of his work a lot since then like 11/23/63 (fantastic story, haven’t seen the mini-series on Hulu .. yet).

So, I’m what you would consider a huge fan of all works by Stephen King, but a little more biased to the bulk of his work earlier in his career.

Now that you know the setup for my state of mind and memory of the first film and novel — both which I enjoyed — that sets the stage good for how I felt about the film Doctor Sleep. If you already clicked through and read the text review at Letterboxd, you know the rating and why. Also, I provided a video review (again. no spoilers) of my feelings immediately after leaving the theater.

And now at least I’m compiling this blog post to give my final, final review thoughts. After seeing the movie, after writing the review, after recording the video … what is left for me to say about Doctor Sleep?

I loved it.

It’s going to seem like hyperbole, but it’s quite possibly my favorite horror film sequel that I’ve ever seen. Damn, I want to see it again! When you get the chance in a week to see it, you’re strongly encouraged to do so.

This isn’t a trick, it’s a treat.

Be the First to See Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep 8 Days Early – Wednesday 10-30-2019 – Through Fandango (LIMITED TIME OFFER — HURRY!)

Wednesday Oct 30 Doctor Sleep is having advanced screenings (November 8 is the opening date) in various theaters. Luckily, I found a local theater participating and reserved a seat (the theater was about half full at the time I ordered about a half hour before making this post).

All you have to do to ensure you see the movie nine days before anyone else is purchase your tickets through Fandango here.

Be the First to See Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep this Wednesday << Rotten Tomatoes – Movie and TV News

This will be my first ever advanced screening and it was accessed through an advertisement on Rotten Tomatoes (thank you!). Sure, it cost me $14.11 when if I waited until it came out it would be at no additional charge. The early access price for a movie I want to see (and am reading the book right now) is worth it.

Hurry, if you are interested in seeing Doctor Sleep early, then click the link and reserve your ticket. I don’t know how long this offer will last and seats will be available. Good luck to you!

(Note: I am not making any affiliate revenue from this post, am just passing along an offer I’m personally excited about and purchased myself)

Now Reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Bought Doctor Sleep for Kindle Fire to read before seeing the movie

Recharged my Kindle Fire and purchased Doctor Sleep by Stephen King for $9.99 + tax in preparation for the upcoming sequel film to The Shining.

I’m going to try and get the novel read first before seeing the film adaption. I read and greatly enjoyed The Shining many years ago and that is also on my Kindle, just in case I want to go back and re-read that too.

Doctor Sleep opens in theaters November 8.