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Married Life (2008)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 52

Married Life has excellent performances and flashes of dark wit, but it suffers from tonal shifts and uneven pacing.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 15

Married Life has excellent performances and flashes of dark wit, but it suffers from tonal shifts and uneven pacing.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 5,008

My Rating

Movie Info

A very gentle middle-aged man is married, but when he falls in love with another woman, he decides that to divorce his wife will be to humiliate her too much. So instead he decides to kill her.


Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

John Bingham, Oren Moverman

Sep 2, 2008


Sony Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (121) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (52) | DVD (7)

It looks beautiful, and the convoluted plotting is initially the right side of Hitchcock pastiche, but the central conundrum is teased out over so many twists and false climaxes that ultimately it's a shrug, not a shock, which greets the denouement.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sachs combines humor, suspense, and twists of plot that keep the ground shifting under our feet.

April 13, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's as dry as the martinis these well-dressed stiffs keep ordering at that perfectly preserved oak, leather and velvet bar before hopping into their vintage convertibles.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It oscillates between stale period piece and unengaging melodrama, coyly seducing viewers with the potential it fails to fulfill.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Offers audiences movie pleasures, as well as emotionally authentic challenges.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Married Life is an engaging romance noir, a sort of updated The Postman Always Rings Twice that packs its surprises into four characters, none of them predictable.

March 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The roundelay structure and Hitchcockian nods could have easily given way to a sardonic puppet theater, but Sachs and screenwriter Oren Moverman care too much about their characters to turn them into pawns

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

One of the more ethically dubious films to come out of Hollywood in years.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

This darkly comic dramatic thriller, which is set just after World War II, is more than merely watchable. It's very smart and is old-fashioned in several respects.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It is as though filmmaker Ira Sachs fears that just making a film about infidelity is too straight, too pedestrian, so, he's got to introduce the possibility that murder is on the horizon.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Even movies that dare to paint dark portraits of the sacred institution can't resist glorifying it in the end.

September 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Pajiba

The ensemble cast chemistry is superb in its nearly suffocating tangle of repressed passions, but the family-values wrap-up of all these messy erotic tensions feels ultimately far too pat and unresolved.

September 4, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

Once he gets out from under his influences and trusts his own gut, Sachs might become a major director.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Thought-provoking themes swirl around in this drama, brought to life by a skilled cast and a director who plays with Hitchcockian themes and imagery. In the end, it feels a bit undercooked, but the actors keep us glued to the screen.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

It's a good cast, with Cooper outstanding, but Sachs's direction is stodgy and the screenplay is grindingly self-conscious.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The tangled web which slowly causes the film's relationships to disintegrate is brilliantly woven. However, you can't help wishing the climax packs a bit more of a dramatic punch.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

A noirish 1940s-set character study, it's an initially intriguing tale of infidelity and betrayal that smoulders, but never quite catches fire.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

A classy cast and production design to die for are the only features of note in an underpowered tale of adultery and intrigue in '50s America.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Married Life may fall short of the best Hollywood melodrama, but its nicely observed situations and old-fashioned storytelling ironically lend this a freshness more on-the-nose infidelity tales are missing.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

The movie is determinedly low-key, but honest, with a wrenching break-up scene, sharp work from Clarkson, and a final thought that lingers, about never really knowing what your other half is thinking.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

A well-acted but lugubrious noir, which is somehow not quite thrilling enough to be a thriller, and not quite profound enough to be a character study.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

The layers of deception are as meticulously constructed as the impeccable 1940s production and costume design. Unfortunately, the film doesn't maintain that distinctive noir cruelty, as hard as red lacquered finger nails.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

A mannered comedy of manners that, in its eagerness to be all things to all people, ends up being nothing much of anything.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Superbly directed, thought-provoking blend of Hitchcock movies, 1940s pastiche and Bette Davis-style melodrama, featuring terrific performances from Cooper and Clarkson.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

An ode to Hollywood movies of the 40s and 50s, with its rich story, its post-war middle class mores of US society, its production design and its characters blundering around a moral dilemma.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Married Life

Good, but expected it to be better. End just felt a bit flat to me. However, very nice to look at, and cast all good - kind of like of like one of the old film noir movies. Just would have liked a little more to it.
March 11, 2013

Super Reviewer

it's odd the lengths someone will go to, to not hurt someone they love/loved. i really liked it. i couldn't stop watching it, very suspenseful. you can't help but feel like at any moment someone is going to be murdered. it's dark, but very true to life.. everyone's been in a relationship like these depicted in this movie.
July 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

Married Life is a nice thriller with very good black humor about a man with a lot of years being married and having a lover he decides that it is very painful for his wife to ask her for the divorce so instead of divorcing his wife, he chooses to murder her. The story is very good, the plot very well developed, it has very good twists and an unexpected ending although it has some holes and a very slow rhythm at some moments. The cast is excellent. Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams gave us almost perfect performances To conclude, this is a movie worth to see. Very recommendable.
October 10, 2009

Super Reviewer

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