Death in Love (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Death in Love (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Writer/director Boaz Yakin explores the burdens carried by the descendants of those who survived with this family drama about a woman (Jacqueline Bisset) who managed to live through her harrowing stint in a Nazi concentration camp, and her two dysfunctional sons. Having managed to survive in a Nazi concentration camp by seducing the doctor who carried out experimental surgeries on the prisoners, a young Jewish woman moves to New York and starts a family. Years later, her two grown sons seem poised to become casualties of their mother's desperate past. Her eldest son (Josh Lucas) works at a fraudulent modeling agency that profits off the dreams of fame seekers. His psychosexual escapades and intellectual diatribes act as a barrier to the outside world, yet just when it seems that his life has lost all meaning, a charming young co-worker (Adam Brody) helps him to realize that in order to survive, he will have to embrace change. Meanwhile, the highly erratic mother and her younger son (Lukas Haas) have become locked in a compulsive, co-dependent cycle that now threatens to consume them both. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for disturbing violent and graphic sexual content, nudity and language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Boaz Yakin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 19, 2010
Screen Media - Official Site

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Josh Lucas
as Eldest Son
Lukas Haas
as Youngest Son
Adam Brody
as Talent Agent
Vanessa Kai
as Head of Modeling Age...
Emma Bell
as Young Girl
Stu Richel
as Father
Kelli Giddish
as Young Mother
Elizabeth Newman
as The Waitress
Jean Brassard
as Young Girl's Father
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Death in Love

Critic Reviews for Death in Love

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (10)

Death in Love is occasionally pretentious but always riveting.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Yakin and his cast are up to the job, but the current they tap into is so charged it proves overpowering. Still, their bravery is commendable.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009
New York Daily News
Top Critic

There's something seriously wrong when you assemble actors this good -- and can't believe a single stilted word coming out of their mouths.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

How do you explain a movie as hermetic and perverse and ultimately repugnant as Death in Love?

July 17, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

It's not as if we learn anything or feel any insight or catharsis from watching his characters destroy themselves and others.

Full Review… | July 16, 2009
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Survivor's guilt jumps a generation in Boaz Yakin's bleak family portrait, an incendiary journey back into the psychic horrors of the Holocaust.

Full Review… | July 15, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Death in Love


For the record, the last thing a beautiful naked woman(Morena Baccarin) wants to deal with is a man(Josh Lucas) in the middle of a midlife crisis, causing her to get dressed and leave, leading him to masturbate himself to sleep. He's not the only one not getting any, as his younger brother(Lukas Haas), a talented but emotionally disturbed pianist with weird eating habits, suffers under the thumb of their controlling mother(Jacqueline Bisset), a Holocaust survivor. So much so, that the older brother cedes control of his apartment to him, forcing him back into the workplace of a semi-legit talent agency where he meets the new gun(Adam Brody).

As "The Night Porter" proved decades ago, trying to combine sex and the Holocaust can only move a film into exploitation territory no matter how artsy you think you are. And that's especially the case with "Death in Love" that also has predictability and ponderousness amongst its sins. On the plus side, it valiantly tries to explore the connection between the body and the soul with some memorable images like the opening montage of sex and dissection and rabbis preparing bodies for burial. The older son wonders if his mother has a soul(he puts it much more crudely), considering how cold hearted she seems. That attitude actually allowed her to survive the Holocaust intact, but in the movie's eyes, it also somehow makes her complicit in its crimes.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Boaz Yakin has created a provocative, perverse, angry and highly uncomfortable film that has one too many twists for its own good. I suspect the audience who will like this film is much smaller than the one who will hate it. I found it to a fascinating and surreal exploration into psychological and pathological self-loathing. The use of the The Holocaust is a very bold and repugnant choice -- but this film is absolutely riveting. The acting is top notch. Bisset gives a solid and unforgettable performance. While the film verges on prevention is somehow manages to pull back just enough to leave an impact. Yakin's film is as ambitious as it is disgusting. There are so many dark themes regarding human nature and survival it is both impossible to simply dismiss it and nearly impossible to fully embrace it. But, in my opinion, this is a haunting and powerful little film. Be warned: a movie about the darkness of humanity, pain and survival is not going to be suitable for popcorn and a date.

Matty Stanfield
Matty Stanfield

I was surprised by the number of "name" actors in this low-budget movie. But, from the opening sequence, I was impressed with the writing and directing and can understand why they would want to be associated with this project, because it was a true work of art. That being said, apparently this movie is not for everyone. But if you like something different that pushes the envelope give it a shot.

Jeff B

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