• R, 1 hr. 59 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Peter Mullan
    In Theaters:
    Aug 22, 2003 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 23, 2004
  • Miramax Films


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The Magdalene Sisters Reviews

Page 1 of 8
David Foucher
EDGE Boston

This flick explores the subjugation of promiscuous women at the hands of an order of nuns; if you're looking for fun at the movies, look elsewhere.

Full Review Source: EDGE Boston | Original Score: B-

October 7, 2003
Jeremy Heilman

We never doubt where Mullan's polemical biases lie, [but] such simplifications rob the movie of much of its dramatic effect.

Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com | Original Score: 2/4

October 1, 2002
Jeremiah Kipp

Like many lectures on righteousness, it's also painfully dull.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 2/5

October 7, 2002
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals

All in all, a worthy, if dull effort which leaves us feeling we've been assigned to a lecture of limited inspiration.

Full Review Source: Cinema Signals | Original Score: 2.2/5

August 2, 2003
John A. Nesbit

remains far too formulaic to last longer than a passing footnote soon destined for dusty shelves

Full Review Source: ToxicUniverse.com | Original Score: 2.5/5

September 5, 2003
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Writer/director Peter Mullan clearly feels very strongly about this subject, but his lack of objectivity prevents the film from becoming more than just a one-sided tirade.

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 2/4

August 4, 2003
Chuck Rudolph
Matinee Magazine

Nuns stomp down hallways like Storm Troopers while the girls are treated to the full Lars von Trier victim package, complete with bloody beatings, sexual assaults, and ugly full-frontal nude scenes.

Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Original Score: C-

September 24, 2002
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Something like a 'Masterpiece Theatre' retread of an old Roger Corman women-in-prison flick...

| Original Score: 2.5/4

September 15, 2003
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

That Magdalene Sisters arrives stateside with the full censure of the Vatican more or less confirms Mullan's job-well-done.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 24, 2002
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

By not admitting to the humanist complexity that evil regimes are upheld by real people, its horror is distanced and skin deep.

Full Review

September 24, 2003
Steven D. Greydanus
Decent Films Guide

Whatever value the film might have had as an exposé of social sin is undermined by its prejudicial stereotyping of every single nun and priest. Instead of a morally serious film about a corrupt institution… it becomes mere agitprop.

Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Original Score: D

August 18, 2003
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

The real-life story behind The Magdalene Sisters is harrowing enough without writer-director Peter Mullan's melodramatic embellishments.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

June 14, 2003
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune

Mullan can direct scenes so that your skin crawls while your blood freezes, but his feel for drama is fairly primitive ... and before the movie ends, you may feel bilious from his force-fed revelations.

Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

August 22, 2003
Cynthia Fuchs

Mullan's film both amplifies and flattens these stories, so they are at once sensational and too intimate, by filling in narrative gaps and detailing scenes of mistreatment and malevolence.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

August 30, 2003
Jonathan W. Hickman
Entertainment Insiders

An edgy, complex tale.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders | Original Score: 4/4

September 5, 2003
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies

Much like last year's Oscar-nominated "The Pianist," "Magdalene" is a movie that attempts to get at the core of pain, anguish and perseverance.

Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 10, 2003
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Mullan has made a vicious and relentless film, but his outrage is well-earned.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: A

January 27, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A harrowing look at institutional cruelty.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 15, 2003
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a worthwhile movie because it is well-made and encourages viewers to think and feel.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

July 29, 2003
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full of forceful, aching performances.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 22, 2003

Sydney Morning Herald
April 18, 2003

Baltimore Sun
August 22, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
August 22, 2003

February 7, 2004
Page 1 of 8
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