The Magdalene Sisters - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magdalene Sisters Reviews

Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
March 11, 2008
This drama about a shocking reality from recent history balances a light touch with searing intensity and a sense of moral outrage.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 11, 2008
Grimly believable.
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
You may never look at a nun the same way again.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
September 5, 2003
The Magdalene Sisters has the force of an alarm being sounded.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
September 3, 2003
Why was this film made after the homes had already been abolished? One reason, hardly trifling, is that it was made excellently. Thematically, however, it stings.
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Kathy Cano Murillo
Arizona Republic
August 28, 2003
Will make you furious and dejected, but in the end it offers an optimistic if unsettling twist.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 22, 2003
If The Magdalene Sisters occasionally flirts with cartoonishness, the movie is tempered by Mullan's considerable filmmaking skills.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 22, 2003
It is a strong, affecting movie about man's ability to twist holiness into horror.
| Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 22, 2003
A story like this one could easily succumb to outraged melodrama, but not only does Mullan keep the drama human-sized, he even leavens it with the humor that one can easily believe had to be summoned to endure such misguided and malicious treatment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 22, 2003
Full of forceful, aching performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 22, 2003
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 21, 2003
Although it's heavy-handed in its emotional button-pushing, The Magdalene Sisters still manages to produce all the reactions the filmmakers want: repulsion, indignation, anger and outrage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 21, 2003
Mr. Mullan's fictional treatment of this subject in The Magdalene Sisters has much to commend.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 17, 2003
Definitely one-sided, but still very powerful.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 15, 2003
Watching the film, you can feel years of real pain. It feels more like gothic documentary than darkly limned fancy.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 15, 2003
A stirring, emotionally galvanizing film, not only due to its shattering subject matter but thanks to Mullan's spot-on eye for casting and fluid, uncoercive style.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 15, 2003
The cast is uniformly fine, particularly smiley-eyed Geraldine McEwan as the avaricious Sister Bridget, and the filmmaking haunting.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 15, 2003
A film of haunting eloquence and justifiable fury.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 15, 2003
Blistering and brilliant work of true-life moral agitprop.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 15, 2003
A harrowing look at institutional cruelty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
August 15, 2003
An intense expose with bits of acrid humor.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 15, 2003
A fierce, brilliant film that breaks (and then mends) your heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 6, 2003
A great film that deserves genuflection.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 4, 2003
I want people to give this movie a chance, it's one of the best movies of the year I think.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 2, 2003
A classic crowd-pleaser, a neo-Gothic tale whose appealing heroines are unfairly oppressed but finally find the strength to set themselves free.
Top Critic
August 2, 2003
Both a masterpiece and a holy hell.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 1, 2003
Like Phillip Noyce's recent Rabbit-Proof Fence, which exposed similar crimes of mass containment and correction against Australia's Aboriginal people, The Magdalene Sisters is social history told with anger and an agenda.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 1, 2003
A powerful document of cruelty and sadism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 1, 2003
It may well be a stinging attack on the church. But it can also be read as a hymn of praise to the faith.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
August 1, 2003
Mullan triggers all your emotions -- anger, sorrow, pity, disgust, shame. And once he gets hold of you, he won't let go.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 1, 2003
Angry and deliberately provocative, The Magdalene Sisters sets out to offend those who deserve it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
August 1, 2003
Offers a kind of worst-case glimpse into the draconian Magdalene Asylums that were begun in the late 19th century and lasted well into the 1990s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 31, 2003
One of the most gut-wrenching and expertly told films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 31, 2003
There is a fundamental air of truth about it, a sense that, horrific though things seem, this is how it must have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
July 31, 2003
McEwan nails the degenerate blend of humanity and hypocrisy that can coexist when people become slavemasters of moral rectitude.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 31, 2003
The film gets to you; it's a powerhouse.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 30, 2003
Grim, grueling and triumphantly powerful.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 30, 2003
The Magdalene Asylums really existed, and Mullan has captured their pious horror with a humanity that burns away any hint of exploitation.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 29, 2003
This is a worthwhile movie because it is well-made and encourages viewers to think and feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 29, 2003
Proposes itself as a corrective. Soon after, there's a scene powerful enough to induce a revolutionary conversion.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 24, 2002
The Magdalene Sisters more than fulfills the promise of Mr. Mullan's audacious feature film debut, Orphans.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 20, 2002
An angry, bitter film certain to electrify audiences with its dramatic intensity.