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Martha Marcy May Marlene Reviews

Page 1 of 10
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In quiet, intimate ways, it is one of the most startling, haunting films you'll see all year.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

March 18, 2014
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Durkin intersperses the present-day scenes with increasingly revelatory flashbacks from Martha's two years in the cult.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

March 18, 2014
Alynda Wheat
People Magazine

The beauty of Olsen's star-making performance is inarguable.

Full Review Source: People Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 18, 2014
Jay Stone

Martha is a cipher in the mounting drama, but Olsen manages to give her real life with a sort of reverse charisma, curling her physical beauty into poses of aggression or loss.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

March 18, 2014
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

A moody, atmospheric study in paranoia and tension.

Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI) | Original Score: B

March 18, 2014
Matthew Odam
Austin American-Statesman

In a world lacking trust, every movement seems a threat, around every corner lurks betrayal.

Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman | Original Score: A-

March 18, 2014
Blake Griffin
We Got This Covered

Durkin's direction is strong and assured and due to it, we get a fresh and exciting film that serves as a nice debut for Elizabeth Olsen.

Full Review Source: We Got This Covered | Original Score: 9/10

November 11, 2013
Violet Lucca
Film Comment Magazine

With a diegesis mapped along the mental contours of its protagonist, Martha Marcy May Marlene harkens back to Pasolini's notion of the cinema of poetry--and achieves it beautifully.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

June 28, 2013
Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Olsen, in a captivating, career-making performance, makes Martha awkward and inscrutable, sexual yet innocent...She makes the journey a mesmerizing and chilling experience and turns a cryptic film into an unforgettable one.

Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2012
Ben Kendrick

A subtle, yet challenging, character drama with stand-out performances and some truly beautiful camerawork.

Full Review Source: ScreenRant | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 2, 2012
Ali Gray

Martha Marcy May Marlene might not have campaign funding or grandstanding performances, but it has heart and soul, two qualities which are slowly corrupted throughout for your viewing pleasure.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

September 24, 2012

A disturbing psychological drama that's guaranteed to rack up more and more followers as its menacing message is spread.

Full Review Source: NECN | Original Score: A-

August 25, 2012
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight

A brilliant exploration of the destructive power of cult conditioning.

Full Review Source: Cinema Sight | Original Score: 4/4

July 27, 2012
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show

It may not be a fun film to watch, or one that you'd care to repeat very often - but it's a necessary experience.

Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show | Original Score: 4/5

April 27, 2012

Neither the thriller the trailer suggests, not the feminine, visual poem the poster suggests, this is a film about loss of self that is absolutely clear about its own identity

Full Review Source: Film4 | Original Score: 4/5

March 22, 2012
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures

This is a very real and very chilling look at cult behavior, and it's understandable how this can unnerve parents who worry a lot about their adult children.

Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Original Score: 3.5/5

March 19, 2012
Matt Glasby

This is a troubling portrait of how fear and abuse leave their tentacles in everything they touch - and a haunting one at that.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

March 15, 2012
Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie

Olsen delivers an amazing performance and it's tragic seeing her go from a gorgeous young woman to a beautiful basket case. A must see. I've never seen a film that generates such a high level of anxiety by doing so little.

Full Review Source: The Popcorn Junkie | Original Score: 4.5/5

March 8, 2012
Eric Melin

The masterstroke is that Durkin only reveals why Martha is so messed up in flashbacks constructed to mirror her fractured mental state. Olsen plays it with a chilling amount of honesty and the movie creeps up on you and leaves you completely paranoid.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 2, 2012
Andrew Simpson
Fan The Fire

The performance of Olsen, effortlessly moving between playful girlishness, catatonia and hysterical paranoia, is remarkable.

Full Review Source: Fan The Fire | Original Score: 3/5

March 1, 2012
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