Martha Marcy May Marlene Reviews

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Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
May 3, 2015
Durkin's swaggeringly confident film utilizes long takes and tension within compositions to conjure an all-consuming sense of unease.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 18, 2014
In quiet, intimate ways, it is one of the most startling, haunting films you'll see all year.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 18, 2014
Durkin intersperses the present-day scenes with increasingly revelatory flashbacks from Martha's two years in the cult.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Alynda Wheat
People Magazine
March 18, 2014
The beauty of Olsen's star-making performance is inarguable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jay Stone
March 18, 2014
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
March 18, 2014
A moody, atmospheric study in paranoia and tension.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Matthew Odam
Austin American-Statesman
March 18, 2014
In a world lacking trust, every movement seems a threat, around every corner lurks betrayal.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Blake Griffin
We Got This Covered
November 11, 2013
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 | Original Score: 9/10
Violet Lucca
Film Comment Magazine
June 28, 2013
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.
Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
December 29, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ben Kendrick
October 2, 2012
A subtle, yet challenging, character drama with stand-out performances and some truly beautiful camerawork.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Ali Gray
September 24, 2012
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 | Original Score: 4/5
August 25, 2012
A disturbing psychological drama that's guaranteed to rack up more and more followers as its menacing message is spread.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight
July 27, 2012
A brilliant exploration of the destructive power of cult conditioning.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
April 27, 2012
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 | Original Score: 4/5
March 22, 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 | Original Score: 4/5
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
March 19, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
Matt Glasby
March 15, 2012
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 | Original Score: 4/5
Cameron Williams
The Popcorn Junkie
March 8, 2012
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 | Original Score: 4.5/5
Eric Melin
March 2, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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