• R, 2 hr. 28 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Roman Polanski
    In Theaters:
    Dec 27, 2002 Limited
    On DVD:
    May 27, 2003
  • Focus Features


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The Pianist Reviews

Page 1 of 10
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie lacks those specific personal moments that pull an audience into a story and let them identify with a character.

July 29, 2002
Eric D. Snider

The filmmakers have fallen prey to the classic syndrome of assuming a story will be interesting just because it is true.

Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Original Score: C+

January 4, 2003
Arthur Lazere

A virtuoso piece of filmmaking from a technical and visually aesthetic point of view, but Polanski's choice of emotional distance as his mode and the choice of Szpilman as hero combine to make the film a miscalculated disappointment.

Full Review Source: culturevulture.net

December 26, 2002
John Anderson
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cartoonish in some parts, ham-handed in others and very un-Polanski.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 27, 2002
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather

Horribly uneven.

| Original Score: C+

January 2, 2003
Matthew Turner

Brody is good and there are one or two impressive sequences, but it's a mystery as to how this won the Palme D'Or.

Full Review Source: ViewLondon | Original Score: 2/5

January 26, 2003
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum

Roman Polanski directs The Pianist like a surgeon mends a broken heart; very meticulously but without any passion.

Full Review Source: Juicy Cerebellum | Original Score: 4/10

January 19, 2003

Film Threat

| Original Score: 2.5/5

December 6, 2005
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brody is a sublimely haunting presence at the heart of The Pianist.

| Original Score: 4/5

January 16, 2003
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Polanski shows us some surreally devastatrng visions and the film's ultimate "message" is one of unalloyed hope and faith in the power of humans to - finally, at last - behave humanely.

Full Review | Original Score: A-

February 10, 2003
Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine

A worthy Holocaust drama and a welcome return to form for Roman Polanski.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 29, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is not a thriller, and avoids any temptation to crank up suspense or sentiment; it is the pianist's witness to what he saw and what happened to him.

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

January 3, 2003
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not since 1974's Chinatown has Polanski reached such dramatic heights.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 26, 2002
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It will break your heart many times over.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 19, 2002
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

| Original Score: A-

February 27, 2003
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

True story of a Jewish pianist; OK for older kids.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

December 28, 2010
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs

By comparison, Schindler's List is Pretentious Hollywood crap.

Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Original Score: 4/4

September 30, 2005
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

The film serves as a valuable time capsule to remind us of the devastating horror suffered by an entire people.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 3/4

January 17, 2003
James Rocchi

One man's true story set against the Holocaust is a haunting, beautiful tale of humanity, horror and hope.

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 5/5

February 11, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is one of Polanski's best films.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 23, 2002
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic
April 25, 2011
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
June 13, 2003
Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 11, 2003
Ross Anthony
Hollywood Report Card

The film clocks in around 2.5 hours. It's hard to watch, but important. You'll leave wanting to hug your family and play a musical instrument -- both with great passion. (Director's Notes included in article).

Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card

March 6, 2003


January 3, 2003

Baltimore Sun
January 10, 2003

Film Comment Magazine

August 21, 2004

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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