Reveal too much and you've done all the heavy lifting for the audience. Reveal too little and they're left scratching their heads. The Woman in the Fifth will leave you very itchy indeed.
| Original Score: C+
A pretentious, muddled drama that teases and mystifies.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The Woman in the Fifth fairly oozes enigma; if only it could drum up something to be enigmatic about.
[An] intriguing but contrived mystery-drama.
For all the promise of minor-key, David Lynch-esque surrealism with a French twist, the movie offers perilously little payoff.
| Original Score: 2/4
The end result still gives every appearance of the film having been made up as they went along.
| Original Score: 2/5
[Mostly slow, this film at least] has some absorbing moments of strange sexuality, haunt and mystery.
Oh, deliver us, please, from tiresome male fantasies.
Pawel Pawlikowski's great-looking but pretentious adaptation of a Douglas Kennedy novel.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
"The Woman in the Fifth" leaves so many holes unfilled that instead of ending up intriguing, it's just plain frustrating.
| Original Score: D+
You realize you've been watching an object that's all surface, no soul.
A thankless lead vehicle for Ethan Hawke who's left largely stranded by writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski's opaque adaptation of Douglas Kennedy's novel.
With the exception of one brilliantly uncomfortable literary party scene, the film is really just a euro-sub-pudding with psycho-thriller possibilities.
Fifth feels like a literary bauble, chipped by imperfections.
| Original Score: C
Pawlikowski can't decide what to do with his protagonist, whose writer's block is the least of his emotional burdens.
It's a curio, ripe with dreamy atmospherics and intriguing mysteries, but little else.
The Woman in the Fifth is an interesting chameleon until it runs out of disguises, and all that was transitory just looks transparent.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The Woman in the Fifth leaves a tantalizing trail of breadcrumbs only to lead us to...one last breadcrumb.
| Original Score: 6/10
An arresting film but ultimately an unsatisfying one, creating an effectively menacing mood but not delivering much dramatic punch, especially in a disappointing final twist.
Too many questions are left unaddressed, much less unanswered, in its rush to a meager non-payoff.