Descent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Descent Reviews

Page 1 of 18
½ June 19, 2016
Descent fails with its good intentions of addressing the very serious issue of rape and sexual violence. Its setup of Dawson's character, Maya, meeting a charming young man than being assaulted by him is ruined by the film's murkiness that proceeds. From then on the film detours into scenes of Maya befriending and hanging with creepy, repugnant debauchee, Jared, at nightclubs and engaging in obscure, pretentious conversations that never mention or reference her assault. Thus the audience is left with no insight of how she's feeling in the aftermath of her rape until a 7 minute revenge rape scene is peremptorily presented, which is even more disturbing, graphic, and sadistic than Maya's.
September 28, 2014
There seems to be a popular misconception, mostly perpetuated by the filmmakers, that "Descent" is somehow a noble project that will somehow speak to women everywhere. Obviously they were thinking pretty highly of themselves. I'm sure star Rosario Dawson and director Talia Lugacy had the best of intentions going forward with this picture but they couldn't have been more wrong-headed. This is a disastrous, nearly unwatchable movie that sets out to offend and disturb its audience. That's the only thing it succeeds at.


The film glosses over a lot of key points that would have tied this together a little better, and while that wouldn't have solved all of the film's problems, it certainly would have helped. The only thing less vague than Dawson's descent into drugs and sex is her rise back to star college student. It just lacks any kind of authenticity. During the Q & A session following a screening of the movie with the star and director, they discuss the importance of the picture.


Apparently, they feel this will help victims of rape and abuse cope with their feelings. But that is completely unreasonable simply because Dawson's resolution to her rape is so implausible and unthinkable that I don't see how this would help anyone. The film's conclusion is sure to be debated for years, but it's simply vile and disturbing without any real purpose other than to shock the audience. It works, but to what purpose?


It's true when I say that I'll never forget it, but in this case I'll really be trying to. "Descent" is a pretentious, arthouse failure that is vile and ugly just for shock value. It's anti-therapeutic.
½ October 14, 2013
Watched this movie and felt with a half-way decent director it could have been really good revenge movie. Instead it's slow and drawn out. The act of rape committed against Maya was not nearly as violent as it could have been. If her rape was half as sickening and degrading as "Jared's" I could justify, for lack of a better term, his rape. I actually felt his pain and wanted to save him.
August 30, 2013
I really can't give this movie a rating any higher...mainly because there is not much to it outside of rape scenes. People deal with things in different ways psychologically and not many people would go this dark in real life but likely would have THOUGHT about it. Descent is that pure indulgence of acting on that thought and at least for me it was vicariously satisfying. I'm not ashamed to admit it and neither is this movie.

Sidenote- Anyone else notice Rosario's costars from Death Proof?
August 24, 2013
This movie was just down right stupid. Basic plot: Girl gets raped, girl mopes for awhile, girl slums in dance clubs, girl gets revenge.

The rape scenes themselves are very long, but since nothing is really shown to give the awful effect, I just didn't think either was very effective.

Between these two rapes scenes, the film gets super boring.

It was nice to see Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine, aka Julie the Cat from The Mighty Ducks films, pop up for a few scenes, but that is all.

This was an awful movie. The star is for Rosario and that is all.
August 3, 2013
To characterize this movie simply as a rape flick is an oversimplification of the film on many levels. This film is the psychological, emotional, and spiritual journey of a woman who has been traumatized at her core. The vehicle of that trauma is a rape. This film uses raw vivid imagery to convey emotion instead of surreal, dreamlike, or detached sequences. It will not be everyone's cup of tea. At times the scenes may come across as shocking or intentionally over the top but I find (as someone who has experienced rape) that the scene are extremely accurate in their portrayal of the various physical and emotional experiences that many victims go through. The movie moves intentionally slow in order to gives its viewers time to think and thoroughly digest what has happened as it progresses. When it comes to the end I feel that seeing the R-rated version of the film misconstrues the movies point. It leaves the viewer feeling as though they had watched a revenge movie and disappoints them. The NC-17 version has a much stronger message. It is not only more complete (obviously) but it leaves the viewer with a sense of satisfaction and believability of where the characters are that the R-rated version can not have considering what was cut.

Overall the movie was genuine, the acting was honest, the characters are very well balanced and believeable, and if viewed with an open mind the film as a whole will give any viewer some very serious ideas to think about afterwards. For me this movie does for rape what Sandra Bullock and 28 Days did for alcoholism. It is a must watch.
July 13, 2013
Violence begets violence in some, not all cases. In this film, using rape as revenge on the offending rapist adds a different voice to those who have been sexually traumatized by venturing a road less traveled by victims of rape. This film therefore explores this issue and the emotional toll in a different light even if it ends very dark.
July 6, 2013
What the hell was this crap.
May 26, 2013
The first rape scene is of a pg-13 standard an does nothing but intrigue you for what's going to happen next. After that I became extremely confused at what the hell was going on the entire middle phase. Then the final half hour kicks in and things start to make sense and relate to the beginning again. Not only does she get revenge, she has a large Spanish man rape the guy who raped her. This guys got some serious stamina bc this rape scene is excessive and very long. And then the movie ends leaving us to wonder wht happens next. Yep I certainly don't plan on watching it again.
May 5, 2013
This movie just gets really awkward towards the end. And needed more tits
February 9, 2013
this movie was awful. terrible acting. i'm pretty sure everyone in it has aspergers or assburgers due to the lack of normal human communication. the writing is awful. the pace is slow for no reason. i didn't believe any part of the any scene. if someone paid me 50 bucks i would not watch this movie again. nobody acts like this in real life. i hate everything about this movie. other than that it was amazing....
December 23, 2012
Probably the most poorly edited movie in the history of cinema
November 7, 2012
Finally, a movie with explicit violence against women and rape scenes that is produced and directed by women. The revenge was gratifying.
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2012
Strange and unsettling -- apparently for no reason.
October 14, 2012
For a movie called Descent, the low is nowhere near low enough. For movie about revenge, the revenge is nowhere near enough. Sure, I guess all things being equal one rape is revenged by another--but (and call me a product of Kill Bill-type revenge movies) the fact that she couldn't extract the revenge herself makes it a bit hollow. Maybe it doesn't matter--HE got just deserts (even though I would have liked to see him get more than that) and perhaps that is what it's all about. And ending the movie with what felt like a 10-minute rape scene is just... eh. Eh. Eh. That's this movie. Eh. Good performance by Dawson, though. And hell, even Faust did a great job in making us hate his character.
September 20, 2012
A borderline homoerotic art film.
½ September 14, 2012
If you're a pissed bitch bent on payback and the ultimate revenge this is the movie for you... CRAZY!
September 8, 2012
Realistic and brave. This is one of my new FAVORITES.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2012
After a brutal date rape, a woman discovers her sexual power and the need for revenge.
Dark in its subject matter and the complexion of the film, Descent whiles most of its 100 minutes in as many depressing and angering scenes one could imagine, and there's not a single moment of comic relief. There are multiple rape scenes in this film, each of which goes on longer than we're used to seeing. I understand that the point of the film may be realism, but there's a line between wallowing in the mire and effective dramatic presentation of horrid events, and Descent dove off the cliff of wallowing.
Also, I wonder about what the film is saying. Maya is raped, and in response, she discovers her ability to manipulate others using her sexuality. Does this suggest that a woman's sexual power is tantamount to "reverse rape?" Does the discovery of one's sexual power mark a "descent?" Whatever the concept behind freshman director Talia Lugacy's filmm is, it isn't clear and could be debated.
Jared is a douche from the beginning, and the elevated dialogue that Chad Faust and Rosario Dawson are forced to utter makes the dynamic even more unrealistic. Faust's performance is bad because he fails to find anything worth liking in Jared, and Dawson's performance is good because despite it all, she finds something that draws her character to him and she can somehow make the bad writing seem natural.
Overall, Descent is remarkably disturbing and dark, and that's all it is, a catalog of horrors with no redeeming through-line.
½ June 25, 2012
dont waste your time one this
Page 1 of 18