Critics Consensus

Descent has the potential to make a statement about sexual violence, but falls flat by focusing on revenge rather than Rosario Dawson's emotional state.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,236
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Descent Photos

Movie Info

A promising college student who becomes bent on seeking revenge after a shocking act of violence is committed on her. Maya's life seems blessed. The boys can't resist her charm and beauty and she has a promising academic future. Yet, she still feels alone. Jared's life also is blessed with ease. The two begin to flirt and date, but on one night things move too far too fast. Maya tries to pull away, but he won't let go. After this violation, Maya breaks away from everything familiar. She enters the new semester transformed: bold and dynamic in a world that suddenly seems small and protected to her. She vows vengeance on her attacker. She will be in control.

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Critic Reviews for Descent

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (14)

  • It's been a while since we saw a demagogic feminist exploitation revenge drama, and Descent, while top-heavy with 'agenda,' is shrewdly done.

    Aug 15, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Though a clearly gifted new filmmaker, Lugacy doesn't get a handle on the combustible material, and she gets scalded in the process.

    Aug 14, 2007 | Rating: C+

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Look-at-me-I'm-a-filmmaker photography, pacing that has all the thrills of waiting in line at the post office and an utterly predictable plot combine to make the movie even worse than the hacky chick revenge fantasy now showing on channel 186 of your box.

    Aug 10, 2007 | Rating: 0.5/4
  • No moviegoer has done anything to deserve the images that director Talia Lugacy would throw in their face.

    Aug 10, 2007 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • [Dramatizes] the experience and the psychological aftermath of rape with a vividness I've never seen in an American film.

    Aug 10, 2007 | Rating: 5/5
  • It's indie provocation trapped between shock and blah.

    Aug 9, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Descent

  • Oct 19, 2012
    Strange and unsettling -- apparently for no reason.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 02, 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, <i>Descent</i> 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 <i>Descent</I> 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, <i>Descent</I> is remarkably disturbing and dark, and that's all it is, a catalog of horrors with no redeeming through-line.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 09, 2009
    Pretty twisted karma that prick got!
    The B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2008
    Yawn! Bloody dull and sicko R-rated drama I ever saw about the exact revenge of a date-raped co-ed. I couldn't stand and watch the final scene of co-ed's revenge upon her attacker.
    Dean M Super Reviewer

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