Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 4,050
The fact that there isn't a single likeable character in Cul de Sac does not diminish its artistic value in the least. Ageing, furtively kinky Donald Pleasence is married to sexy young Francoise Dorleac. The couple's hermitlike tranquility is shattered when wounded gangsters Jack MacGowan and Lionel Stander invade their home and hold them hostage. As Dorleac urges her tremulous husband to do something, the two criminals begin behaving in a fashion that can only inadequately be described as
Jan 1, 1966 Wide
Aug 16, 2011
MGM - Official Site
Watch It Now
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.
As a study in kinky insanity, Cul-de-Sac creates a tingling atmosphere. This sags riskily at times when the director unturns the screws and does not keep control of his frequently introduced comedy.
If the subject matter is bleak and bitterly serious, the tone throughout is darkly comic, while the precise imagery effortlessly conveys the tension, the claustrophobia, and the madness of the situation.
After two clean hits -- Knife in the Water and Repulsion -- Roman Polanski is entitled to one wild swing.
This much sounds like a standard horror-film outline, especially since Stander looks amazingly like Frankenstein. But Polanski ignores the horror to concentrate instead on macabre humor.
Pristine deep-focus absurdism jolted by wide-angle twitches, utter despair treated with something akin to jolliness
Polanski tributes the [gangster-invasion film] by adding his own conceit: when there's no community worth salvaging, a threat will leave all involved floating, sans shoreline.
Polanski uses all kinds of off-kilter angles an close-ups and his actors are absolutely fearless. The pacing is a little off, as there are stretches where it gets a little long, but it upends convention at every turn and that s pretty thrilling.
pure Polanski through and through, made with no restraints and little outside influence, but it stumbles on its own absurdist tendencies, demonstrating how sometimes too much is too much
... as assured and as perfectly crafted as anything in Polanski's career, a miniature where every facet offers multiple reflections.
Neat little chiller with Polanski honing his abilities as a director and standout performances from Pleasence, Stander, and Dorleac.
I kind of expected the film to keep up some kind of momentum with a slam-bang beginning like that. It never slows down to a crawl, but it never gets as good as its first ten minutes.
Roman Polanski's character study is strange, creepy, and often compelling.
The troubled dynamic of a castle-bound couple is further distorted by the arrival of a gangster who is marginally less vile than Carol's phantom.
Tense, stylish and highly intriguing thriller laced with some purposefully nasty comedy.
Audience Reviews for Cul-de-Sac
- George: Get the hell out of my fortress!
- Richard: Here we are.
- Albert: Where?
- Richard: In this shit.
- Little Nicholas: That froggy bitch pulled my ear off!
- Mr. Fairweather: Here, here, here! Who taught you to speak like that?
- Little Nicholas: Mum did!
Discuss Cul-de-Sac on our Movie forum!