The Magdalene Sisters - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magdalene Sisters Reviews

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½ April 29, 2017
Movie about teenage girls sent away to boarding school in the 1960's for being immoral. Poorly done all the way around. Direction, acting, script. I hated it.
½ April 24, 2016
Shocking as its based on the truth.
½ March 20, 2016
Moving and disturbing story about the actions of a society and church abusing powerless young women.
January 19, 2016
Harrowing tale of how patriarchy and religious extremism can convince the society it's perfectly fine to lock up women to brainwash them out of 'indecent conduct'. Absolutely disgusting scenes of mental and physical abuse from the hands of the nuns. Not many films get me so wound up about the events unfolding on-screen - those asylums really weren't much better than concentration camps. Not to mention the creepy, fanatical nuns with their religion-driven contempt for anything but penance whose screen presence gives some of the best Hollywood villains a run for their money.
½ July 23, 2015
Terrible these things used to happen to women
July 10, 2015
Decent watch. Nothing all that special but seemed appropriate for the dreary weather.
June 15, 2015
A movie that will have you heated with the way these poor girls where treated...just a well done film all the way round.
May 10, 2015
Cover art aside, was able to buy a used rental copy for a buck, and oh my goodness! This film is gritty, intriguing and most of all disturbing. This film made me cry, I honestly had no clue what I was in for. The acting felt genuine and I say that because I felt the pain every actor brought forth. "You're not a man of God". - " Crispina"
May 7, 2015
Gritty film that tells the true story of the mistreatment of Irelands unwed Mothers by the Catholic church. A gripping film with a talented cast. A truly shocking story of the very recent past.
April 2, 2015
I severely over-estimated my interest on this occassion. Regardless of the insight into Irish female catholic asylums and decent actress performances, the constant unintentional comparisons made with better 'prison' movies diminishes its ability to evoke any strong emotion.
February 17, 2015
engrossing chick flick
½ January 15, 2015
Good expose of sexual abuse and intolerance in the Catholic Church.
½ December 29, 2014
quite disturbing, interesting and realistic
it's worth watching
October 26, 2014
A shocking and excellently told film but to to think this was going on up to 1996 makes the blood boil.
½ September 26, 2014
The most infuriating and horrifying movie I've ever seen. I still in some ways can't believe some of what is depicted in this movie. It is a polemic made specifically for maximum outrage, an approach to filmmaking I might normally react negatively to, but I can't think of any other approach for this story that is appropriate.
the cruelty and absurdity depicted here was inspired by horrors which were all too real, suffered by apparently tens of thousands of Irish women in the 20th century. I wasn't at all surprised at the villainy of the nuns and priests, I understand how unchecked power works. What shocked and saddened me was the unbridled hatred of the parents for their own children. I still don't understand how this was so. It could entirely be the influence of the church, but in mid 20th century Ireland I'd bet even the devout didn't follow every single letter of church law every second of every day. There must have been something else in the culture that allowed fathers to so readily hate their daughters. In Medieval Europe, fear of the nature and power of female sexuality was a prominent feature of society, and was easily connected to fear of the supernatural. This fear was easily turned to hatred, and is in large part responsible for the witch panics that were ginned up to control the populace. Fear is the most powerful agent of control, which is why terrorism will forever endure as a tactic. What is depicted here is a fully alive and powerful manifestation of the medieval fear-turned-hatred of women's sexuality, apparently little changed in Ireland in the intervening centuries. The last Magdalene Laundry was closed in 1996. Not 1896, 1996.

As a film, some have found a variety of things to criticize, yet it undeniably accomplishes what Peter Mullan set out to do. The performances are top notch, although hard to watch, especially with the case of the mentally challenged girl. The final shot of this poor girl left to rot in solitary confinement still angers and haunts me. This is a powerhouse film but I couldn't really recommend it to anyone. It is the sort of piece which should be kept around as an eternal cautionary tale, not just in regard to the churches but to all those in positions of power, and to all societies and individuals who may fall into the grip of fear and hatred, even of their own children.
½ June 7, 2014
It seems like everywhere in the world, the history has its fair share of human rights abuses and scandals. Ireland's worst is the Magdalen laundries, run by a fundamentalist authoritarian regime. The laundries were characterized by shaming women, victim blaming, fear, force, violent abuses, total oppression, slavery, and frequent life internment. And the investigation is just getting started. This film lost some points in the Top 40 Films of '002 and only made it to #15 because unlike Hollywood films which often exaggerate anything, many real-life victims of the Magdalen laundries say the horrors were under-emphasized.
March 11, 2014
If PHILOMENA is good, this one was impressive then.
½ February 25, 2014
Nicely done,but somewhat predictable and dull as the time flows. Great cast.
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