The Ninth Gate

1999

The Ninth Gate

Critics Consensus

Even though the film is stylish and atmospheric, critics say The Ninth Gate meanders aimlessly and is often ludicrous. And despite the advertising, there's hardly any chills.

43%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 89

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 121,475
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Movie Info

Dean Corso is highly skilled at his work, a position which requires dexterity, cultural expertise, nerves of steel...and few scruples. Known for locating rare books for wealthy collectors, Corso is hired by eminent book-lover and scholar of demonology, Boris Balkan. Corso's mission: to find the last two volumes of the legendary manual of satanic invocation "The Nine Gates of the Shadow Kingdom," compare them with Balkan's first volume, supposedly the only one of its kind, and ascertain the authenticity of the series. Corso accepts the challenge. From New York to Toledo, Paris to Sintra, he immerses himself in a labyrinth full of pitfalls and temptations, disturbing encounters, violence and mysterious deaths. Protected by an angelic creature and guided by a force more powerful than himself, the hunter solves one by one the mysteries of the dreaded Book and discovers the real purpose of his mission...

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Cast

Johnny Depp
as Dean Corso
Frank Langella
as Boris Balkan
Lena Olin
as Liana Telfer
Barbara Jefford
as Baroness Kessler
Jack Taylor
as Victor Fargas
José Lopez
as Pablo and Pedro Ceniza
Tony Amoni
as Liana's Bodyguard
José Lopez Rodero
as Pablo and Pedro Ceniza
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Critic Reviews for The Ninth Gate

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (26)

Audience Reviews for The Ninth Gate

  • Oct 22, 2014
    An engaging, slow-burning satanic thriller in the first hour, but soon the mysteries start to pile up in a plot that leaves too much unanswered (the reason behind the first death, Corso's behavior in the end, etc.), and it falls flat with a very anticlimactic conclusion.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2013
    From writer/director Roman Polanski comes that supernatural thriller The Ninth Gate. Starring Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, and Emmanuelle Seigner, the performances are all quite good; particularly Depp and Seigner, who do an excellent job at bringing an air of mystery to their characters. The story follows a rare book dealer named Dean Corso who's hired to authenticate a copy of "The Nine Gates of the Shadow Kingdom," a book that's rumored to be able to summon the Devil, but the job turns deadly and threatens to cost him his soul. The writing's quite impressive, and does an exceptional job at constructing the mystery and at building intrigue. However, there's a little too much ambiguousness to the film, and the score's rather underwhelming. The Ninth Gate has some issues, but overall it's a compelling and provocative thriller.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2013
    'The Ninth Gate' (1999) would definitely seem more enjoyable reading than watching.
    Noah N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 13, 2013
    Boris Balkan: You read from this book, but you have no conception of its true power. I alone have grapsed its secret, I alone have fathomed the master's grand design, I alone am worthy to enjoy the fruits of that discovery: absolute power to determine my own destiny! "Leave the Unknown Alone" The Ninth Gate is a very intriguing, compelling, and all around entertaining film from Roman Polanski. Polanski is a director I have meant to start watching more of. Before viewing this I had only seen Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, and The Pianist, all of which were masterpieces in their own rights. The Ninth Gate isn't quite that good, but is a great story to see Polanski in years and years after Rosemary's Baby. This film is drenched in the occult, devil worshipping, references to secret orders of celebrity and political persons(Illuminati). It's a mystical film for sure. Dean Corso is an expert on rare books. He gets a job working for a guy named Balkan who has a very rare and weird collection of priceless books. One of which is The Nine Gates..., which is supposedly a book inscribed from a book that the devil wrote himself. Corso is supposed to track down the only two other surviving books and make sure Balkan's is authentic and see if the others are as well. It doesn't end up being a standard job though, as a lot of weird things begin happening to Dean along his journey. Say what you will about Roman Polanski, but he is a hell of a filmmaker. Although, The Ninth Gate isn't a masterpiece and you could probably poke holes through the story all day if you wanted too; it's still an extremely fun and absorbing movie. It's made in a really old style much like Rosemary's Baby, so although this was made in 1999 starring Johnny Depp, it looks and feels like it should have been made back in the 70's.  This really is worth the watch. The movie has great pacing and there's a lot of questions it brings up. Some of which are answered, some are kind of left up in the air and to the audience. I really did enjoy The Ninth Gate. It's not Polanski at the top of his craft, but it is still Polanski and it's still pretty brilliant.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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