Notes on a Scandal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Notes on a Scandal Reviews

May 15, 2009
Smart and brash, it's a picture Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would have killed (preferably each other) to be in.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
February 9, 2007
Blanchett has also recently appeared in The Good German and Babel, but this represents far and away her best work.
Full Review | Original Score: A
February 3, 2007
Richard Eyre's direction merely plays up the melodramatic aspects of ZoŽ Heller's novel, screenwriter Patrick Marber's acidic dialogue occasionally slips into the overwritten, and the rest of the cast gamely chews table scraps.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
January 25, 2007
Bill Nighy is stunning in the small but pivotal role of Sheba's devastated husband, and Dench locates the desperate pathos in Barbara's malevolence.
January 12, 2007
This compact, fierce and frightening domestic thriller is the most violent film in many a day. The rage is in the angry words, the deepest thoughts of its 'heroine,' and the fear about what might come from those words is palpable.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
January 11, 2007
While Glenn Close played her Fatal Attraction character's 'I will not be ignored' psycho-obsession out front and out loud, Dench does it as subtext, making it all the more insidious, frightening ... and fascinating.
Read More | Original Score: A-
January 8, 2007
In England, it seems, actresses have nothing to fear from age. They can simply wait for writers to create fresh work for them.
January 5, 2007
Patrick Marber's adaptation of the ZoŽ Heller novel improves upon the promise of the [Dench/Blanchett] pairing with a story that wastes no time on preliminaries as it descends -- gleefully -- into pitch-black comedy.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 5, 2007
Notes on a Scandal emerges as a remarkable character study: difficult to watch, impossible to look away.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 5, 2007
Notes on a Scandal's resolution is a bit less challenging than the finale of Heller's novel, but for the most part it's equally scathing, a nasty little peek into the worst of human behavior.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 5, 2007
Dramatic overstatement saturates just about every piece of this production. Even that master of orchestral pop minimalism, Philip Glass, managed to write a score that slinks into the dark shadows of old gothic witchery.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 5, 2007
Almost unbearably tense as the relationship between cat and mouse takes completely unexpected, if completely believable, turns.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 5, 2007
Notes on a Scandal may not always be deeply illuminating, but [director Richard] Eyre adds enough pathos and emotional realism to keep the movie from curdling into a snide joke.
Read More | Original Score: B
January 5, 2007
The writers and the actors have just enough sympathy for their characters to keep Notes from deteriorating into a comedy of horrible manners.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 5, 2007
Ms. Dench is scary good, a collection of withering glances and quiet delusion accentuated by a wickedly funny voice-over. Ms. Blanchett matches her step for step.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
January 4, 2007
The movie serves as a convenient locale for Dench and Blanchett to showcase their abilities, but it could be more involving.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 4, 2007
It's a thrill to see powerhouse actresses lock horns in an emotional battle royal, and Notes on a Scandal gives us two of England's finest in pitched combat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 4, 2007
Setting aside the scads of preposterous plot contrivance, Patrick Marber's screenplay is full of jaundiced cleverness about England's class system, but that's far from enough to save this disreputable movie.
January 3, 2007
It's a poison bonbon tastier than just about anything else out there.
Full Review | Original Score: A
December 29, 2006
The skillful Patrick Marber adapted this gripping drama from a novel by Zoe Heller, and it's both literate and urgently plotted, with a voice-over from Dench that cuts like broken glass.
December 29, 2006
The screenplay has a bracing tincture of Grand Guignol, and nothing is simple when the two women are played by a couple of superlative actresses who clearly delight in one another.
December 28, 2006
A lot is wrong about Notes On A Scandal, starting with a frenetic Phillip Glass score that absurdly heightens nearly every scene in which it's used, squeezing the wit out of what might've been a wicked black comedy.
Read More | Original Score: C+
December 27, 2006
Notes on a Scandal won't be everyone's cup of tea. But if you like your films strong, this one is not to be missed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 27, 2006
[Features] a point of view that is somewhat gimlet-eyed and offered with absolutely no sentimentality whatsoever.
December 27, 2006
A tour de force performance by Judi Dench drives the film, but Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy also are marvelous in powerful, if more restrained, roles.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 27, 2006
If you want to see explosive acting, just watch Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett ignite in this film version of Zoe Heller's 2003 novel.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 27, 2006
A refreshingly literate, cold-blooded drama.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 27, 2006
Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett star in a misanthropic game of cat and mouse from which no one emerges unscathed, including saps like us who think we're watching a film about other people.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 27, 2006
Notes on a Scandal is a great cure for a holiday hangover. See it.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 27, 2006
Sexy, aspirational and post-politically correct, Notes on a Scandal could turn out to be the Fatal Attraction of the oughties.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 27, 2006
The film itself settles for one level of pulp satisfaction, but Dench and Blanchett transcend it.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 27, 2006
It is a chilling, memorable performance by Dame Judith, who will earn many award nominations, as should Blanchett. They are the perhaps the most impressive acting duo in any film of 2006. And Bill Nighy is their equal.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 27, 2006
You'll want to take a shower after Notes on a Scandal, but you'll be glad you got dirty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 26, 2006
It's a grand thing to watch these two Academy Award winners, who easily could be back in Oscar contention with this film, have at each other.
December 26, 2006
Everyone's a predator in this tale.
December 26, 2006
In order to propel circumstances to a conclusion, Notes on a Scandal relies upon a contrivance so ugly and obvious that it's impossible to ignore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 26, 2006
When an actress raises the bar of her craft as vertiginously high as Judi Dench, it can be a bit dizzy-making for an audience whenever she insists on topping herself.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 26, 2006
This being Oscar season, we must point out that Dench and Blanchett are two of your finalists.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 18, 2006
Notes on a Scandal is another squirm-und-drang movie: too creepy-sad to be a comedy, too intense to watch quietly, without letting out frequent whoops.
December 13, 2006
An exquisitely dark comedy of manners and morals.
Top Critic
December 11, 2006
Dench is nothing less than great in this role. It's hard to recall a recent performance of such unrelenting ferocity, such a thoroughgoing devotion to the domination of another life.
December 11, 2006
Notes on a Scandal is a wicked delight.
December 8, 2006
A deviously entertaining account of one woman's indiscretions as related by a not-so-disinterested third party.
December 8, 2006
The scandal is the misogynist tone taken toward this film's female characters.