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Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski's best work in years. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In this adaptation of the autobiography "The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945," Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.

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Critic Reviews for The Pianist

All Critics (183) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (174) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for The Pianist

  • May 02, 2016
    One of Polanski's best films to date, The Pianist is an adaptation of the autobiography from Szpilman who survived the Holocaust in Poland. The story is shockingly realistic, which makes it all the more disturbing. It is a beautiful story about the will to survive even under the most desperate times. Brody gave us one of his best performances. It's good but too disturbing for a second viewing.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jan 05, 2013
    A fantastic Holocaust film from one of the greatest directors of all time, Roman Polanski, The Pianist is masterfully made and accompanied by an astounding performance from Adrien Brody as a Polish Jew who is confined to the Warsaw ghetto during Nazi occupation of Poland. Well worth watching.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2012
    Undoubtedly a great movie, but somehow doesn't feel quite as reverent as other pieces--if you've ever read anything about Polanski's life, The Pianist feels autobiographical, focusing largely on one man's journey instead of the plight of a people. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, The Pianist doesn't reverberate quite as emotively as other films set during the Holocaust. Still, The Pianist is an excellent film. Adrien Brody is haunting and gives what I consider to be one of the best performances I have ever seen. Similarly, the look Polanski achieves with the natural lighting is incredible. Overall, a great film.
    Jeff L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2012
    Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmann give tremendously haunting performances in Roman Polanski's The Pianist. The film does not seek our tears or sympathies, but instead tells the story of Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman just as it is, and that makes it all the more emotionally involving. It's length and use of minimalist music may prove too boring or non-dramatic for some, but the Chopin interspersed throughout gave it more than an actual score could. In conclusion, The Pianist features a haunting central performance by Adrien Brody, and despite it's length and a familiar shell story, this is told differently and is more emotionally involving than other films of this subject matter.
    Raymond W Super Reviewer

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