Pieta - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pieta Reviews

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½ December 27, 2013
very good movie Altho boring at times. could have been amazing if it was done better.
December 24, 2013
Very unusual, awkward and weird, but watchable.
December 18, 2013
Lacks some of the gut-punch of Park Chan-wook or Bong Joon-ho, but Kim Ki-duk's Golden Lion-winning "Pieta" is just as lyrically demented as anything out of Park's "Vengeance" trilogy, and handled with an equal amount of masterful complexity as Bong's so-far watermark "Mother". Certain critics will defy as sadistic sacrilege "Pieta's" theme of violent, purportedly biblical regression (the title refers to a religious artwork in which the Virgin Mary sorrowfully cradles the dead body of Jesus.) Let 'em bitch. Writer-director Kim isn't a filmmaker who lets the status quo be. In somberly piecing together a fraction of a particularly fucked-up family tree, "Pieta" doesn't shy away from the still-wet blood on the leaves. (78/100)
December 8, 2013
Revenge can make you blind
November 17, 2013
A facinating revenge drama..some shoking twist and moments..and some nyc use of sound of silence..
½ October 30, 2013
Steel yourself for intense visuals and visceral reactions throughout this film, described by the director as "delving into the discord of human relations within an extreme capitalist system." It is heavy on the discord with only one character who has redeeming qualities, which speaks volumes about the director's vision of money and greed. It is definitely not for everyone, and it's hard to determine who will find the film worthwhile.
October 29, 2013
Cold, sadistic thriller that didn't really engage my brain. Some stylish, hyper-violent scenes and good performances but I felt I had seen it all before and compared to a slightly similar film, Miike's 'Visitor Q', this one paled in comparison for me.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2013
Fascinating, blackly funny and often disturbing film from Kim Ki-Duk, with larger political and social themes at play in the background, and a parable-like narrative. The film often verges into overwrought melodrama and is not as successful or as satisfying as Ki-Duk's more subtle 3-Iron, but it's visually arresting, nicely acted and pleasingly bizarre in places.
October 22, 2013
Worthy of its numerous awards. "One of the more delicately crafted character studies of modern cinema, and a testament to the talent of director Kim Ki-duk, who continues to shock and astound in equal measure." "[He] crafts a quietly powerful, character-driven morality tale [...] about the relationship[s] between mother and son [,] money and happiness." "This is a grisly fable that never goes where we expect it to. And it has some important things to say about both revenge and sacrifice." More touching and gross than The Isle.
½ October 22, 2013
Above average dark revenge movie. Contain a rape scene and some off screen violence. Kind of slow at time but worth a watch.
October 20, 2013
There are things you'd never do your mother and she you. This Korean movie went there. No pretense at being subtle here --its sadism in the rawest form and some scenes will remain with you forever...watch it if you dare.
October 8, 2013
In this tale of motherhood and transformation, a depraved loan shark who cripples those who cannot pay their debts finds his world turned upside down when his mother seeks him after 30 years. Coldly rejecting her at first, he bonds with her and tries to get back the childhood he never got. Quitting his job, he finds his past coming back to haunt him in this grim film about revenge and nature vs. nurture. The acting is solid and the story is tight, and one of Kim ki-Duk's best.
October 5, 2013
Dark and nasty. A little too slow and brooding.
September 27, 2013
What wouldn't a mother do for her child.. or to others'. A brutal loan shark grown without his mother finally gets to meet one and softens up, only to find out that revenge is a bitch. In true Korean revenge movie style happy endings are something that happens to other people (well, kind of to the lead character as well, but not in a way you might expect.)
September 19, 2013
Kim Ki-Duk's film is at first interesting, then aggressive and finally intriguing. It is a very distinctive vision which is unafraid to play around with eccentric elements and thematic taboos, of which the most notable example is incest which may seem uncomfortable to some viewers - but after all, this is not a comfortable film. Ultimately, Pieta is an ambitiously alternative take on domestic dramas with intense psychological undertones and a welcome final twist.
September 13, 2013
I've heard of Kim Ki-Duk for the first time just the last week, and accidentaly I watched one of his films some days later. Well...say that has a harsh style is even gentle. I had to split the movie in three parts because it was hard to watch it in one.
½ September 4, 2013
Kang-Do (Lee) is a debt collector for a supplier of machine tools who charges an extortionate ten-fold interest rate. When clients are unable to pay, which is usually the case, Kang-Do cripples them in various ways, claiming the resulting insurance money in lieu of the debt. One day, a mysterious woman, Jang (Jo), follows Kang-Do home and tells him she is the mother who left him as an infant. At first, he disbelieves her but, after subjecting her to a series of increasingly violent humiliations, he comes to accept her story. Jang's maternal influence makes Kang-Do decide to change his life, vowing to give up his violent ways.

Early on in 'Pieta', winner of last year's Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, director Ki-duk Kim presents us with a simple but cleverly effective motif. Turning up at a debtor's business, Kang-Do has his hand repeatedly slammed in a door as the panicking client attempts to keep him out. Kang-Do is unmoved by the pain, however. Soon after, when Jang attempts to enter his house, Kang-Do likewise slams her hand in his door and she is equally unmoved. Instantly, Kim plants the seeds in our minds that these two people have a connection and are broken to a point where physical pain has become meaningless. It's one of the best moments of 2013 cinema but, unfortunately, Kim can't, or at rather refuses to, sustain such narrative subtlety for the remainder of the film.
It's a simple yet intriguing premise but Kim, like so many of his Korean film-making peers, seems more intent on attempting to shock his viewers and test their limits of endurance than telling the story in an involving manner. The first half of the film sees him concentrate on a litany of vile acts, including torture, incest and rape. I'm no prude, so my problem with this sort of thing isn't that I find it offensive or shocking. At this point, nothing shocks me. I just find it pathetic and juvenile, especially when it disrupts and contradicts the narrative, as it does here.

Kim asks us to warm to Kang-Do but I honestly can't remember a character this despicable so the director is simply asking too much. Jang's empathy for him is, equally, too hard to swallow, whether she is his mother or not.
Somewhere in this compilation of atrocities is a message about the depths money can make people sink to but, despite this being his 18th feature film, Kim presents it all in far too childish a manner to warrant us taking it seriously.
August 20, 2013
Will have to watch this one again, before I can give an accurate review, but all I can think after seeing this is, "What the fuck?"

Wet dreams, Oedipus complex, torture and honestly terrifying violence. Dude's going to these bleak as hell small industrial workplaces and crippling everyone with no mercy at all, a few times by the machines the victims work with - it's disturbing. I think I definitely missed something in the second half, because I didn't understand what the hell the mother was doing at all. The cinematography was great for an amateur effort although I could do without the questionable - and I assume accidental - quick zooms.
August 16, 2013
Horrific! An astounding film which is shocking as well as thrilling.
August 14, 2013
Bleak and depressing morality tale, made with intelligence and soul.
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