Poetry Reviews

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Landon Palmer
Film School Rejects
June 2, 2014
But what's so surprising about Poetry is Lee's unassuming mastery over the elements therein.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 4, 2012
True to the title, writer-director Lee Chang-dong is principally concerned with rendering emotions that seem inexpressible.
Top Critic
Maggie Lee
Hollywood Reporter
January 4, 2012
Those with an eye for reading between the lines can find layers of meaning.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
December 29, 2011
A deceptively gentle tale with a tender ache at its center, as well as a performance from Yun Jung-hee that lingers long in the memory.
Michael Nordine
Film Threat
October 25, 2011
Lee is concerned with beauty in much the same way a philosopher might be -- its transcendent nature, its presence in nearly everything.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
August 29, 2011
A valiant and touching psychodrama about an aging woman who takes on the challenge of writing her first poem from the experiences that stir her heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Allan Hunter
Daily Express
July 31, 2011
A beautifully acted, deeply moving tale that brings a lump to the throat.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
July 31, 2011
A fascinating, satisfying film with a remarkable central performance.
Derek Malcolm
This is London
July 29, 2011
In the way of good cinema, the full experience is entirely unsentimental and poetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
July 28, 2011
It is a picture of something inexpressibly gentle and sad, something heartbreaking and absolutely normal, but something stirred up by a violent, alien incursion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
July 28, 2011
Beautifully shot, brilliantly written and featuring a terrific lead performance from Yun Jung-hee, this is a thought provoking, emotionally engaging drama that would make a superb double bill with Bong Joon-ho's Mother.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
July 28, 2011
How many times have we seen the components of this plot? The crimes of the young; the trials of the old; the lone individual fighting for truth and decency. But they were never mixed like this before.
Sukhdev Sandhu
Daily Telegraph
July 28, 2011
What makes Poetry so involving is that it's never clear how the story will be resolved.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Anton Bitel
Little White Lies
July 28, 2011
From Alzheimer's, rape and suicide, Lee has created real poetry.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Aldridge
Radio Times
July 28, 2011
Yoon's performance, nuanced and subtle, is superb, while the film is long and languid so adjustments and allowances must be made both for its pace and, at times, for its poetry. But the effort is well worth it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Julian Ross
Electric Sheep
July 27, 2011
[Yun Jung-hee's] quiet gestures, gentle gaze and tender pose transform themselves into stanzas as they rhyme with Lee's cinema.
Carmen Gray
Total Film
July 27, 2011
Devoid of the ultra-violence so often associated with Korean cinema, Poetry is quiet and unhurried, making its portrait of social bleakness all the more impactful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
July 27, 2011
Anyone who starts a film going to poetry classes is eventually going to come up with a poem. The one Mija finally delivers will rip your heart to shreds.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Anna Smith
Empire Magazine
July 24, 2011
Well-crafted and compelling, if a little inaccessible to western audiences...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeremy Heilman
MovieMartyr.com
July 13, 2011
Sensitive, almost to a fault, Lee Chang Dong's Poetry is a well-observed but minor effort from one of the top Korean filmmakers.
Full Review | Original Score: 58/100
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