Secretary - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secretary Reviews

September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: A-
November 4, 2002
The cast comes through even when the movie doesn't.
Read More | Original Score: B-
October 17, 2002
Despite its flaws, Secretary stays in your head and makes you question your own firmly held positions.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
October 11, 2002
A picture with heart. You shouldn't leave feeling soiled or bruised. Just touched.
October 10, 2002
Self-serious and ultimately pedestrian satire.
October 2, 2002
I don't know about you, but I found all these outrageously romantic maneuvers both funny and endearing.
September 27, 2002
Secretary is just too original to be ignored.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2002
It provokes nothing but yawns, and the sex it explores is stuff everybody knows about and says, 'So what?'
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 27, 2002
Secretary is a textbook example of a movie that's not for everybody: It's easier to respect it than to enjoy it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2002
Though it was made with careful attention to detail and is well-acted by James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal, I felt disrespected.
Read More | Original Score: C-
September 27, 2002
Both lead performances are earnest in the extreme and that the psychological explanations for what's shown on screen are facile, at best.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
September 27, 2002
A good piece of writing.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2002
It is truly original in its tone, its choices made and paths taken.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 27, 2002
The director, Steven Shainberg, has succeeded by focusing intently on his characters, making them quirky individuals rather than figures of fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2002
Depending upon your reaction to this movie, you may never again be able to look at a red felt Sharpie pen without disgust, a thrill, or the giggles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2002
Secretary manages a neat trick, bundling the flowers of perversity, comedy and romance into a strangely tempting bouquet of a movie.
Read More | Original Score: B+
September 26, 2002
An edgy, cleverly written indie that simply derails shortly before the final stretch.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
September 26, 2002
If S&M seems like a strange route to true love, maybe it is, but it's to this film's (and its makers') credit that we believe that that's exactly what these two people need to find each other -- and themselves.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 26, 2002
The characters in Secretary never feel the least bit human.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
September 26, 2002
For all its Bunuellian pretensions, Secretary is deeply conventional: Edward and Lee accept their bondage as the way to a more fulfilling life. It's the filmmakers who need to be spanked.
September 26, 2002
I found the movie a bit of a bore.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 23, 2002
This is one of those movies that could have gone all wrong, but it hits all the right notes.
September 20, 2002
Disturbing yet engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 20, 2002
Makes S&M seem very romantic, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is a delight.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 20, 2002
For all the dolorous trim, Secretary is a genial romance that maintains a surprisingly buoyant tone throughout, notwithstanding some of the writers' sporadic dips into pop Freudianism.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 20, 2002
Against all odds, director Steven Shainberg has managed to craft an oddly compassionate -- and often very funny -- tale of an emotionally symbiotic affair.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 20, 2002
A liberating, kindhearted picture, one whose ending brings with it the feeling that something has finally been shaken free.
September 20, 2002
The movie isn't painfully bad, something to be 'fully experienced'; it's just tediously bad, something to be fully forgotten.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 20, 2002
A small groundbreaking comedy.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
September 19, 2002
Offers something few films even attempt: an honest depiction of the role sex plays in everyday life as a source of empowerment and healing.
September 19, 2002
Sadomasochism is treated as a joke in Secretary, but the fun of the movie is that it's also much more than a joke.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 17, 2002
The movie enters a realm where few non-porn films venture, and comes across as darkly funny, energetic, and surprisingly gentle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 6, 2002
Mary Gaitskill's infamous short story comes to the screen as a film of startling humor and feeling.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
April 8, 2002
What keeps the movie going is the riotously funny and supremely self-controlled performance by Gyllenhaal.