The Decalogue (1998)



Critic Consensus: With awe-inspiring ambition to match its powerful assemblage of acting talent, The Decalogue stands as a singular achievement in writer-director Krzysztof Kieslowski's filmography -- as well as the history of Polish cinema.

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Critic Reviews for The Decalogue

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (12)

It is difficult to single out performances in the uniformly excellent casts, which feature some of the top talent in Poland.

Full Review… | April 1, 2009
Top Critic

he complete absence of sentimentality in Decalogue is amazing when one contemplates the depths of the emotions explored.

Full Review… | April 26, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

See part of it, or see all of it. Just be glad it's around.

January 10, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The Decalogue finds Kieslowski and co-scenarist Krzysztof Piesiewicz turning a delicate cycle of intimate, funny, heartbreaking, and compassionate works into a symphony of human fallibility.

Full Review… | May 29, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

An overwhelming psychological and spiritual epic for our times.

Full Review… | March 20, 2001
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

There is no question that Dekalog is the summit of Kieslowski's achievements.

Full Review… | February 21, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Decalogue


Will write more in the future... Decalogue One: I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me. So far I have watched the first episode. The Decalogue is Krzysztof Kieslowski's representation of The Ten Commandments. I was imediately pulled in, the story of father and son both intelligent but is skeptical on the forces of God. The father is an atheist and has great difficult dealing with God and the realities of death. Decalogue Two: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Not as provoking as the first but still enjoyed the premise. An old man who happens to be a doctor lives in an apt. A young woman who also lives in the same apt complex is seen smoking. At first she is reluctant to talk to him but later conforonts and asks if he knows her. She asks the doctor if her husband is going to live and he responds "I don't know". The reason why she asks is beccause she is pregnant with another man, if her husband lives she will abort the pregnancy if the husband dies she will let the child live so the doctor has to decide and give her a reasonably answer. The doctor swears to give her a solution. The dying husband also has a say and it's amazing what he says on screen. It's unique how characters happen to crash into each other at ill turning events. Decalogue 3: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Episode 3 is great and pretty much sad. A story about a man and a woman who use to be in an affair join together Christmas Eve. It's clear what the woman's true motives is but it's also great to see how mature the man handles the woman so called games. In other words they keep things holy. Decalogue 4: Honor thy father and thy mother. One of the best episodes so far. Young Anka and her father have lived together since her mother's death, and have always been more like close friends than father and daughter. One day, Anka discovers a letter from her mother whose contents make her question her whole relationship with her father. It's amazing when the truths reveal and how mature Anka and Michal deal with their personal struggle of bitter resentment. The ending with the burning of the letter is just as complex as with the sled name Rosebud in "Citizen Kane". Decalogue 5: Thou shalt not kill. Decalogue 5 is whoa...I won't even explain the details except a carefree kid who winds up in jail and suffers the consequences. Decalogue 6: Thou shalt not commit adultery. A naive young man Tomek spies on a woman, Magda through her window and falls in love with her. Dec 6 would have to be my fav and i'm sure it inspired filmmaker Patrice Lacontice to make the great "Monsiere Hire". Decalogue 7: Thou shalt not steal. I didn't really care for this episode. Found it boring and a little bit uninteresting. The story involves a woman kidnapping a little girl but is in fact her real daughter. The woman's mother believes her daughter is not capable of raising her daughter and it's evident when the child cries in her sleep. The final scenes were disappointing maybe because I knew the kidnapping mother wouldn't hear from her daughter and family again. Maybe it's all for the better. Decalogue 8: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Brian R
Brian R

Super Reviewer


Epic! It's well worth the time commitment to watch these modern envisionments of the ten commandments. These interpretations are rife with ethical ambiguity, forcing the viewer to question and analyze their moral assumptions.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Decalogue I - 5/5 Decalogue II - 4/5 Decalogue III - 4/5 Decalogue IV - Decalogue V - 4/5 Decalogue VI - 3.5/5 Decalogue VII - Decalogue VIII - Decalogue IX - Decalogue X -

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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