The Forbidden Room

Critics Consensus

The Forbidden Room may frustrate viewers looking for a linear experience, but those seeking a challenge -- or already familiar with director Guy Maddin's work -- will be rewarded.



Total Count: 67


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,403
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Movie Info

A submarine crew, a feared pack of forest bandits, a famous surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for as they wend their way toward progressive ideas on life and love.


Roy Dupuis
as Cesare
Louis Negin
as Marv/Smithy/Mars/Organizer/Mr. Lanyon
Udo Kier
as Count Yugh/The Butler/The Dead Father/Guard/Pharmacist
Gregory Hlady
as Jarvis/Dr. Deane/A Husband
Mathieu Amalric
as Thadeusz M./Ostler
Noël Burton
as Wolf/Pilot/The Captain
Geraldine Chaplin
as The Master Passion/Nursemaid/Aunt Chance
Charlotte Rampling
as The Ostler's Mother
Amira Casar
as Mrs. M.
Karine Vanasse
as Florence Labadie
Jacques Nolot
as Bent/Minister of the Interior
Paul Ahmarani
as Dr. Deng//Speedy
Slimane Dazi
as Baron Pappenheim
Maria de Medeiros
as The Blind Mother/Clotilde
Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles
as Saplingjack 1/Listening Man/Pancho
Andreas Apergis
as Dr. Warren
Sophie Desmarais
as Dr. Warren
Ariane Labed
as Alicia Warlock/The Chambermaid
Romano Orzari
as Squid Thief/Madman/Dr. Moarte-Joc
Neil Napier
as Saplingjack 3/Man with Stones on His Ankles
Kyle Gatehouse
as Saplingjack 2/Man with Upturned Face
André Wilms
as Surgeon
Christophe Paou
as Ukrainian Prisoner
Adèle Haenel
as The Mute Invalid
Lewis Furey
as The Skull-Faced Man
Victoria Diamond
as Woman Skeleton 1
Mistaya Hemingway
as Woman Skeleton 2
Cynthia Ekoe
as Woman Skeleton 3
Sienna Mazzone
as Inner Child
Graham Ashmore
as Bathing Man
Darcy Fehr
as Nightclub Attendee/Climax Player
Kathia Rock
as A Mother
Judith Baribeau
as Oracle Bones Nurse
Marie Brassard
as Mysterious Necklace Woman
Angela LaMuse Senyshyn
as Bathing Woman 1
Kimmi Melnychuk
as Bathing Woman 2
Melissa Trainor
as Forest Nymph
Pamela Iveta
as Nightclub Attendee/Climax Player
Catherine Treskow
as A Woman in the Street
John Churchill
as Karl Le Barron
Matthew Comeau
as Scout Doctor
Miguel Eduardo Cueva
as Father's Posthumous Buddy
Arthur Holden
as Auctioneer
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News & Interviews for The Forbidden Room

Critic Reviews for The Forbidden Room

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (3)

  • What Maddin & Co. have invented here ranges from Freudian horror to childish naughtiness.

    Feb 18, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The Forbidden Room is a fun ride for cineastes and was much fêted at festivals. Whether it will appeal to mainstream taste with its insane mash-up of B movie-style parody, silent-movie intertitles and jungle vampires is anyone's guess.

    Dec 10, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It is sometimes brilliant and sometimes boring, but even the boring parts have an eccentric sparkle.

    Dec 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Guy Maddin delivers another of his wild and whimsical fantasies, tinged with camp and couched in the film grammar of silent cinema.

    Dec 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Enjoying this film will depend on your state of mind. Indeed, "The Forbidden Room" is a state of mind unto itself.

    Nov 24, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Maddin's singular brand of cinematic reinvention goes a little over the top.

    Nov 6, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Forbidden Room

  • May 07, 2016
    It works as a strange object of curiosity more than anything else - an empty exercise of style that could have been at least amusing as a short movie but remains only overdone, impenetrable and interminable as it is, and an insufferable waste of time that doesn't have anything to say.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2016
    I feel I should review this simply to counteract the acclaim this film has received thus far. This film is an annoying mess, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just working off of the knee-jerk pretension this type of homage invokes. Nothing happens, you get a headache, and, if you're lucky, you fall asleep. I don't understand why this has been reviewed so highly, not because of my incredulity at it being a passable film, but simply because I don't think most reviewers were physically present or of sound mind for the viewing. Take for instance: "The bad part is that at over two hours long the film is not that good." - David Lewis - Certified fresh review. "...overlong and messy" - Conor Bateman - Certified fresh review. "An exhausting and overwhelming film to experience" - Philip Concannon - Certified fresh review. "Dense and lacking... playful quality" - John Fink - Certified fresh review. Ok, I'm making a stretch, but I couldn't stand this film. What a pretentious waste of technique. It's like Silver Globe or Zardoz with less purpose and more migraine.
    K Nife C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2016
    A fever dream withing a fever dream. This film exudes its utter passion for the creation of art, and utilizes the language of film to tell several unique stories that seem to fall deeper and deeper into each other. It is a love letter to the art of making films, and its rare to see such fierce film making that is at one point clinging to its own snowballing coherence and at another, reaching out to communicate so effortlessly, a simplistic message to its audience.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2015
    This weird avant garde like picture, is the type of film that will appease as well as wet the likes of David Lynch, but hardly anything allegorical compared to Alejandro Jodorowsky. The entire film plays out with many different plot and story threads loosely connected as if it's a bunch of stock footage smashed together, to try and make some connection. Whether it's expressed through words on screen or acting counterparts, the plot an narrative are incredibly hard to follow, but kind of make a thoughtful connection as if the audiences are in some LSD trip. If that's the type of film you like, you may enjoy it a lot more than I did, it just didn't seem to fit together in my case and would maybe give it another viewing a couple if not several years from now to try and make some intellectual sense.
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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