A Master Builder

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A successful, ego-maniacal architect who has spent a lifetime bullying everyone around him wants to make peace as his life approaches its final act.


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 5, 2014
    Whatever the case, the film resounds with hyperbolic passion. Hot bubbling currents flow through this film’s constricted veins.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 22, 2014
    Demme, following in the footsteps of the late Louis Malle, takes a spare, direct approach to the material -- his economy pays off in quiet eloquence.
  3. Reviewed by: Hedy Weiss
    Aug 8, 2014
    The cast is uniformly superb. But it is the palpable erotic tension between Solness and the mysterious, bewitchingly nubile Hilde (who he may have sexually abused or at least titillated a decade earlier) that drives the film.
  4. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Jul 24, 2014
    With such well-tuned performances and scattered intensity, it's unfortunate that the technical aspects of the film are not always up to par.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Sep 18, 2014
    For a movie that lasts longer than two hours and is made up solely of talking, it’s impressive that the story never seems to drag. But with all of the possibilities of movie magic, it’s a shame that the characters keep us at arm’s length.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jul 22, 2014
    As both an actor and a playwright, Wallace Shawn, at his most audacious, goes for the jugular, but in sneaky roundabout ways.
  7. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jul 23, 2014
    The film is full of baffling choices, like the EKG machine that beeps for the first 40 minutes, so loud and so maddening that the great words barely register. Mumblecore is not a good look for Ibsen.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of