Apt Pupil


Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. This brutal film borders on the brilliant. Beautifully structured and edited, with a chilling central performance by Ian McKellen and an exceptional score by John Ottman, who also edited the picture, it churns up emotions and leaves the viewer feeling stunned and depleted.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Not all the plot developments ring true, but moments carry a real chill - even in a coma, McKellen can terrify a fellow patient almost to death - and it has more than enough thought-provoking material to command your interest.
  3. Brought off with such skill and commitment that there isn't any time to snicker at its obviousness.
  4. It's scariest as a parable about the evil that exists in the hearts of adolescent boys.
  5. Both actors play their roles so trickily that tensions escalate until the horror grows unimaginatively gothic.
  6. 70
    Largely free of generic horror-movie elements, such as exploitative torture and murder scenes. Those it does contain draw attention to the difference between the conventions of psychological drama and those of pulp horror.
  7. 67
    It's not perfect King, but it is jarringly close, which these days remains pretty much all one could hope for.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. MargretH.
    May 23, 2007
    Worst novella turned book ever.
  2. RDalvi
    Mar 17, 2007
    Under-appreciated gem by Singer. McKellen is very nice and Renfro is surprisingly good. Very taut and brilliantly done thriller.