Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A dark drama about a sixteen-year-old honor student who recognizes an old man living in his hometown as a hunted Nazi. Compelled to reveal the secrets of his death camp past to earn the boy's silence, the German fugitive derives a sinister scheme to implicate the teenager in a dangerousA dark drama about a sixteen-year-old honor student who recognizes an old man living in his hometown as a hunted Nazi. Compelled to reveal the secrets of his death camp past to earn the boy's silence, the German fugitive derives a sinister scheme to implicate the teenager in a dangerous psychological game. (Sony) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  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. Brought off with such skill and commitment that there isn't any time to snicker at its obviousness.
  3. Both actors play their roles so trickily that tensions escalate until the horror grows unimaginatively gothic.
  4. No matter how you judge it -- as a strict morality play or simply a psychological thriller -- Apt Pupil just doesn't make the grade.
  5. This sensationalistic tale doesn't delve very far into the issues it raises.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    In the end, artifice overwhelms art. Apt Pupil is too serious to work as a genre movie, and too contrived to be taken seriously. [12 October 1998]
  7. 30
    Overwrought and unpleasant nonsense.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. RDalvi
    Mar 17, 2007
    8
    Under-appreciated gem by Singer. McKellen is very nice and Renfro is surprisingly good. Very taut and brilliantly done thriller.
  2. MargretH.
    May 23, 2007
    5
    Worst novella turned book ever.

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