Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A chance encounter enables a woman to turn the tables on the sadistic doctor who tortured her 15 years earlier.
    (New Line Cinema)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. It's an immensely successful movie - and far and away the most emotionally charged, psychologically uneasy and diabolically suspenseful thriller Polanski's made since his heyday. [27 Jan 1995, p. 26]
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    As vivid and suspenseful as Roman Polanski has made this claustrophobic tale of a torture victim turning the tables on her putative tormentor, one is still left with a film in which each character represents a mouthpiece for an ideology.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The material is well served by director Roman Polanski, who knows well how to instill a subtle, claustrophobic sense of dread in an audience and has put together a rather elegant potboiler.
  4. Polanski directs the film without a wasting a moment. The occasional humor does nothing to relieve tension but, as in a Hitchcock picture, has a way of increasing it.
  5. 70
    It's an exceptionally intelligent and controlled piece of direction, and for once Polanski didn't hide his emotions in a death's-head grin. The movie is raw and passionate and unresolved in a way that's unique among his work.
  6. Sigourney Weaver isn't quite up to her most demanding scenes, but Ben Kingsley is expertly enigmatic as the stranger, and Stuart Wilson is excellent as the husband who doesn't know whom to believe. [27 Jan 1995, p. 14]
  7. 40
    Weaver's overacting and Dorfman's bold-faced dialogue oversell the scenario. Only Kingsley's sly turn gives Death And The Maiden any real feeling of disquiet.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 19, 2013
    Simply one of the best movies done on the aftermath of the South American dictatorships. We should never forget the tyranny of the Catholic Church over the centuries and the legacy it left behind. You don't know if she is crazy or not. She was an unknown at the time but you could tell she was on her way up. Expand
  2. Oct 7, 2011
    Simply awesome: one place only, but... The film is smart and leaded by three amazing actors. The highlight are the numerous dialogues between complicated characters, with every defends his own point of view. And no flashback, no "tadam!" revelations, the viewer makes his own reflections, and it's the evidence it is a good movie... Collapse
  3. JayH
    May 10, 2009
    Intense and compelling, excellent direction by Roman Polanski. Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley are amazing. Never a dull moment, very fast pacing. Fascinating story. I was not fully satisfied by the ending, but not sure if there would be any better way Expand
  4. MartyG
    Jun 25, 2008
    The issue is very real but this movie treatment is too obvious in its plot development and the ending just fades away. Weaver is not convincing, her husband has no spine, they have no chemistry. Kingsley makes it watchable. Expand
  5. JaredC.
    Aug 8, 2007
    I couldn't wait tell this movie came out on DVD, until I found nothing in the store but boring old 1940 movies. Two years later I found it in a store, but that was a time that I didn't have much taste or appetite for that kind of genre. But I watched it and I didn't mind it but could need some work on a few things. Expand