Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    This is such a rare movie. Its characters are uncompromisingly themselves, flawed, stubborn, vulnerable.
  2. Mr. Malkovich is one of the few actors capable of conveying genuine intellectual depth.
  3. As fiercely unsentimental as Disgrace is, it offers by the end a measure of hope, and because that hope is so hard-won, it has the ring of truth.
  4. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    John Malkovich has played some odd ducks in his career, but for sheer unsavoriness, few can match the blandly monstrous Cape Town poetry professor he brings to off-putting life in Disgrace.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Surprisingly successful adaptation of J. M. Coetzee's superb novel.
  6. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    The austere economy of Coetzee's writing, crisply adapted for the screen by Anna Maria Monticelli, plays out the melodrama with quietly brooding menace.
  7. 75
    I cannot tell a lie. I derive great satisfaction watching John Malkovich act.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It’s a harsh experience, at times engrossing, at other times stiff and unconvincing, but it asks a necessary question: What happens to the country’s whites after white rule is gone?
  9. Newcomer Jessica Haines is transparent and heartbreaking as the prof's unorthodox daughter, a victim of violence as the old ways crumble.
  10. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Absorbing but often bloodless and, frankly, depressing.
  11. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    Anchored by another marvelously quirky yet deadly serious performance from John Malkovich, and likely to be relished by the fan base of J.M. Coetzee's Booker Prize-winning novel, this is a strong, perceptive, old-school arthouse picture.
  12. Nothing is simple in this film, which ramifies into parallel meditations on race, the transformation of racial politics and lessons to be learned from the lives of dogs.
  13. 70
    The movie eventually begins to wilt under the sober, plodding direction of Steve Jacobs, but the thoughtful screenplay gives Malkovich a complex, increasingly reflective character arc that he plays with great feeling, making the professor’s redemption seem honestly won.
  14. 67
    After a compelling opening act and some shocking late-film developments, the film feels disengaged from the action at hand and the issues raised.
  15. Reviewed by: Gautaman Bhaskaran
    The story often appears a little unreal.
  16. Is it a great movie? John Malkovich's portrayal of an aging and sexually aggressive professor of poetry is enough to make the film worth anyone's while.
  17. The film, unfortunately, hasn't the depth Malkovich brings to his performance.
  18. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    A frustrating film full of overplayed men-as-dogs metaphors, it’s only watchable for Malkovich, who could probably read a social studies exam and still be commanding.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. wwh
    Aug 2, 2011
    Re: "seems quite disgusted by him right from the start, which is quite understandable, yet she starts a relationship with him", that´s exactly the Point, which you seem to have missed entirely, Harold Bloom. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2011
    After watching this horrible movie for thirty minutes, I decided to keep watching just to see how bad a movie can get. I have met many women in my lifetime, and I am pretty sure that each and every one of them would be creeped out to the max by a character as depicted by Malkovich. None would even remotely think of even touching this weirdo. There is absolutely zero chemistry between him and the student, why would she sleep with him ? And why would she turn on him ? She seems utterly disgusted by him right from the start, which is quite understandable, yet she starts a relationship with him. I think I have seldom seen such bad acting in a movie before, the dialogue is just not real, you can tell the lines are rehearsed. The main problem is that the main character is so full of himself that after about 2 minutes, you do not care any more what happens to him. Full Review »