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61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood), the most talented pianist of his generation, stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public in a long-awaited concert in Chicago. In a packed theater, in front of the expectant audience, Tom finds a message written on the score: “Play one wrong note and you die.” Without leaving the piano, Tom must discover the anonymous sniper’s motives and look for help without anyone realizing. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Apr 18, 2014
    91
    The sheer sly joy of the filmmaking that is on display here is one of the reasons I go to movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 4, 2014
    80
    Making this kind of thriller has all but become a lost art, yet Mira clearly believes that high style is worth bothering with.
  3. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Mar 7, 2014
    75
    A tidy and tension-filled exercise in terror that takes stage fright to literal extremes.
  4. 63
    A nail-biting thriller in the classic Hitchcock style.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Sep 15, 2014
    60
    Some inspired grace notes elevate a thriller that's more De Palma than Hitchcock.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 4, 2014
    60
    This is hardly a symphony of terror, but it’s still a solidly composed exercise in suspense.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 6, 2014
    20
    When people complain about movies glutting the market, this moronic “Black Swan”-meets-“Phone Booth” thriller is what they mean.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Jul 16, 2014
    10
    Grand Piano is a refreshing thriller with taut thrills and smart acting. Grand Piano is the best thriller
    I have seen in years, it is very
    tense and unpredictable, A+. Expand
  2. Jul 16, 2014
    10
    Grand Piano is a very cool thriller similar to Phone Booth. The movie has thrills galore and clever acting
    from the main actors. I wish more
    movies could be made like Phone Booth in different settings, these
    settings are always effective.
    Expand
  3. Jun 29, 2014
    9
    Surprised at how good this movie is. No boring moments here. Nice blend of music sequences and suspense. The idea of a pianist trying to overcome his fears and at the same time thinking of ways to save his friends while playing ...with a sniper aimed at him is fresh and imaginative. Expand
  4. Mar 15, 2014
    7
    "Grand Piano" is an intense, edge of your seat film that will leave you nauseated and mind shuttered. Despite, the film falls short on story, you don't who's who and why, but it was up to the satisfactory level, it left it to the viewer so it did not create any problems worth discussing. "Grand Piano" is one of the best films of 2014, it has great acting, great execution and plot. I highly recommend it. Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2014
    7
    I was generally surprised from how good this film was, Its suspenseful, Well acted & very well directed, All though I did think the last quarter of the film was not as great as the rest of the movie, Overall grand piano is a very solidly good movie. Expand
  6. Aug 4, 2014
    3
    The core concept of Grand Piano is wonderfully fraught with tension. The notion of a concert pianist making his improbable (albeit begrudging) comeback under such enormous pressure, and then intensifying that pressure ten-fold with the threat of being killed should he play a single wrong note, is practically Hitchcockian. The problem is that the conceit is so structured that screenwriter Damien Chazelle doesn’t have the storytelling acumen to keep the story plausible.

    The comparison to Speed is a accurate one, but it’s also a good exercise in compare-and-contrast. With Speed, the “one false move and your dead” peril is based on active movement (don’t drive the bus slower than 55 MPH), which allows for some of the great set-pieces to naturally evolve: managing that feat in traffic, and with people on the bus, and with a partially unfinished freeway (not to mention an in-motion rescue attempt). With this film, the “one false move and your dead” peril pertains to … Tom’s hands. The only thing he needs to keep moving at the right speed are his hands. Where do you naturally go from there? Chazelle and director Mira answer that question by forcing action – by spreading outward instead of tightening inward – usually to the point of ridiculousness.
    Expand
  7. May 27, 2014
    2
    A truly terrible film with a ludicrous plot and dreadful acting, most notably from John Cusack who delivers the weakest performance of his career. The script is wooden and the direction is dire. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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