Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Feb 18, 2014
    80
    In Secret boasts vigor and thematic richness, that feeling of artists expressing something vital.
  2. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Feb 21, 2014
    75
    In Secret is a costume drama with a gigantic accent on the drama. It's my kind of crazy, and I was quite entertained. To borrow again from Shakespeare, "'Tis Madness, but there's method to't."
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 20, 2014
    75
    An effective period piece thriller that incorporates love, lust, desperation, and madness into a stew thickened by a gothic atmosphere.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Feb 20, 2014
    75
    That’s the key to this movie — the way Thérèse looks at things; it’s a rare film that focuses on a woman actually looking and how she responds to what she sees.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 20, 2014
    75
    Here is a culture in which female strength, having no outlet, must become distorted or lethal. In Therese and her aunt, we find two manifestations of the same disease.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Feb 19, 2014
    75
    There’s never any doubt that this will end badly for the lovers. But just in case, Jessica Lange as the fire-breathing mother-in-law seals the deal.
  7. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Sep 27, 2013
    67
    Therese is almost voyeuristically distant from what's happening on screen, asking the audience to observe, but leaving just enough a gap of being completely engaged, that while everything is very well articulated, the impact is more academic than sensual.
  8. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Feb 20, 2014
    63
    There is nothing really wrong with In Secret, yet in the end one feels dissatisfied. It’s as if you’ve just sat through a dry academic lecture dissecting the novel.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 20, 2014
    63
    Olsen is pretty good, too, though with her bald-faced, moon-eyed disdain for everyone around her, the material loses some of its tension between repressed surface and roiling underbelly.
  10. 63
    A genuine “bodice ripper” of a thriller, with the requisite heavy breathing that comes after said bodice is ripped. The sex isn’t explicit, but Olsen and Isaac suggest the heat that gives this doomed affair its momentum.
  11. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    May 12, 2014
    60
    Sensitive performances from a willing cast bring Zola's novel to life on the big screen.
  12. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 19, 2014
    60
    The acting is good, the story of doomed lovers suitably tragic. But the film is never quite moving in the way one would hope.
  13. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 18, 2014
    60
    Jessica Lange, as rare as a unicorn these days, seizes on the role of a grieving mother with two taloned hands. If there are any tremors of shame to be felt here, they emanate from her.
  14. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 27, 2013
    60
    In a showy adaptation by first-time helmer Charlie Stratton, the story is more glum than seductive -- offering surprising sexual encounters, yes, but too little of the slow burn and psychological depth that might have made the Les Mis-meets-Jim Thompson concept get under one's skin.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    If you go in with the right attitude, there’s a fair amount of fun to be had from In Secret, considering it’s a musty French costume drama done in plummy English accents.
  16. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    Ms. Olsen and the more persuasive Mr. Isaac may generate heat, but their performances and the filmmaking lack the frenzy that might explain how these two crazy kids turned into murderous fiends.
  17. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    A film rich in atmosphere but emotionally as blunt as its title.
  18. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Feb 19, 2014
    50
    Isaac and Olsen are both mesmerizing actors, and Lange and Felton also do very good work in supporting roles, but their collective gameness – all that acting their pants off (sometimes literally) – is underserved by the film’s script and direction.
  19. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Feb 19, 2014
    50
    If it weren’t for the costumes, the basic plot could be mistaken for a 19th-century version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or "Double Indemnity."
  20. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 19, 2014
    50
    The generic title In Secret is as uninspired as the movie itself.
  21. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Feb 21, 2014
    45
    If the movie fails to conjure soiled 19th-century Paris, that's not primarily because it was shot in Hungary and Serbia. More problematic are the English-language dialogue and actors who speak in a variety of accents and perform in a range of styles.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Walsh
    May 21, 2014
    40
    Sadly, In Secret's script is so loaded with dud lines that any of the more successful elements are quickly erased from memory.
  23. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Feb 20, 2014
    40
    What do we do about a movie that is half compelling and half unwatchable? Director Charlie Stratton seems to be onto something at the start of his period drama In Secret. Then it all slips through his fingers.
  24. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 19, 2014
    40
    Though it sounds like a contradiction, the film could be described as both dull and over the top.
  25. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Sep 27, 2013
    40
    Serviceable but uninspired, this latest version of Emile Zola’s much-adapted 1867 novel “Therese Raquin” sends its characters to their doom on schedule without stirring much sense of tragedy or emotional involvement.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 20, 2014
    38
    In Secret is so stifled, it makes “Les Misérables” look like “Amélie.”
  27. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Feb 20, 2014
    33
    The only thing Stratton, a former television actor making his first feature, has going for him is the casting of Jessica Lange.
  28. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Feb 19, 2014
    25
    Your average episode of “Days of Our Lives” is less soapy (and performed with more restraint).
  29. Reviewed by: David Lee Dallas
    Feb 17, 2014
    25
    A broad, crude mutilation of Emile Zola's noirish romance Thérèse Raquin that prioritizes heavy petting over plot.
  30. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Feb 20, 2014
    0
    Whatever possessed the people who made this film to believe its ponderous style would appeal to contemporary audiences? One answer may lie in a variant of the mostly true proposition that no one sets out to make a bad film. No one chooses ponderousness as a goal; it comes unbidden, with deadly earnestness.
  31. Reviewed by: Kaleem Aftab
    Sep 27, 2013
    0
    It takes a special talent to turn the romantic lyricism of Zola and turn it into chick-lit.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 24, 2014
    6
    A beautiful young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) is trapped in a marriage to her sickly cousin (Tom Felgon) and dominated by her aunt (Jessica Lange). Passion materializes in the form of a family friend (Oscar Isaac) and leads to multiple tragedies. This dark (literally), dark (thematically) drama is set in mid-18th century Paris, when apparently, it was never sunny. The movie barely has any light moments either, choosing instead to mire itself in endless, overwrought emotion. The performances are strong (although Lange does suffer a bit too much) and it starts with promising potential, but the whole thing bogs down midway, becomes almost preposterous and just falls apart. Full Review »
  2. Feb 23, 2014
    10
    A "momma's boy" neglects his arranged bride, who is bored and takes a lover. Suspenseful actions follow. Although the theme is somewhat familiar, the acting is done very convincingly. The period costumes, scenery, and photography are also well done. Full Review »