Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Director Roman Polanski and writer Ronald Harwood re-imagine Charles Dickens' classic story of a young boy who gets involved with a gang of pickpockets in 19th Century London. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. A grounded and unusually matter-of-fact adaptation.
  2. Yet precisely because this is by Roman Polanski, it's irresistible to read his sorrowful and seemingly classical take, from a filmmaker known as much for the schisms in his personal history as for the lurches in his work, as something much more personal and poignant.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Dark, dank and violent, filled with terrifying scenes in which exploited children are beaten, shot or starving to death. In other words, it's just as Dickens wrote.
  4. 67
    And that ultimately may be the problem with the Polanski version: by bringing Oliver forward, you push the drama backward.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The big surprise in Polanski's Oliver is the lack of a discernible personal stamp, especially from such a directorial master of the macabre.
  6. The biggest surprise in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist is that there are no surprises.
  7. 30
    The fact that there's nothing wrong with it -- that there's nary a scenic detail or scrap of dialogue or performance that isn't utterly on the nose -- is precisely what's wrong with it.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. ManolisS.
    Oct 1, 2006
    A very personal take on Oliver Twist for Polanski, full of emotions, similar to the Pianist, where people look at life through windows, little Oliver on the road gathers all good and positive aspects of life through his adventures, near masterpiece, cinema at its best!! Expand
  2. jaynee.
    Sep 28, 2005
    A fantastic film.
  3. Apr 18, 2011
    Like Crysania, I didn't really watch or read the original ones so this was new to me. And I'll say, I really enjoyed this movie. I really didn't expect the movie to be that good. Expand
  4. [Anonymous]
    Feb 12, 2008
    Reading the film critics, their main grip seems to be that "Oliver Twist" is not polenskian enough. How about Dickensian? Is anything wrong with a good narrative and lovely cinematography? Expand
  5. Feb 2, 2013
    A movie greatly exaggerated, pessimistic and dramatic. But it's a good movie and very cultured.
  6. Crysania
    Apr 14, 2006
    Lots of people who had reviewed this movie would compare it either with the book, adapted play or previous films. As I did not have any prior experience with any of those materials, I could do an unbias review. Boring was the verdict. Although the acting was good, the production lavish and good directing from Polanski, it failed to exhume any feelings I may have had for any of those characters except for a brief interlude at the end. Best to watch it with the sub-titles on. Expand
  7. PrudenceK.
    Sep 24, 2005
    Frightening! That was very disturbing. Don't see it! I'm telling you that you'll be sorry. In my top 10 of most disturbing films ever made! Expand

See all 17 User Reviews