User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
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  1. AnitaJ.
    Sep 30, 2005
    9
    The best of Polanski, perhaps as good as Chinatown.
  2. RickS.
    Oct 8, 2005
    9
    This is a good film. Despite the fact that I already knew the story, I was not bored for a minute. This film really transports you to the London of the 1800's! It's dirty and grim and definitly not a tourist's vision of the city. The actors are all good, particularly Kingsley as Fagin and Barney Clark as Oliver. The film is not for everyone and it certainly isn't a This is a good film. Despite the fact that I already knew the story, I was not bored for a minute. This film really transports you to the London of the 1800's! It's dirty and grim and definitly not a tourist's vision of the city. The actors are all good, particularly Kingsley as Fagin and Barney Clark as Oliver. The film is not for everyone and it certainly isn't a "feel good" extravaganza like the 1968 musical "Oliver" directed by Carol Reed. Kids will probably be bored but adults will like it. Most of the reviews of this film are far too negative. Expand
  3. davidb.
    Oct 9, 2005
    9
    If you expect the singalong jollity that Oliver! delivered don't watch this version. This film offers the viewer a valid interpretation of life in those times. The sets are by no means polished stages, these come across as real muddy streets filled with violent drunkards and brutes. Not that there aren't any compassionate characters, for there are a few - but they are strikingly If you expect the singalong jollity that Oliver! delivered don't watch this version. This film offers the viewer a valid interpretation of life in those times. The sets are by no means polished stages, these come across as real muddy streets filled with violent drunkards and brutes. Not that there aren't any compassionate characters, for there are a few - but they are strikingly naive in their expectations of the behaviour of others. The actors in this film are not larger than the roles they are playing - and that adds to the realism. Kingsley's Fagin is not the lovable entertainer portrayed by Moody - but his is far more appropriate. I think Dickens would approve. Expand
  4. monty
    Sep 25, 2005
    10
    A totally engrossing, lustrous cinematic materpiece!! Instead of a stuffy, reverential adaptation, Polanski breathes life and contemporary meaning to the harrowing story of Oliver Twist. The film is loaded with magnificent performances, including Sir Ben Kingsley as a pitiable Fagin. The viewer is transported into another world as the production stunningly re-creates both the Dickensian A totally engrossing, lustrous cinematic materpiece!! Instead of a stuffy, reverential adaptation, Polanski breathes life and contemporary meaning to the harrowing story of Oliver Twist. The film is loaded with magnificent performances, including Sir Ben Kingsley as a pitiable Fagin. The viewer is transported into another world as the production stunningly re-creates both the Dickensian grime and fussiness. Highly recommend. Expand
  5. jaynee.
    Sep 28, 2005
    10
    A fantastic film.
  6. Katie
    Sep 29, 2005
    10
    Polanski follows up Ocar winning "The Pianist" - a vivid portrayal of Holocaust survivor, Wladyslaw Szpilman - with a survival story adapted from classic literature - "Oliver Twist". The director brings all his dark wit and visual mastery to the story of a young orphan boy who struggles to survive cruely, deprivation and violence. A refreshing;y fun film film to watch. Astonishing Polanski follows up Ocar winning "The Pianist" - a vivid portrayal of Holocaust survivor, Wladyslaw Szpilman - with a survival story adapted from classic literature - "Oliver Twist". The director brings all his dark wit and visual mastery to the story of a young orphan boy who struggles to survive cruely, deprivation and violence. A refreshing;y fun film film to watch. Astonishing performances by a wonderful ensemble of British actors, led by the incomparable Ben Kingsley. Expand
  7. ManolisS.
    Oct 1, 2006
    10
    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!!
  8. Apr 18, 2011
    9
    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.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    40
    Handsomely produced but emotionally inert offering.
  2. The biggest surprise in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist is that there are no surprises.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    A respectable literary adaptation but lacks dramatic urgency and intriguing undercurrents.