Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    This is soft-gore porn, obvious in its strategies, witless in the play of its ideas, absurdist only in its pretense to seriousness.
  2. Resembles a period version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" - played dead straight.
  3. Soon becomes a sadistic experience in its own right. Experiencing this pretentious wallow -- overwritten, under-thought and overdone -- is a very sophisticated form of torture.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. May 5, 2013
    A pretty well made film with some excellent performances, particularly from Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet. It did, however, seem incomplete; there were a couple of threads that didn’t seem to tie up. I was interested in the story of the doctor’s wife and also the wife of the Marquis. Both of these characters came and went without any reference to them again; I found that a little odd. I have never read any of the works of the Marquis de Sade, but having seen this I’m tempted to take a look and see if it’s really as depraved as they say. As for the film, definitely worth a look although I did find it a tad drawn out and a tad too long.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.1/10
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 6, 2012
    This movie is delightful! ...not quite sure what Todd (below) means by referring to Tom Cruise for he is not there. This movie is engaging, touching, humorous, and clever. The Art direction is fantastic; the performances outstanding, the ambience feels real! Each time I watch it I enjoy it as I did the first time. It is not a 10, not even a 9 -not to me- but Less than an 8? I don't think so! If you haven't watch it, and you can find it, do see will have the last word. Full Review »
  3. JayH.
    May 9, 2009
    Exquisitely produced, excellent acting by all, especially Geoffrey Rush, Joaquin Phoenix and Kate Winslet. The costumes and sets are outstanding. However, I found it very talky and often tedious and I was downright bored at times. Yak yak yak yak. Full Review »