The Ninth Gate

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 234 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 234

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 18, 2013
    8
    I really liked this movie up until the end. Depp's search for the books and the variations he found among them was very interesting. However, I thought the end was schmaltzy and not in keeping with the rest of the film. The scenes involving the meeting of the secret society and the death of Depp's client were particularly silly. It could have been really wonderful had the end lived upI really liked this movie up until the end. Depp's search for the books and the variations he found among them was very interesting. However, I thought the end was schmaltzy and not in keeping with the rest of the film. The scenes involving the meeting of the secret society and the death of Depp's client were particularly silly. It could have been really wonderful had the end lived up to expectations based on the rest of the movie. Expand
  2. Mar 13, 2014
    8
    If you simply want a movie that tells a story without having climaxes, this movie is for you
    The plot is great, the mood is great - but the movie is slow. Which I personally really enjoy but it sure isn't something for everyone.
  3. Aug 24, 2013
    10
    A masterpiece that's highly underrated!!!! It's very hard to make a movie like that these days. Watch and enjoy THE NINTH GATE!!!! One of Roman's and Depp's best!!!
  4. Oct 21, 2011
    10
    Masterpiece, Polanski should be proud of this one.
    A Dark occult feature, feels like a film noir although it is not, great performance by the ensemble lead by Johnnie Depp.
  5. telmoo.
    Jun 20, 2006
    10
    Special, unforgettable, surrealist, explendid.
  6. Mar 24, 2011
    2
    Utterly...utterly...boring. Nothing ever happens. I give it a 2 just because I am a fan of Lena Olin. The movie is perfect from a cinematographic point of view, except maybe for the protragonist's disgusting habit of lighting up a cigarette every 5 minutes. But the story is so lame, it is hard to stay awake. The devil is too stupid to get a simple book ? Bad news for all the evil people inUtterly...utterly...boring. Nothing ever happens. I give it a 2 just because I am a fan of Lena Olin. The movie is perfect from a cinematographic point of view, except maybe for the protragonist's disgusting habit of lighting up a cigarette every 5 minutes. But the story is so lame, it is hard to stay awake. The devil is too stupid to get a simple book ? Bad news for all the evil people in the world, when their own boss is so dumb... Expand
  7. Jan 11, 2014
    4
    Interesting story, yet cheesy dialogue and lame directing. Could have been epic had someone like maybe David Lynch directed it. Very boring.. disappointing.
  8. GaryK.
    Mar 3, 2001
    4
    I found it slow paced and boring. The ending is rather abrupt and unsatisfying.
  9. AaronJ.
    Jun 6, 2004
    10
    Excellent movie. Great mysticism etc.
  10. SheenaB.
    Jun 9, 2002
    10
    That movie was EXCELLENT! I loved it!
  11. TravisC.
    Sep 2, 2002
    8
    A film that had me totally engrossed into its depths, hanging on every word & each scene as if my life depended upon it...until the last 2 minutes of the ending, then it went thud. All in all...I'll watch it over & over again just for the first 3/4 of this film.
  12. KeanesL.
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    This was a wonderful movie. I loved it. You can't go wrong with Johnny Depp.
  13. VincentF.
    May 5, 2004
    9
    The movie is slow paced yet never boring. The open ending is the only suitable ending for this movie.
  14. MichaelK.W.H.
    Jun 10, 2002
    8
    One of those films you have to watch twice (or thrice), a film, that does not end after viewing but needs some thinking. Not brilliant in my view, but interesting and unusual.
  15. GobelD.
    Aug 31, 2002
    9
    An intelligent, mature movie on a mostly misunderstood theme. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
  16. YoonMinC.
    Oct 28, 2003
    7
    Polanski's attempt at Angel Heart which was like Parker's attempt at Mr. Arkadin. While the movie is steeped in gothic style and has creepy cerebral atmosphere there's no satisfactory climax at the end of the long dark tunnel. Depp has little to do, and I wish Polanski would stop using his wife to play movie whore.
  17. sujanawill
    Oct 15, 2007
    9
    The 1st portion was COOL but later part is really bad but depp is excellent.
  18. SpencerG.
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    A movie for the intellectuals.
  19. raVen
    Aug 15, 2004
    8
    [***PLOT REVELATIONS***] (7.5) I loved 99% of this movie...The atmosphere...the building and darkening suspense...the double take of realizing Lena Olin doesn't use stairs...Depp is pricelessly Depp. But what he doesn't know, poor Johnny, is that instead of looking for the lost copies of an ancient book, he should have been looking for the last pages of the screenplay. Because[***PLOT REVELATIONS***] (7.5) I loved 99% of this movie...The atmosphere...the building and darkening suspense...the double take of realizing Lena Olin doesn't use stairs...Depp is pricelessly Depp. But what he doesn't know, poor Johnny, is that instead of looking for the lost copies of an ancient book, he should have been looking for the last pages of the screenplay. Because when the ending finally comes, it doesn't. Expand
  20. Apr 30, 2016
    7
    I do not know how this could be called unthrilling or unchilling. I have seen many a horror/thriller and this one had me on pins and needles throughout. While it lacks true scares, director Roman Polanski repeatedly crafts a deliciously creepy and unsettling atmosphere dripping with mystery. As the film is unveiled, it continues to be compelling especially when Depp is on the search forI do not know how this could be called unthrilling or unchilling. I have seen many a horror/thriller and this one had me on pins and needles throughout. While it lacks true scares, director Roman Polanski repeatedly crafts a deliciously creepy and unsettling atmosphere dripping with mystery. As the film is unveiled, it continues to be compelling especially when Depp is on the search for the books and when he deals with the girl. Really the only moments that do not pay off are the final 20 minutes that simply feel awkward and clumsy, though the very ending is an interesting touch. That said, The Ninth Gate features a great performance from Depp and though inferior to Rosemary's Baby (obviously) and Chinatown (due to its neo-noir elements), it demonstrates Polanski's immense skill while working with mystery and horror, especially together. A devilishly mysterious and creepy thriller, The Ninth Gates more than satisfies. Expand
  21. May 26, 2016
    8
    Great film. If you don't understand the ending, pay more attention to the story of how the book was made and it will make sense.

    Watch it online for free: https://www.primewire.ag/watch-2127-The-Ninth-Gate
  22. Apr 4, 2016
    4
    `The Ninth Gate': Off to Hell in a Handbasket, Trusty Book in Hand.

    For those with an interest in seeing a dinner-theater version of "Eyes Wide Shut," then look no further. Roman Polanski's "Ninth Gate," with its wizened decadence -- Darius Khondji's velveteen cinematography looks as if it came out of Rembrandt's Fotomat -- and its tired stabs at comedy, is calling your name. Frank
    `The Ninth Gate': Off to Hell in a Handbasket, Trusty Book in Hand.

    For those with an interest in seeing a dinner-theater version of "Eyes Wide Shut," then look no further. Roman Polanski's "Ninth Gate," with its wizened decadence -- Darius Khondji's velveteen cinematography looks as if it came out of Rembrandt's Fotomat -- and its tired stabs at comedy, is calling your name.

    Frank Langella, wearing a hairpiece that is most assuredly from the Stygian depths of Hell, is Boris Balkan, a wealthy and therefore evil collector of Devil-inspired antiquities who hires Dean Corso (Johnny Depp), a weedy rogue book dealer, to locate a volume called "The Nine Gates."

    You can tell that Corso is a rebel kind of book dealer: he smokes as he pores over vintage tomes and he doesn't wear gloves to keep his skin oils from the delicate pages. Balkan hires Corso to find the volume that will unlock the Nine Gates.

    The book is so pernicious that it drives an elderly man to hang himself from a noose that doesn't look capable of supporting a pair of socks.

    Equipped with debonair slashes of white across the sides of his head, Corso begins a search that will take him over several continents and at least 90 minutes because there are three versions of the book in question. He must ascertain which "Gates" is authentic and stay a step ahead of Liana (Lena Olin), who cuts a striking figure in black; she was born to be a widow. It was her husband who killed himself, driven mad by some intoxicating combination of her fatale figure and having such a horrific tome in his possession.

    Aided by his aerodynamic hair detailing, Corso goes from one "Gates" owner to another to check out their copies. He's pursued by a sylph (Emmanuelle Seigner) with the vacant stare and bored pout of a 14-year-old idly channel-surfing in hopes of finding MTV's Carson Daly. She races across Europe after Corso.

    Is she on Corso's side? Will Balkan get Satan's powers in his clutches through mastery of "The Nine Gates"? And what about Satan? Since the rich in these Devil-quest spectaculars are always searching for the Devil but often come to a bad end, does this mean he's a socialist? Or perhaps, since money attracts money, that he's a supply-sider? These are questions to be answered sooner or later in an issue of Cahiers du Cinéma. Or The Industry Standard.

    In adapting the European slight-fright best seller "El Club Dumas," Mr. Polanski is out to cross "Rosemary's Baby" with his saucy spoof "The Fearless Vampire Killers," but this movie is about as scary as a sock-puppet re-enactment of "The Blair Witch Project," and not nearly as funny.

    There's no leading man less interested in staying close to type than Mr. Depp. His Dean Corso is a craven hustler who makes the detached, cowardly Ichabod Crane he portrayed in "Sleepy Hollow" seem as forceful as Buffy the Vampire Slayer; he shows no interest in vesting learned characters with courage. Mr. Polanski's reflexes are gone, so all he can do is watch the camera pass gracefully from set to set.
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Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 30
  2. Negative: 9 out of 30
  1. Elegant, scary fun.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    25
    A supernatural thriller that is neither super, natural, nor thrilling.
  3. A film not even a star as foxed and foxy as Johnny Depp himself could save.