Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 235 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Wladyslaw Szpilman, a brilliant Polish pianist, a Jew, escapes deportation. Forced to live in the heart of the Warsaw ghetto, he shares the suffering, the humiliation and the struggles. He manages to escape and hides in the ruins of the capital. A German officer comes to his aid and helps him to survive. (Focus Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. A great movie on a powerful, essential subject -- the Holocaust years in Poland -- directed with such artistry and skill that, as we watch, the barriers of the screen seem to melt away.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The best film of 2002.
  3. Polanski’s strongest and most personally felt movie.
  4. After an hour, The Pianist stops being the Holocaust movie and becomes a Holocaust movie.
  5. The power of the arts to transcend cultural differences is presumably what moves the German to spare Szpilman, and, perhaps, is the key to Polanski's salvation as well.
  6. To name only one of its predecessors -- for me, the towering one -- doesn't "Schindler's List" do everything that Polanski achieves and more?
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Surprisingly lacks a feeling of personal urgency and insight that would have made it a distinctive, even unique contribution to the considerable number of films that deal with the war in general and Holocaust in particular.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 93
  2. Negative: 7 out of 93
  1. Aug 2, 2011
    I especially appreciate this movie for portraying people as real as it gets. There are no only good or bad sides here. It shows us that the war never really changed poeple to mindless warmongering zombies. There were bad and good people everywhere. The story of a young Jewish radio pianist is interesting as the perspective is shown from his secret flat provided by the Polish. Everything he experienced most of the time was viewing from his apartment`s window. The apocalyptic reality of ghettos also have some time in this movie so we can see how he Germans treated their slaves. The character played by Adrien Brody is likeable and interesting to the point we want to stick with the story. And in this movie we see another page of history which is Germans destroying Warsaw. In the end I felt sorry for Wilm Hosenfeld and I reflected upon how unjust and random war is. Expand
  2. May 10, 2014
    An extremely humane tale of pure survival, The Pianist is undoubtedly one of Polanski's finest works - realistic, unflinching and never resorting to even the slightest melodrama. Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2014
    An entirely new perspective on the dark times of the Holocaust, The Pianist is a poignant masterpiece. Adrien Brody's portrayal of Szpilman is staggering and awe-inspiring. Roman Polanski has had many greats during his career, but this just may be his finest work. Expand
  4. Feb 8, 2011
    Sorry, machine translation. Thanks. Untermensch - Lower The music helps us to live, indeed to survive. One survivor, if still of sound mind, can not have memory. And the memory "music" of a pianist, is very long term. The music also helps to seek, to find and hope for our hero, to forgive. So I understand. But who is our hero? His name is Wladyslaw Szpilman Adrien Brody / is the famous pianist of the "Warsaw Ghetto", his talent has crossed the Polish borders. Szpilman familiar chromatic scales, those that give color; insignificant harmonica in his hands takes vivacity. Among other things, the implementation of the Study op. 10 No. 2 by Frederic Chopin, which requires a special technique of execution, not for nothing is unprepared. Moreover, our Wladyslaw, Chopin knows everything, really everything. The story goes that when Chopin composed the op. 10 No. 2, was inspired by a mouse, quickly seen running to his room. Szpilman has seen much else in his Warsaw Germans, many, "armed in the soul" with the most powerful poisons, HATRED. Ready for anything, to destroy everything, to "destroy inside." It all began in September 1939. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939 is a done deal. Consequence of this is the invasion and division of Polish territory by the Russians and Germans. I am the latter, the co-stars in the film directed by Roman Polanski. I said, the German planes begin bombing Warsaw at the same time, the camera captures our pianist, impassive, calm, almost disinterested in studies of Warsaw radio, while continuing to play the C # 20 Nocturno, Op posth- F. Chopin. It is 'forced' to vanish quickly when another explosion shatters all the glass panes of the studio and beyond. E ', this, the last sonata "live". E '1945, the "reborn" Polish studies, incorporate the same hands to put pressure on blacks and white keys of a piano. The piece by Chopin "violently interrupted" resumes its "path". The mind and hands of the "survivor" are stylistically synchronous. Chopeniani enthusiasts who have had the good fortune to listen to before the events and now are not slow to realize that the anxiety and pessimism gives way to a romance aimed at all "to escape" the thought and memory, while not forgetting. But what has happened in all these years to the Szpilman family, our composer, to the thousands of Polish Jews? What imparts the "INFINITE" circular Nazi? What are Judenräte? What role occupies the Wehrmacht officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld? Thomas Kretschmann / seen by our "the only human being wearing the German uniform I have ever known." Polanski, finally finds the strength to tell and tell. In fact, the story told is an excerpt from the memoirs of Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, written after the war. The director, at the time a child is imprisoned in the Krakow ghetto. The facts narrated are not at all "handled". What happens in the ghetto is told without rhetoric. "Beyond the wall," Jews are accomplices Jews who have grown rich on the backs of other Jews, there is a whole underwater life. But not intentionally. I think. Choosing is not easy when you find yourself alone in front of the "certainty of death." He who saves a soul is as if he saved the entire universe is written in the Talmud. Wilm Hosenfeld will ever have a tree dedicated in the Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem? And today? The Second World War is over? My answer is no. A long appendix of global tragedies following the tragic events. The man still does not learn from his mistakes. And Italy? Italy is a country at war. But who knows? And the cinema? The cinema has a duty to tell / inform, if you like. The viewer has the duty to investigate / guard, if you like. It is of free thought. And this I do not give up. "The Pianist" won: Two 2002 Oscar - Best Director Roman Polanski s best actor Adrien Brody /; Cannes Film Festival 2002 - Palme d'Or for Best Film with Roman Polanski; David di Donatello 2003 - Best foreign film with Roman Polanski. Expand
  5. Nov 22, 2013
    Beautiful, engrossing, and tragic, this film is all of those and more. Beautifully directed by Roman Polanski and Adrien Brody excells in the lead role. Absolutely brilliant film. Expand
  6. Oct 5, 2012
    When this movie came out ten years ago, it received much critical acclaim. Somehow, I never got around to watching it. The other night I noticed it was available on Netflix streaming, so I decided to watch.

    This was an amazing movie. To me, it was more moving than Schindler's List. Adrien Brody's acting was top notch and the direction was great.
  7. Jan 26, 2011
    The Pianist is a beautifully shot, beautifully acted portrayal of the life of Pianist Wladyslaw Szpolman. His hardships and survival are a true beckon to the human desire for survival and Brody portrays his character perfectly. The only thing separating this from Schindlers List were the lack of tears shed. Otherwise The Pianist is a movie that is brutal in its accuracy of the Nazi atrocities and is difficult to watch at time. Still the captivating camera work and acting keeps the viewer glued to the tv praying for the survival of Szpilman Expand

See all 93 User Reviews


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