The Pianist

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 374 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 374

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 31, 2010
    10
    The Pianist brights a completely new perception to the "war" genre; instead of depicting the protagonist as heroic, noble, or courageous, he is simply portrayed as the man caught in the midst of it. This provides the film with a sobering sense of realism, and will emotionally devastate, and aesthetically astound viewers, not the mention the superlative performance from Adrien Brody.The Pianist brights a completely new perception to the "war" genre; instead of depicting the protagonist as heroic, noble, or courageous, he is simply portrayed as the man caught in the midst of it. This provides the film with a sobering sense of realism, and will emotionally devastate, and aesthetically astound viewers, not the mention the superlative performance from Adrien Brody. Improves on each viewing. Expand
  2. Aug 2, 2011
    10
    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 heI 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
  3. May 10, 2014
    10
    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.
  4. Aug 27, 2014
    10
    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.
  5. Jan 20, 2013
    10
    This movie tells a story that we cannot forget , it is very shocking how the human being tries to live also known as survival escaping from the nazis. Everyone should se this movie because it has a great and amazing story to tell.
  6. Apr 3, 2014
    10
    The Pianist is a breathtaking and outstanding film by Polanski. The acting is great, and the cinematography is gritty yet beautiful. But what makes The Pianist stand out from other films of this genre is how it portrays the Germans so antagonistic and ruthless, more than almost any other film I've seen, except for maybe "Schindler's List".
  7. Aug 23, 2014
    10
    This Palme D'or winner movie is one of the best movies i have ever seen. It connects emotionally with the audience, the music by Frederic Chopin is beautiful and the performances are very good. This movie is the reason why musicians struggle to live just to do what they love, art!
  8. T.P.
    Jan 6, 2003
    3
    A huge disappointment. An incredible story, very rudimentarily told. I was extremely bored during the second half. Did not like it at all. It does not bring anything new.
  9. MichaelA
    Aug 11, 2009
    10
    One of the best films to see WWII through the eyes of survivor, not a warrior, simply heart-wrenching yet magnificent, my favorite from Polanski
  10. BrianH.
    Jan 9, 2003
    1
    Wait, we could do a film about the Holocaust! What a great idea!!
  11. GabrielP.
    Jan 6, 2003
    0
    No wonder ALL the Holocaust fims get a 10 and an Oscar. Bet this is going to be another one. Polansky is only trying to make amends with Hollywood. Argh.
  12. Christopher
    Apr 13, 2003
    0
    Awful so boring!
  13. Shootsy
    Jan 3, 2003
    0
    Undeniable terrible history facts do not necessarily make a great piece of film making. Boring and way overrated.
  14. GaborA.
    Mar 18, 2005
    5
    Make another movie about the Holocaust. Fine. But have some original element. I cant imagine a more trypical screenplay that could be written given the task to write a script about the Holocaust.
  15. stephenc.
    Aug 18, 2005
    2
    This film didn't take an angle to the events of the Holocaust, unless you count the fact that the lead could play a bit of piano. It showed the horror of the time but in a tasteless manner and really brought nothing new to the subject. Adrian Brody put on a sad face for the movie and won an oscar. An awful film.
  16. DaveC.
    Sep 24, 2005
    4
    Can't go wrong with Adrien Brody, whose performance is, at once, intense and sympathetic, yet the character he is playing is little more than a void in the film, where we should in fact be thinking of him as the protagonist. Many sections of the film are risible where the ought to be taken seriously and at other times, I wasn't even convinced. The piano playing sequences are Can't go wrong with Adrien Brody, whose performance is, at once, intense and sympathetic, yet the character he is playing is little more than a void in the film, where we should in fact be thinking of him as the protagonist. Many sections of the film are risible where the ought to be taken seriously and at other times, I wasn't even convinced. The piano playing sequences are pretentious and obvious and the rest of the film feels like a missed opportunity. Why doesn't it tackle issues like the prejudices of slavic poles towards the jews. I never got the sense of what it might have felt like to be jew. Polanski has evidently been more pre-occupied with making a crowd-pleasing thrill ride. What a waste. Expand
  17. DavidM.
    Jun 14, 2005
    2
    The film is terribly contrived and appears to be sewn together from pieces of other Holocaust films, taking their drama, their imagery, their violence and their beauty, but leaving behind the reasons why we should care about these things. It's the type of film a Holocaust film enthusist would make, not a historian or a true film maker. I left this film feeling cheated that I never The film is terribly contrived and appears to be sewn together from pieces of other Holocaust films, taking their drama, their imagery, their violence and their beauty, but leaving behind the reasons why we should care about these things. It's the type of film a Holocaust film enthusist would make, not a historian or a true film maker. I left this film feeling cheated that I never developed an understanding of any of the characters or any attachment to what was happening to them. Expand
  18. JoshL.
    Jan 15, 2003
    10
    In my humble opinion, this film tops both "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful". I was getting tired of the same thing: "We must never forget." This movie is about a man's survival and it happens to be during the Holocaust. This story is told with a "raw" truth. There are no fancy film tricks or fx. The thing that stays most with me is Adrien Brody's metamorphosis. He In my humble opinion, this film tops both "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful". I was getting tired of the same thing: "We must never forget." This movie is about a man's survival and it happens to be during the Holocaust. This story is told with a "raw" truth. There are no fancy film tricks or fx. The thing that stays most with me is Adrien Brody's metamorphosis. He starts off as a normal human being but by the end of the movie you can look into his eyes and see an absence of something. All that mattered was surviving. This is a film that every Jew and everyone should see. If this picture should win any Oscars, which it should, it will not be because its about the Holocaust, but rather because it is great filmmaking! Expand
  19. YoonMinC.
    Oct 23, 2003
    9
    Polanski gives us the horror of Nazi occupation not only from within the Warsaw ghetto but from within the trapped soul of the central character. Because the film sticks subjectively close to its hero we feel the full weight of being hounded and hunted. Few films have caught such frightening sense of doom and isolation. The title of the movie is almost an ironic joke--what good is a Polanski gives us the horror of Nazi occupation not only from within the Warsaw ghetto but from within the trapped soul of the central character. Because the film sticks subjectively close to its hero we feel the full weight of being hounded and hunted. Few films have caught such frightening sense of doom and isolation. The title of the movie is almost an ironic joke--what good is a pianist amidst the horror?--yet the meaning of artistic passion lingers and survives as one of the last vestiges of humanity and positive values in a cruel world. Unsentimental, heartstopping, and brutal but never without deep, committed moral sense. A welcome antidote in the age of Tarantino whose films after Reservoir Dogs have goaded us into laughing like hyenas at inhumanity. Expand
  20. KumarV.
    Mar 30, 2003
    10
    Absolutely the most beautiful picture I've ever seen. It made me feel things I've never felt before. My god, how I hate Hitler and the Nazis.
  21. JoanC.
    Apr 6, 2003
    10
    This film left me breathless, and the images brought to the audience stayed with me until now, even though it has two weeks since I watched it. I have no doubt at all that the images will remain forever. Adrien Brody portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman was completely deserving of the Oscar, I commend you, AMPAS. May you keep up this level of voting for many coming years.
  22. RayM.
    Jun 7, 2003
    8
    First off, I am an avid student of the horrors of the Holocaust. I think that history should not allow anyone to forget this polar extreme of evil and should use history as a tool to prevent it from ever happening again. The movie itself was ok. I think I will always compare every Holocaust movie to Schindler's List, which one of the few movies that really emotionally moves me. What First off, I am an avid student of the horrors of the Holocaust. I think that history should not allow anyone to forget this polar extreme of evil and should use history as a tool to prevent it from ever happening again. The movie itself was ok. I think I will always compare every Holocaust movie to Schindler's List, which one of the few movies that really emotionally moves me. What I really feel was missing from this movie was human emotion throughout. I feel this movie's focus was more towards the physical and psychological pain that these people endured at that moment, rather than the emotional setback...which to me is unique. These people didn't have time to grieve as fear and confusion dominated their lives. I feel that is really portrayed here. The scene involving the German officer and main character is what I really consider genius. It takes the reality of the situation and puts it in perspective. A perspective that there is no doubt the Germans where wrong, and it is good to see that acknowledged, even in a movie. I think this is something that those are interested in should see. I almost just bought it outright, but I rented it and I'm glad I did. I isn't a movie I would watch on a semi regular basis. Also, I didn't let me bias against Roman Polanski hurt this rating or my opinion. I think if there is any truth to what he has done to children he should be severely punished, great director or not. Expand
  23. Chetnik
    Dec 31, 2002
    10
    This film is brilliant. Unlike most holocaust films, it does not try to tug at heart strings and make people cry. It doesn't try to tell a story of a hero who saves the world. In a sense, this is probably the most realistic holocaust film because it's about a man who simply wants to survive. And the only thing the Germans can't take from him is his talent and love for This film is brilliant. Unlike most holocaust films, it does not try to tug at heart strings and make people cry. It doesn't try to tell a story of a hero who saves the world. In a sense, this is probably the most realistic holocaust film because it's about a man who simply wants to survive. And the only thing the Germans can't take from him is his talent and love for music. From the first shot of Brody in a room by himself, you get the idea that this film is about a man's isolation in the world. And later on you will see many scenes of him by himself. Alone in a world with only his art. This is one of Polanski's best films! For all those who respect his great work, you will see he's returned to his roots. This is a harsh film, but a real film. A MUST SEE!!!! Expand
  24. MarcK.
    Jan 5, 2003
    10
    I guess since I think this is the best picture of the year, I have to rate it a 10! I had read parts of the novel "Beach Music" awhile ago, and many of the brutal scenes in the ghetto reminded me of the book. Polanski does a great job here conveying what things were like at that time, and I had a nightmare that evening trying to go to sleep. I'm not sure the Academy will recognize I guess since I think this is the best picture of the year, I have to rate it a 10! I had read parts of the novel "Beach Music" awhile ago, and many of the brutal scenes in the ghetto reminded me of the book. Polanski does a great job here conveying what things were like at that time, and I had a nightmare that evening trying to go to sleep. I'm not sure the Academy will recognize "another Holocaust movie" after "Life is Beautiful" and "Schindler's List", but this ranks up there with the both of them! Expand
  25. BarryR.
    Jan 8, 2003
    9
    "The Pianist" is the story of a musician who survives the brutal and inhumane treatment by the Nazis of the Jews in Poland, his homeland. More importantly, it is a movie starring Adrian Broady which is based upon and true to the book "The Pianist" written by this musician 4 years after WWII. It is his personal story but it is also the general story of Nazi prejudice at its worst. It is "The Pianist" is the story of a musician who survives the brutal and inhumane treatment by the Nazis of the Jews in Poland, his homeland. More importantly, it is a movie starring Adrian Broady which is based upon and true to the book "The Pianist" written by this musician 4 years after WWII. It is his personal story but it is also the general story of Nazi prejudice at its worst. It is not an easy movie to watch but it is an important movie to see. Directed by Roman Polanski, a survivor himself, the movie becomes a documentary depiciting one man's ability and good fortune to survive a terrible nightmare. I felt a real identification with his plight because he could have been any or every Jew in the world. The movie is historically accurate and quite well acted. Though pretty long in duration, it still gets a 9 rating because it tells its message well even though it spends a lot of time in the process. Expand
  26. BlancoA.
    Feb 19, 2003
    10
    An outstanding film... my pick for the best of 2002. Adrien Brody's performance is clearly Oscar-worthy. The beauty amid the horror is striking.
  27. Fantasy
    Mar 10, 2003
    10
    Robert you are on the money. The Pianist by far blows away the competition for Best Motion Picture. It demonstrates just one man's struggle to survive so you can feel his pain during his 6 tortured years. This is a must see movie for everyone.
  28. LassisterP.
    Mar 10, 2003
    10
    Definitely one of the best movies of the year. Although over 2 hours long, one just sits nervously on the edge of his seat and wonders if not for the grace of God how did this man ever survive? After watching this horror of just 60 short years ago, I now understand why Saddam must be stopped and stoppped now! As the credits roll at the end of the film, no one utters a sound. That is how Definitely one of the best movies of the year. Although over 2 hours long, one just sits nervously on the edge of his seat and wonders if not for the grace of God how did this man ever survive? After watching this horror of just 60 short years ago, I now understand why Saddam must be stopped and stoppped now! As the credits roll at the end of the film, no one utters a sound. That is how moving The Pianist is! Expand
  29. Warren
    Mar 23, 2003
    10
    There aren't enough superlatives to write what a masterpiece this film truly is. Do not be surprised it it is the dark horse to win Best Picture. It is much deserving as is Roman Polanski. This is a film that will stay with you long after you have left the theater.
  30. RayL.
    Mar 24, 2003
    10
    Saw the movie today after all the Oscars last night. All that I can say is "WOW". This is the best movie I have seen in many many years. It would not have surprised me if it had won best picture because it willl stay with the viewer for a long time. The Academy finally got it right.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. The result is a movie, and Cannes Palme d'Or winner, of riveting power and sadness, a great match of film and filmmaker -- and star, too.
  2. 100
    Polanski, himself a survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, has created a near-masterpiece.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    There are three Poles in The Pianist -- Szpilman, Polanski, and Frederic Chopin. Of the three, fittingly, Chopin speaks the loudest.