The Pianist

The Pianist Image
Metascore
85

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

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 366 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 helpsWladyslaw 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

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    Polanski, himself a survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, has created a near-masterpiece.
  2. 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.
  3. The results are masterful, admirably unsentimental, and never boring, if also a little stodgy.
  4. 88
    Nothing can detract from the film as a portrait of hell so shattering it's impossible to shake.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    With this 2002 Cannes Film Festival best-picture winner, Polanski skips the quirky flourishes and simply brings history to life.
  6. 80
    Polanski, wisely, doesn't interpret or explain. He seems to have decided that in the face of such meticulously planned horror, the best one can do is get the details right.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    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: 88 out of 98
  2. Negative: 7 out of 98
  1. 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 theI 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. 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 fromThis 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. Expand
  3. 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 FredericThis 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! Expand
  4. richardh
    Nov 15, 2008
    9
    Spectacular film. hard to call it polanski's best since Chinatown is may be one of the top 5 films of all time, but if you don't Spectacular film. hard to call it polanski's best since Chinatown is may be one of the top 5 films of all time, but if you don't feel incredibly moved by the film - check you pulse, because you might be dead. Expand
  5. Jul 26, 2014
    9
    A sensational film. Roman Polanski and his amazing vision bring us one of his moving masterpieces. the film tells the amazing life story ofA sensational film. Roman Polanski and his amazing vision bring us one of his moving masterpieces. the film tells the amazing life story of acclaimed Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, focusing on his touching story of survival during World War II. With a beautiful cast, The Pianist is a great biographical drama i've seen in years. Loyal, genuine and above all a moving portrait of the Second World War and its worldwide impact. Expand
  6. Oct 5, 2012
    9
    When this movie came out ten years ago, it received much critical acclaim. Somehow, I never got around to watching it. The other night IWhen 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.
    Expand
  7. 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 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

See all 98 User Reviews

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