Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Set in the present day, this is the story of two poetry scholars (Eckhart, Paltrow) who discover that the subjects of their studies were secret lovers. As they research the mysterious relationship, they develop a romance of their own.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. 90
    LaBute, in his infinite and marvelous wrongness, infuses his movie with a delicacy of feeling that couldn't be more right for the material. LaBute obviously approached the project with his hands and his heart open: Frame by frame, it's a humble picture, a movie that isn't afraid to be an entertainment.
  2. 75
    The highlights are the writing and the performances. There are real laughs to be had -- several scenes end on sharp, witty shards of dialogue. And whenever Eckhart, Northam or Ehle is the focus, the thing soars.
  3. What Possession reminds us more than anything is that love is more exotic at the safe remove of history. The irony is that LaBute is more at home chronicling the present, yet that's where this movie falls apart.
  4. 50
    Watching Possession is a movie experience not much deeper than you'd get on your couch watching Masterpiece Theater or Mystery! -- pleasant enough, but oh so soft.
  5. The film is by no means a disaster. Possession is prettily performed, prettily put-together. Yet, for a story set so firmly in the center of a fire, LaBute and his players have suited themselves in some mighty flame-retardant threads.
  6. The real problem isn't with the actors, it's with 1) the source material, a highfalutin romance novel with a clever literary conceit, and 2) LaBute's clumsy, uncomfortable efforts to telescope Byatt's book into a workable movie.
  7. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9