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Based on 19 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Polanski, working from a fluid script by Dorfman and Rafael Yglesias ("Fearless"), gives the story its due. He creates an atmosphere of claustrophobic tension to rival his "Knife in the Water" and "Repulsion". show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Polanski directs the film without a wasting a moment. The occasional humor does nothing to relieve tension but, as in a Hitchcock picture, has a way of increasing it. show more

  • 88
    TV Guide

    The material is well served by director Roman Polanski, who knows well how to instill a subtle, claustrophobic sense of dread in an audience and has put together a rather elegant potboiler. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Death and the Maiden is all about acting. In other hands, even given the same director, this might have been a dreary slog. show more

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Death and the Maiden never fulfills the evocative promise of those initial frames...Beyond that, you have to settle for a craftsman working with more precision than inspiration. But Polanski at half-speed is still hard to beat. [27 Jan 1995, pg. E.1] show more

  • 63
    San Francisco Examiner

    There's not much mystery here; there's only one outcome that could possibly make dramatic sense. And once you realize that, there's not much to do besides watch some very adept performers chew on their lines. show more

  • 50
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Polanski abandons all attempts at subtlety. The resulting production ends up far too heavy-handed to be considered powerful drama. show more

  • 80
    Kim Newman Empire

    Even by their high standards, the performances of Weaver and Kingsley here are impressive, and Polanski ratchetts up the tension nicely. A chilling and thought-provoking piece. show more

  • 89
    Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle

    Death and the Maiden is a streamlined razor-ride of a movie: taut, riveting, and a psychological horror show that will leave nail-marks in your palms for days afterwards. show more

  • 100
    William Arnold Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    It's an immensely successful movie - and far and away the most emotionally charged, psychologically uneasy and diabolically suspenseful thriller Polanski's made since his heyday. [27 Jan 1995, p. 26] show more

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