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Based on 38 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 14 )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    It's Olsen, as a damaged soul clinging to shifting ground, who makes this spellbinder impossible to shake. show more

  • 25
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Martha Marcy May Marlene is a strange case, a drama that's disturbing and yet inert. Writer-director Sean Durkin builds an atmosphere of dread, which means that he persuades us to believe in the characters and in the central situation. But he doesn't build interest. show more

  • 75
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    A horror movie that follows none of the predictable paths of the genre, it offers disturbing psychological drama and nuanced chills rather than outright terror. show more

  • 100
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Moves from its protagonist's dream state to her memories to her waking present in imperceptible shifts - the effect is disorienting, at first, but ingenious. show more

  • 80
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama, which also marks an assured feature debut for writer-director Sean Durkin. show more

  • 85
    Stephanie Zacharek Movieline

    Olsen's performance is restrained but not tentative; you could say the same for the movie around it. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    A linear story, or one that was fragmented more clearly, could have been more effective. Still, a good film, ambitious and effective, introducing a gifted young actress and a director whose work I'll anticipate. show more

  • 88
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    The acting in Durkin's feature is excellent. Olsen is utilized largely as an object for camera adoration, but not in the usual glamorizing way. Olsen, Hawkes and company play slippery figures with lovely assurance. show more

  • 88
    Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

    Like Roman Polanski's "Repulsion," Martha Marcy May Marlene gradually places us inside the mind of a woman who just might be insane, and in its audacious, terrifying final scene, the movie traps us there in perpetuity, refusing to provide the viewer with a way out. This time, the horror follows you home - no exit, no escape. show more

  • 88
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    This small movie carries great allegorical weight as it echoes the Manson Family, the long list of failed utopian communes that culminated in Bolshevism and the one-child policy that in China has prevented the births of untold numbers of girls. show more

  • January 28, 2013 amy
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    I loved it! Disturbing, but I couldn\'t stop watching and the end was perfect! Elizabeth Olsen is super hot and perfect in this role.

  • May 27, 2012 jm00000000110968
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    Fantastic and real acting. Very refreshing to see. I can\'t say enough about Elizabeth Olsen. She\'s the most promising actress I\'ve seen in a long time and I look forward to seeing what else she does. I agree with the others about the ending. Not thrilled about it for sure. It\'s a very disturbing movie. It fits more into the drama category as far as i\'m concerned. It\'s very emotional and difficult to watch at times due to subject matter. Warning if you are sensitive to rape scenes this is not for you. I am still in awe at the way this movie was done. Very impressive. The kind of movie that lingers with you. It\'s pretty depressing and creepy at the same time. The thing that gets you is really believing this stuff takes place and can happen to your child or someone you know. Very tragic and like I said disturbing but a quality movie none the less.

  • November 24, 2011 mikesmutt
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    This is certainly not a film you\'ll leave with a smile on your face. Interesting material but the ending leaves you wondering why you spent the time. Don\'t waste your money.

  • November 21, 2011 marathon4
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    The acting was good. The main character however, was too troubled and therfore, her perception of events was too convoluted to make any sense.

  • November 21, 2011 bobflaps
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    This may be the biggest waste of $10 I\'ve ever spent. My wife and I saw it with another couple--we all agreed--IT WAS BEYOND TERRIBLE!!!!!! Depressing, dis-jointed, full of too many flashbacks--an incredible waste of celluloid. DON\'T GO SEE IT!!!

  • November 14, 2011 alexanderw
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    The ending makes no sense. Otherwise, the film is interesting.

  • November 13, 2011 nance0920
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    the story line was exactly like Charles Manson only 40 years later,,,left me feeling depressed and uncomfortable,,, Nancy G

  • November 12, 2011 mrmteach (AL)
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    This is the worse movie I have ever seen and I\'ve seen lots of movies. The acting is horrible. The storyline is stupid. There is no character development and the movie ends without offering any ending. It was simply a waste of my time and money.

  • November 12, 2011 gj4861
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    Saw the movie the other day and there is an ending - don\'t want to give it away here but you had to figure out what would have happened next if you saw the guy in the car behind them. It was slow at times, but it wasn\'t a cookie cutter run of the mill movie - it made you really watch what was going on.

  • November 06, 2011 iu00000000044076
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    This is possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. It starts out slow as molasses, takes forever to get to any kind of point, and then hits a highlight, if you can call it that, which is completely irrelevant to the story line. And then, the movie just ends. It just stops - there is no ending. It literally just stops. Like some kind of indy film artistic thing where you are supposed to assume the ending, but any ending you assume is completely anti-climactic. This movie sucks.

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