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Based on 39 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 80
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    A film of startling humor and feeling. For that, director Steven Shainberg, who co-wrote the script with Erin Cressida Wilson, owes much to two remarkable performances. show more

  • 25
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    It provokes nothing but yawns, and the sex it explores is stuff everybody knows about and says, "So what?" show more

  • 75
    Mike Clark USA Today

    Even without the surprise of seeing Spader going for laughs and getting them, Secretary is just too original to be ignored. show more

  • 80
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Pulls off a neat trick: It's a poignant, sweet-natured love story in which what most of us would call kinky sex - domination, submission, some enthusiastic spanking - is featured prominently, but not pruriently. show more

  • 75
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    The daring, funny and quirkily erotic Secretary examines power exchanges between consenting adults in a way that other movies have not managed without turning off swaths of the squeamish. show more

  • 88
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Has enough genuine laughs to eliminate the potential twitters and snickers, and it treats Edward and Lee as people. We end up caring about what happens to these two individuals, even as we smile and laugh at their antics. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Approaches the tricky subject of sadomasochism with a stealthy tread, avoiding the dangers of making it either too offensive, or too funny. show more

  • 75
    Megan Lehmann New York Post

    Against all odds, director Steven Shainberg has managed to craft an oddly compassionate -- and often very funny -- tale of an emotionally symbiotic affair. show more

  • 75
    Ty Burr Boston Globe

    Love hurts in Secretary -- but not too much. It's not impossible to imagine adventurous young couples seeing this movie and rushing home to try out the handcuffs and paddles. show more

similar movies

  • Chasing Amy (1997)

  • Walking and Talking (1996)

  • Smart People (2008)

  • The Kids Are All Right (2010)

  • Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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