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Reel Deal: Martha Marcy May Marlene

The critical round up of the newest releases for your one-stop viewing pleasure

Published on February 3rd 2012.

Reel Deal: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Average rating:


Here's what the critics are saying:


5/5 stars
By Emma Dibdin for Totalfilm.com

 “Mad, mixed-up, mind-boggling, magnificent. A stunningly assured, elegantly crafted and profoundly disturbing portrait of a traumatised mind, MMMM rockets Durkin and Olsen to the top of the ‘ones to watch’ pile.”  

4/5 stars
By Ian Freer for Empire Online  

“Rough around the edges and too ambiguous for some tastes, this is grim but clever, insidiously creepy and affecting. And in Olsen and Durkin, it marks the arrival of two exciting talents to watch. It still should be called Mental Sex Cult.”
4/5 stars
By Mark Adams for Mirror.co.uk

“Elegant and restrained, this chilling indie drama centres around Martha (a mesmerising Elizabeth Olsen), who escapes a cult after being brainwashed by its charismatic leader. Magnificently moody and threatening, it chills rather than terrifies.”  

3/5 stars
By Simon Reynolds for Digitalspy.co.uk

“Elizabeth Olsen is mesmerising at the heart of Martha Marcy May Marlene. The actress makes an astonishing breakthrough, you can't afford to take your eyes off her for a second. Martha Marcy May Marlene is indie cinema with an emphatic 'I', all mumbled dialogue, deliberate ambiguity and oppressive bleakness. The actors carry things along, but it's just a little too detached and distant to completely engage you.”

4/5 stars
By David Jenkins for Timeout.co.uk

“It may be a question of taste, but Dancy felt like the loose-link here: a technically strong performance, but a clichéd take on Brit obstinacy that threatened to cloud more pressing thematic concerns. Still, a very minor quibble for an otherwise majorly impressive and rigorous nightmare movie.”

5/5 stars
By Ryan Lambie for Denofgeek.com

“The film’s earned plenty of attention for Elizabeth Olson’s performance, and also for Sean Durkin’s direction which, we’re told, steadily builds up the tension to almost hypnotic levels, and has been favourably compared to the work of Michael Haneke.”


4/5 stars
By Andy Lea for Dailystar.co.uk

“Elizabeth Olsen has bagged the award I’ve just made up for the most unfairly overlooked name in this year’s list of Oscar nominations. The newcomer is effortlessly brilliant in a role that’s every bit as complicated as the film’s tongue-twister of a title.”

4/5 stars
By Brogen Hayes for Filmoria.co.uk

Martha Marcy May Marlene may create as many mysteries as it solves, but first time film maker Sean Durkin and Elizabeth Olsen make such a strong impression, it is easy to overlook this and become immersed in the world on screen.”




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