A Promise
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Germany, 1912. A graduate of humble origins takes up a clerical post in a steel factory. Impressed by his work the elderly owner takes him on as his private secretary. His health declining, the owner is confined to his home, where the young man moves to continue his work. There he meets the owner's wife, a much younger woman, beautiful and reserved. (c) IFC Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Despite decent performances, a promising dramatic set-up leads to little of real interest."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"The magnetism between these stiff nonstarters wouldn't stick to a fridge, especially when the war-ex-machina forces them apart for years but the only credible passing of time is our own."
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"The main drawbacks are the grey decorousness of the pacing and visuals, and Richard Madden's unsympathetically flat playing as antihero Fritz."
‑ Jonathan Romney, Observer [UK]
"The lack of chemistry between Madden and Hall drains the film of energy and their unrequited longing is often unintentionally amusing."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"This dreary, drippy period romance is sorely lacking in juicy melodrama and some sizzle among supposed stifled lovebirds."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"The anguish of the lovers' decade-long separation can't be evoked in a matter of minutes ..."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"This awkward, passionless drama conveys neither the sensuality nor the drawn-out sense of longing required by its period tale of a young secretary who falls in love with his employer's wife."
‑ Justin Chang, Variety
"Nonetheless, at its best, it has some of the same qualities as Ophüls' [Letter from an Unknown Woman]."
‑ Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
"If you only watch one Stefan Zweig-inspired film this year, watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. If you watch two, see The Grand Budapest Hotel twice. Awful."
‑ David Hughes, Empire Magazine
"After a while, I didn't know where to look. Anywhere but at the screen."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The actors are smoothly professional and the production feels polished. But it's hard to recommend a romance without passion, no matter how pretty it looks."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Though by no means an unbearable watch, A Promise is almost as much an exercise in patience for its viewers as it is for Friedrich and Lotte."
‑ Zach Hollwedel, Under the Radar
"When a French filmmaker travels to Belgium to film a German story in English, it's hardly surprising that the resulting movie feels somewhat awkward."
‑ Rich Cline, Contactmusic.com
"A particularly languid, slow-burning period drama."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"It's a curiously flat affair, the passage of time never really evoked and - with the exception of a wheezing Rickman - the acting lacks any dramatic, let alone romantic, spark."
‑ , Sky Movies
More reviews for A Promise on Rotten Tomatoes