Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If you've never seen Maddin's work, Cowards Bend the Knee is a good place to start."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"It's bliss, I tell you!"
‑ Jami Bernard, New York Daily News
"... a miniature, barely more than an hour long... but it bubbles over with lust, guilt, and betrayal, not to mention weirdness."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"If you're a fan of Maddin's expressionist style, you'll find the humor within. Everyone else will be scratching their heads, despite Maddin's extraordinary visual imagination."
‑ Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"The pleasure is watching how the fast-paced story careens from one outrageous plot turn to the next. This is one film in which over-the-top is sincere praise."
‑ Kent Turner, Film-Forward.com
"There's no denying the imagination and technical ingenuity on display, but this clearly ranks as one of Maddin's less accessible efforts, which is definitely saying something."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"There is also something rather splendid about this extended-play peep show, as if Mr. Maddin had stumbled across a hitherto lost archive of cinema's less-than-innocent past."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Plays like a fever dream recalled upon waking, told with the immediacy of fear couched in relentless pleasure."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat
"Although only an hour long, the movie -- which uses intertitles to convey dialogue -- may seem endless to those who have not acquired a taste for Maddin's surreal mayhem."
‑ Susan Green, Boxoffice Magazine
"Most of Maddin's usual preoccupations are in evidence -- guilt, incest, sexual obsession, voyeurism, early cinema and Maddin's greatest love, hockey -- and as luridly entertaining as ever."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Lurid, tawdry and untoward entertainment from Canada's reigning mad genius."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"What's truly extraordinary about this movie -- which strikes me on two viewings as Maddin's masterpiece -- is that it not only plays like a dream but feels like one."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"A dreamlike tale told by an idiosyncratic storyteller who is hyper-imaginative."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"There's a new visual idea every second, each teeming with energy, pitch-dark comedy, and inspired cinematic lunacy."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"One of the most brilliant works of an unapologetically eccentric, and endlessly inventive, director."
‑ Richard Porton, Film Journal International
More reviews for Cowards Bend the Knee on Rotten Tomatoes