Death and the Maiden
Death and the Maiden (1995)

This taut, psychological thriller begins in an unnamed South American country at a performance of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" attended by a married couple; the music deeply troubles the woman. The story moves to a lonely… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: June 3, 2003
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
84%
Flixster
User Score
81%

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Critic Score: 84% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Polanski certainly gets the maximum voltage and precision out of his story and actors, keeping us preternaturally alert to shifting power relationships and delayed revelations.

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Caryn James
New York Times

Mr. Polanski treads lightly on the clumsier lines, and sustains tension by creating an elegant, unobtrusive dance with the camera.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's based on the gripping three-character play by Ariel Dorfman.

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Todd McCarthy
Variety

Kingsley shrewdly tantalizes the viewer about his identity, and gets to deliver the text's most riveting monologue at the end. The lesser-known Wilson may be the first among equals, impressing strongly as the equivocating husband.

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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

Death and the Maiden forces the audience to confront questions about torture and punishment.

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Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

Even by their high standards, the performances of Weaver and Kingsley here are impressive, and Polanski ratchetts up the tension nicely. A chilling and thought-provoking piece.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Polanski wisely never opens out the action from the remote clifftop house. In keeping things claustrophobic, close-up and ambivalent, he heightens the suspense (not to mention the sexual tension).

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Polanski keeps the situation ambiguous to provoke questions of guilt and responsibility.

TV Guide's Movie Guide

The material is well served by director Roman Polanski, who knows well how to instill a subtle, claustrophobic sense of dread in an audience and has put together a rather elegant potboiler.

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More reviews for Death and the Maiden

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Pierluigi Puccini
During a dictatorship in an unnamed latin american country, Paulina (Sigourney Weaver) was a dissident activist who was tortured in horrible ways and kept alive… More
John Ballantine
A little gem from Polanski that no one saw. I haven't seen Sigourney Weaver act this well..ever. Kingsley is always great. I don't need to even say… More
Stephen M
An excellent drama. Sigourney Weaver plays a disturbed, paranoid ex-political prisoner in an unnamed South American country, married to a lawyer (Stuart Wilson)… More
Dimitris Springer
The truth is out there for anyone willing to persecute the guilty in charge.These crowds of people won't be accused of crimes and whatnot but of the utmost… More
Lafe Fredbjornson
A raw and rough character-driven piece. Sigourney Weaver is wonderfully powerful as the woman turning the tables by taking hostage the man who raped and… More