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An act of violence throws a young woman's life into disarray in this independent drama, the first feature from director Talia Lugacy. Maya (Rosario Dawson) is a bright and ambitious college student who tries to balance a social life with her busy academic schedule. One night, Maya and some friends attend a house party largely populated by drunken frat boys. Maya is appalled by their uncouth behavior and disrespect for the female guests, and when a guy named Jared (Chad Faust) bluntly hits on her, she gives him a piece of her mind. While she begins to warm to him by the end of their… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's been a while since we saw a demagogic feminist exploitation revenge drama, and Descent, while top-heavy with 'agenda,' is shrewdly done."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"[Dramatizes] the experience and the psychological aftermath of rape with a vividness I've never seen in an American film."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
"Revenge is less than sweet, to say the least, in particular for the audience, veering between sickening and pathetically pornographic."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Though a clearly gifted new filmmaker, Lugacy doesn't get a handle on the combustible material, and she gets scalded in the process."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"There's too much arty writhing and too little concrete character development."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Look-at-me-I'm-a-filmmaker photography, pacing that has all the thrills of waiting in line at the post office and an utterly predictable plot combine to make the movie even worse than the hacky chick revenge fantasy now showing on channel 186 of your box."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"It's indie provocation trapped between shock and blah."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"Dawson, armed not with a whole lot of dialogue but her endlessly eloquent face, makes each note of the character's journey pierce, whether with pain or ecstasy."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Ugliness of story, character and technique cannot hold a movie audience and do more harm than good towards seeking a professed corrective."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Descent is the head-slappingly awful picture that turns rape into a comedy."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"No moviegoer has done anything to deserve the images that director Talia Lugacy would throw in their face."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"It's a lot like a '70s exploitation movie, with its determination to seduce and shock the viewer with alternating currents of electrical stimulus, and its weird combination of arty arch-decadence and neo-Victorian moralizing."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"Sludgy and slack [...] pointlessly vague and abstruse."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"A hollow fabrication in the pursuit of someone's sick idea of redemption. I didn't pay to see it... but I want my wasted time back."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"The movie is just a vicious, pathetic excuse for Lugacy to live out her own twisted hate-fantasies on the big screen."
‑ Joshua Tyler,
More reviews for Descent on Rotten Tomatoes