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Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, Pieta is the acclaimed film from the celebrated and controversial Korean director Kim Ki-Duk (Bad Guy; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring; 3-Iron). In this intense and haunting story, a loan shark living an isolated and lonely existence uses brutality to threaten and collect paybacks from desperate borrowers for his moneylender boss. He proficiently and mercilessly collects the debts without regard to the pain he causes his countless victims. One day, a mysterious woman appears in front of him claiming to be his long-lost… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There is a touch too much of the handheld camera, but in general one senses that the very quality of the way this film was made is one of its justifications for being and for its raw moments."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"Fascination returns at the stirring climax, when the plot neatly twists and the film's apparently simple message turns deeper, and blacker."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"A vicious, torture-happy debt collector with some severe sexual peccadilloes is, erm, softened by the return of his estranged mother in Kim Ki-duk's deeply unsettling Pieta."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"This is a grisly fable that never goes where we expect it to. And it has some important things to say about both revenge and sacrifice."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Kim intends a parable about capitalism run amok, which is about as subtle as a wrecking ball aimed at the World Bank."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"After being subjected to disturbing scenes of abject cruelty, rape and torture, my reactions shifted from squeamish revulsion to a reluctant yet growing appreciation for Kim's thematic ambition."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"A mother's love for her child takes on brutal new meaning in Pieta, a film by Kim Ki-duk that's as hard to watch as it is to forget."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Possesses a sad, quiet power. Kim's film isn't as a cool as those made by his compatriots. But it is, in its own way, just as memorable."
‑ Tom Clift, Moviedex
"Nasty is as nasty does, and this lurid if aspirational potboiler does its thing, but the camera could have been let in on the joke."
‑ Guy Lodge, HitFix
"Dark and twisted but without the depth to back it up, Pietŗ is determined to provoke controversy at the expense of characterisation."
‑ Neil Alcock, Film4
"The film's big reveal may not come as that much of a surprise; you may figure out where it's going well before the end. But it's the getting there that is, if not exactly fun, then certainly hypnotic."
‑ Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
"Like many South Korean films, revenge is a major theme here, although the way Kim handles it is particularly subtle and surprising: It sneaks up on you."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"Succeeds in repulsing and enlightening viewers simultaneously, even if its views on self-sacrifice and redemption are cynical."
‑ Max Kyburz, Film Comment Magazine
"Oedipal metaphysics give way to something altogether more mundane, but Jo and Lee are committed leads, the former carrying the burden of the movie with motherly care and attention."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"The film is far from a masterpiece ... but it bristles with Kim's trademark anger and agony."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
More reviews for Pieta on Rotten Tomatoes