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In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen's master of suspense (and perhaps the best-known film director in the world) when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common moment in a major studio film in 1960), Psycho announced that it was taking the audience to places it had never been before, and on that score what followed would hardly disappoint. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is unhappy in her job at a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Hitchcock is the most-daring avant-garde film-maker in America today."
‑ Andrew Sarris, Village Voice
"Director Hitchcock bears down too heavily in this one, and the delicate illusion of reality necessary for a creak-and-shriek movie becomes, instead, a spectacle of stomach-churning horror."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"groundbreaking and ahead of its time"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Psycho is not a long film but it feels long. Perhaps because the director dawdles over technical effects; perhaps because it is difficult, if not impossible, to care about any of the characters."
‑ CA Lejeune, Guardian
"Watching Psycho today we are all, like Marion in the shower, vainly trying to recover lost innocence too late."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"The best that can be said is there are bats in the belfry and a well-preserved corpse in the basement. What else can one do but scream?"
‑ Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
"An unusual, good entertainment, indelibly Hitchcock, and on the right kind of boxoffice beam."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"An absolute work of art."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"The shower sequence, the shrieking score, Anthony Perkins, that twist ending... Psycho remains a stone-cold classic."
‑ Stephen Carty, Flix Capacitor
"It is incumbent on us to inspect the real horrors of our time, but we don't have to traffic with Hitchcock's giggling obscenities."
‑ Robert Hatch, The Nation
"It blazed a bloody trail for the much-loved slasher cycle, but it also assured us that a B-movie could be A-grade in quality and innovation."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece blends a brutal manipulation of audience identification and an incredibly dense, allusive visual style to create the most morally unsettling film ever made."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"After half a century of terror, Psycho is still ensuring that no one feels safe in the shower."
‑ Mark Kermode, Guardian
"It's not hardly Hitchcock at his most flawless, but not a single film he ever made... is so absolutely flattening as a total experience."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho set the standard and post-modern horror has been hobbling to catch up ever since."
‑ Bill Gibron, PopMatters
More reviews for Psycho on Rotten Tomatoes

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