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The Marquis de Sade was a man who liked to stir up trouble, at a time when his native France was in a state of tremendous political turmoil, and this historical drama examines how much controversy he could cause even under repressive circumstances. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) manages to narrowly escape execution during the Reign of Terror, and instead is sentenced to the Charenton Asylum for the Insane. Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), the priest who heads the asylum, is sympathetic to the political machinations that have put the Marquis in his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Kaufman's biopic of the notorious Marquis de Sade is sharply uneven, serious, poignant, trashy, sleazy and sensationslist, marred by over-the-top turn from Geoffrey Rush."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"You'll swear you can hear a throaty cackle of approval from the hereafter."
‑ Harry Guerin, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"This simplicity in its anti-censorship message keep it from achieving the greatness that it strives for."
‑ Jeremy Heilman, MovieMartyr.com
"It is much, much more than a political tract -- indeed, it is a mesmerizingly told tale."
‑ Gabriel Shanks, Mixed Reviews
"...fairly oozes with delicious irony."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"a conceptual piece about the nature of creativity and questions of art"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Kaufman and writer Doug Wright (adapting his own play) infuse the film with a decadent playfulness befitting a film about the Marquis."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"If Ismael Merchant and James Ivory ... decided to make a film about Hell, it would look like this."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"Geoffrey Rush steals the show as a charismatic madman, but the story is too dated to resonate beyond its little corner of history."
‑ Andrew Manning, Radio Free Entertainment
"An exhilarating, stunningly mounted, vigorously intelligent and oddly poetic tale also about the sadistic social institutions impinging on human history."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
"While it is horrible and sordid, it's also witty, fast-paced and intriguing as it explores freedom of expression."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"É uma pena que o Oscar, ao contrário de outras premiações, não possua uma categoria de 'Melhor Elenco'."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Kaufman here reminds us why he was once one of the most high profile directors"
‑ Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
"I'm glad I saw it, but I wish I could unsee it somehow."
‑ Karina Montgomery, Cinerina
"Quills valiantly argues that bold ideas can not - and should not - be stopped."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
More reviews for Quills on Rotten Tomatoes

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