Secretary (2002)

Sadomasochism provides the backdrop for a very unusual employer/employee relationship in this very offbeat romantic drama from filmmaker Steven Shainberg. Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a shy young woman, who, after a brief spell in a… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: April 1, 2003
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Maggie Gyllenhaal impresses in this romantic comedy with a kinky twist.

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The cast comes through even when the movie doesn't.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Self-serious and ultimately pedestrian satire.

Cole Smithey

Steven Shainberg maintains a level of erotic suspense and anticipation that his terribly empathetic characters fulfill with pleasantly surprising acts of physical expression.

Full review…
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

Despite its flaws, Secretary stays in your head and makes you question your own firmly held positions.

Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Absolutely terrific, tight, and focused filmmaking.

Full review…
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

A fascinating and eccentric character study, and study of unconventional relationships fueled by fetish...

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Richard Leiby
Washington Post

A picture with heart. You shouldn't leave feeling soiled or bruised. Just touched.

Nick Rogers

"Secretary" recalibrates the capabilities of meaningful romantic comedy - a "Pygmalion" variation that's stealthily tender, witty but never broad and scintillatingly erotic to the point of palpitations. Gyllenhaal and Spader give career-best work.

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Emanuel Levy

This S&M satire teeters on the verge of sleaze and exploitation but never descends into those domains due to Maggie Gyllenhaal's exquisite performance in a tricky role.

Full review…
More reviews for Secretary

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
Based on a short story, written by Mary Gaitskill, "Secretary" tells the story of a mousy young woman who wants to change her life after a lifetime of… More
Lady D'arbanville
A progressive story from self harm to S&M, quite a strange view on the subject and the style in which it presents itself and yet something makes this film… More
Dean King
Quite a strange quirky film with a mix of drama and comedy. It won't be for everyone's taste but it does have some funny and weird moments in equal… More
Veronique Kwak
everyone praises actors, directors whenever a good movie is made, but me, i praise the script-writer. i like to listen into the dialogues and discover some… More
Jens S.
You can't praise this very unusual movie about an odd employer/employee relationship enough for blowing the dust off the general images of what love and… More
erika bruhns
Secretary is about a woman that just got out of mental hospital. She gets a job as secretary. At first her relationship with her boss goes by the boss and… More

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