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: September 20, 2002
DVD 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.

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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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

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

Eric Melin

Shainberg sets up a restless quality in both characters, and he takes them very seriously but it still comes as a bit of shock to see what is normally considered to be sexist behavior finally and ultimately embraced.

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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.

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Richard Leiby
Washington Post

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

Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Absolutely terrific, tight, and focused filmmaking.

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

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

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More reviews for Secretary

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
What makes this film stand out as a truly adorable romance is the surprising way that it tackles the spicy kinkiness of its subject as a means for two people to… 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
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

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