The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

Margaret Atwood's vision of a fundamentalist Christian dystopia is grimly fascinating, but much less trenchant than it might have been. It takes place in a future where pollution has rendered 99 per cent of the women in the U.S.… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: March 9, 1990
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2001
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Critic Score: 31% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
David N. Butterworth
Movie Boeuf

Schlondorff's treatment is idly drab and antiseptic, indifferent almost, as though he felt Atwood's vision was cinematic enough.

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Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette

overblown paranoid crap based on same.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

This film adaptation of Margaret Atwood's bestselling 1986 novel heralds freedom as a cherished ideal.

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Jason Bailey

The early '90s were also not exactly a robust period in political cinema, and the influence of the Moral Majority - so clearly felt in Atwood's text - wasn't as pronounced in the Bush I White House as it had been in Reagan's. But, sadly, it sure is now.

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Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Pretentious, self-righteous melodrama about the evils of patriarchy

Christopher Null

Uneven yet still gripping

Barbara Shulgasser
Common Sense Media

Book-based cautionary tale has violence, sex, and language.

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James Sanford
James Sanford on Film

Harold Pinter's adaptation has its powerful moments, but ultimately the narrowing of the novel's scope dilutes the story's message too much.

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More reviews for The Handmaid's Tale

Flixster Audience Score: 44% Flixster User Reviews
Jennifer Xu
The best thing to be said about this is that Natasha Richardson is really, really beautiful in the film. What a dull adaptation of a slightly less dull novel.
Mark Abell
The film adaptation of a dystopian future as envisaged by Margaret Atwood. Part morality tale, and part cautionary, told with a touch of intrigue. Natasha… More
Juli Ryan
The screenplay and the film fall short of Margaret Atwood's novel. It seems more like Lifetime porn than a disturbing look at a possible future.… More