• Released
  • October 21, 2011
  • (Limited 10/21)
  • R , 1 hr 41 min
  • Drama
Martha Marcy May Marlene Synopsis
A woman (Elizabeth Olsen) struggles to reassimilate with society after fleeing from a cult.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Moves from its protagonist's dream state to her memories to her waking present in imperceptible shifts - the effect is disorienting, at...
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Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
The acting in Durkin's feature is excellent. Olsen is utilized largely as an object for camera adoration, but not in the usual glamorizing...
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It's Olsen, as a damaged soul clinging to shifting ground, who makes this spellbinder impossible to shake.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
A linear story, or one that was fragmented more clearly, could have been more effective. Still, a good film, ambitious and effective,...
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By Stephanie Zacharek
Olsen's performance is restrained but not tentative; you could say the same for the movie around it.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Martha Marcy May Marlene leaves a viewer hanging, quite literally, lost in an enveloping fog of mood without resolution. Olsen, meanwhile,...
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The Hollywood Reporter

Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama, which also marks an assured feature debut...
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
This doesn't feel like art, it feels like a cop-out, as though Durkin couldn't decide how to end his movie, so he didn't. He's a mature...
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
A horror movie that follows none of the predictable paths of the genre, it offers disturbing psychological drama and nuanced chills rather...
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a strange case, a drama that's disturbing and yet inert. Writer-director Sean Durkin builds an atmosphere of...
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The Worst!

By mr.doover
This is the worst movie I have seen in a long time. Sooo slooow moving, terrible acting and lousy ending. I am sorry I wasted my money on this. I felt like asking for a refund. If you want to see it,...

If I had paid I would have asked for my money back!

By cib728
I thought this was the WORST movie I have ever seen and I have spent a lot of time at the movies. Not only was this movie slow but it was frankly just boring. The only good thing to be said about it...

Excellent and well done- but don't expect a resolution at the end!

By jojackie
I always read several reviews prior to going to any movie- I don't want spoilers, but if a film is going to have a totally unresolved ending such as this one, I want to be prepared. Based on the many...

Creepy Cinema

By moviemonster
This was the first film in a long time (not since Sweeney Todd) that my sleep was disturbed after seeing a movie. Martha Mary May Marlene was a wonderful showcase for the Olson Twin's younger sister,...


By Blaise1967
The movie itself was a little dark and disturbing. The acting, especially of the youngest Olsen sister, was excellent. The movie is easy to follow between "current life events" and those from...


By nullah
This film is very intense; you will be entranced by the cinematography and the faces of the characters. The most epic moment for me was when Patrick plays the guitar....

Acting was fantastic, but I don't like to be left in the dark...

By nickiwalliser
I like answers to questions, and I don't care to be left hanging. That's how I felt most of the time while watching this film. I felt that the characters weren't giving the audience a good enough idea...

Very slow, spare, beautiful, and pretentious

By ignorantleafy
I wanted to like this movie. I was raised in and near multiple cults, in Northern California. I love beautiful, dark, unconventional cinema, like Irreversible, or Tree of Life. But despite the...

Killer Film

By NYC Movie Man
Spine-tingling exploration of a fractured psyche with a hypnotic performance from Elizabeth Olsen. I'm quite certain she will get an Oscar nomination. First-time director Sean Durkin does an...


By Cranky Critic
Barely mediocre. As I'm sure you've heard, the WORST ending to a movie I've ever seen! They say not to spoil the ending in this review. HA HA HA There is no ending....

More Info

Rated R | For Disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Disquieting indie drama reveals the cost of cult life.
Read the Common Sense Media Review