91

Entertainment Weekly

There's a word for an actress who can go from nervous to winsome to raunchy to romantic in a heartbeat and get you to adore her the whole time. The word is star.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Has enough genuine laughs to eliminate the potential twitters and snickers, and it treats Edward and Lee as people. We end up caring about what happens to these two individuals, even as we smile and laugh at their antics.
Full Review
80

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
A film of startling humor and feeling. For that, director Steven Shainberg, who co-wrote the script with Erin Cressida Wilson, owes much to two remarkable performances.
Full Review
80

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Pulls off a neat trick: It's a poignant, sweet-natured love story in which what most of us would call kinky sex - domination, submission, some enthusiastic spanking - is featured prominently, but not pruriently.
Full Review
75

New York Daily News

By Jami Bernard
The daring, funny and quirkily erotic Secretary examines power exchanges between consenting adults in a way that other movies have not managed without turning off swaths of the squeamish.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Love hurts in Secretary -- but not too much. It's not impossible to imagine adventurous young couples seeing this movie and rushing home to try out the handcuffs and paddles.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Even without the surprise of seeing Spader going for laughs and getting them, Secretary is just too original to be ignored.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Approaches the tricky subject of sadomasochism with a stealthy tread, avoiding the dangers of making it either too offensive, or too funny.
Full Review
25

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
It provokes nothing but yawns, and the sex it explores is stuff everybody knows about and says, "So what?"
Full Review
63 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.