88

TV Guide

By Ken Fox
Carries an important and timely reminder about the fate of torture victims, so deftly wrapped within a touching and beautifully acted melodrama that the result is the furthest thing from a didactic message movie.
Full Review
80

The New Republic

By Stanley Kauffmann
Like Ceylan--like many a fine director--Coixet has made her film less as a drama than as the traversal of a state of mind, a mood.
Full Review
75

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
Given the physical limitations of their characters, Polley and Robbins give remarkably compelling performances, and though the resolution of their slowly evolving relationship is a bit too pat, it is one you won't soon forget.
Full Review
75

New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
Yes, The Secret Life of Words owes much to Lars von Trier's 1999 "Breaking the Waves." But Coixet's riff stands on its own thanks to thoughtful performances by Polley and Robbins.
Full Review
70

Film Threat

A series of conversations that are sometimes clever and sometimes feel like screenwriting exercises about the details of life, but are always well acted.
Full Review
70

Variety

By Jonathan Holland
Sarah Polley gives a wonderfully searching performance, as a woman in a state of extreme isolation, in The Secret Life of Words, a compellingly claustrophobic drama set mostly aboard an oil rig.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
The exquisitely coordinated performances elicit an empathy as powerful as anything I can remember feeling in a recent film.
Full Review
70

Los Angeles Times

There may be no young actress today better at embodying a blend of wounded innocence and stoic pride than Sarah Polley. In The Secret Life of Words, she has a part worthy of her gifts.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

Can a single scene save a movie? An hour and 20 minutes into The Secret Life of Words, Sarah Polley delivers a halting, evocative 10-minute monologue that finally unlocks the mystery behind her guarded character.
Full Review
60

Salon.com

By Andrew O'Hehir
A tantalizing and beautiful picture made with tremendous integrity, and anchored by two marvelous performances, Isabel Coixet's The Secret Life of Words still, somehow, doesn't quite work.
Full Review
68 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.