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Critical Consensus: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" Is The Pick of the Week

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire October 19, 2011 at 3:9AM

One of the most anticipated American indie releases of the year, Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is the pick of the week for opening specialty films, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.
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One of the most anticipated American indie releases of the year, Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is the pick of the week for opening specialty films, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.

Winner of the best directing award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, "Marlene" details a young woman’s experiences during and after a stint in an abusive cult. Starring Elizabeth Olsen in what looks to be a star-making role, 34 critics gave the film an A- on the film's criticWIRE page. indieWIRE's Eric Kohn gave the film a A- in his review, which begins:

Appearing fragile and terrified from her first scene until her last, Elizabeth Olsen brings an alarming quality to writer-director Sean Durkin’s quietly unsettling “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Durkin focuses on alienated young Martha during the immediate aftermath of her decision to escape a cult in the Catskill Mountains, probing her anxieties with keen cinematic skill. Using a patient, non-linear approach, the filmmaker constructs his character’s psychological disarray in a series of fragments from Martha’s brutal experience.

More extensive takes on "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and other films opening this weekend, -- including "Being Elmo" and "Le Havre," both of which were quite acclaimed themselves -- are linked below.

Also offered is the top 10 criticWIRE scores for films already in theaters, which is currently topped by doc "Hell and Back Again" (which has a rare "A" average), Note that only films with three or more grades have their averages included.

iW Film Calendar & criticWIRE:
criticWIRE | Opening this week | Opening this month | All Films A - Z

criticWIRE: Films Opening This Week
NOTE: The averages listed here are current as of the publishing of this article. They are subject to change as new grades come in and will be updated in next week's edition of this article.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

Le Havre (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Margin Call (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

Norman (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

Paul Goodman Changed My Life (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD

Oranges and Sunshine (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: TBD


criticWIRE: 10 Best Bets Already In Theaters

1. Hell and Back Again (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A

2. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

3. Senna (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

4. We Were Here (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

5. The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

6. Weekend (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

7. Drive (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

8. Take Shelter (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

9. 50/50 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

10. Moneyball (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

This article is related to: In Theaters, BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey





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