(2002)

Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Washington Post
Polanski, himself a survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, has created a near-masterpiece.
100
Boston Globe
There are three Poles in The Pianist -- Szpilman, Polanski, and Frederic Chopin. Of the three, fittingly, Chopin speaks the loudest.
91
The result is a movie, and Cannes Palme d'Or winner, of riveting power and sadness, a great match of film and filmmaker -- and star, too.
90
Chicago Reader
The results are masterful, admirably unsentimental, and never boring, if also a little stodgy.
90
This powerful, precision-made movie offers hope as well -- an act of kindness from a German officer that saves the pianist’s life, the music that sustains his soul.
90
Never before has a fiction film so clearly and to such devastating effect laid out the calculation of the Nazi machinery of death and its irrationality.
89
Szpilman takes to performing sonatas in thin air, eyes closed, those jittery fingers stroking nothing but air. It's a wonderful moment in a wonderful, ghastly film, and one of the most moving arguments for the redemptive powers of art ever made.
80
Polanski's film is an unqualified success both dramatically and artistically.
80
The New Republic
To name only one of its predecessors -- for me, the towering one -- doesn't "Schindler's List" do everything that Polanski achieves and more?
70
The A.V. Club
Through Brody's remarkably controlled, self-effacing performance, Polanski succeeds in making his hero an invisible man, but the sights he conjures are surprisingly artless and ordinary, familiar from a dozen other Holocaust dramas. Among the casualties in The Pianist is a great director's imagination.

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