A woman struggles to re-assimilate with society after fleeing a cult.
" Olsen's unlined face is like the unbroken water of a deep lake, reflecting both innocence and guile as she maintains a marvelous and inscrutable presence. "
" Sean Durkin's compulsively watchable first film is a psychological thriller camouflaged as an Ingmar Bergman-style country-house drama. "
" Once we've got over the frustration of this promising film's abrupt ending, we're left with the feeling that you can escape a cult but you can't escape yourself. "
" Sean Durkin's debut feature gets under your skin and burrows there; you can't quite shake it off. "
" "Martha Marcy May Marlene" will stick with you. "
" Hawkes is, as ever, outstanding. But Olsen is a wonder. "
" Olsen's performance is a triumph of constraint. "
" First-time feature director Sean Durkin combines an understated style with an unaffected performance from Elizabeth Olsen with superlative results. "
" Shot in long, quiet takes of bucolic idylls, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" sneaks up on viewers with a barely perceptible sense of oncoming dread. "
" The film has its gimmicky aspects but Olsen is haunting: She grounds the slim premise and makes it worthwhile. "
" Masterful. "
" The horror aesthetic of B-movie producer Val Lewton -- that the unseen is more frightening than the seen -- is carried to a merciless extreme in this unnerving debut feature by writer-director Sean Durkin. "
" Two long hours of murky photography and slow-motion storytelling, in which the audience is always 10 scenes ahead of the action. "
" Olsen nails her perpetual state of worry so keenly that it elevates her struggle to the scale of existential tragedy. "
" A good film, ambitious and effective, introducing a gifted young actress and a director whose work I'll anticipate. "
" Durkin immerses the viewer in a fluid state of psychological dissolution, keeping us very close to one woman's experience in a cult by any other name. "
" Durkin depicts a horror that some among us actually live, where the search for family leads to something familiar and dangerous. "
" A purposely disturbing portrait of a damaged psyche. "
" Olsen inhabits Martha's broken world completely. And at the movie's end - a jarring, boldly ambiguous end - we're in her head, too, not sure what is real, and what is not. "
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