Martha Marcy May Marlene

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Released 2011

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sean Durkin
Released:
2011
Rating:
R
In her stunning feature film debut, Elizabeth Olsen delivers an electrifying, star-is-born performance in this gripping psychological thriller that is far and away one of the year's best! After escaping from a dangerous cult and the watchful eye of its charismatic leader (Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes), a young woman named Martha (Olsen) tries to reclaim a normal life with her family. But the haunting memories from Martha's past trigger a chilling paranoia -- and nowhere seems safe as the fragile line between her reality and delusions begin to blur.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    A film of rough edges and no easy answers, nearly perfect in its imperfection.

  • 80

    Variety

    The largely elliptical script feels a few drafts shy of focus, with the thriller elements undermining the juicier questions of why one joins a cult and how life can go back to norm...

  • 50

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Patrick periodically criticizes his disciples, including Martha, for failing to be open enough with him, and that is also a shortcoming of Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is a bit ...

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    Drama