Box Office - 09/12/2011 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE enters so richly into psychological horror it recalls those disturbing dramatizations of Jonestown that were big on TV in the '80s."
New York Times - 10/21/2011
"[An] impressively self-assured debut feature....Martha is played by Elizabeth Olsen, a very pretty actress whose on-camera presence is at once vivid and interestingly blurred."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/04/2011
"[An] undeniably intriguing psychological drama....[Olsen] carries the story with authority, both emotionally and physically." -- Grade: B+
Los Angeles Times - 10/21/2011
"[A] wonderfully difficult film....An existential thriller about identity and just how tenuous a grasp we have on who we really are."
Movieline - 10/18/2011
"Olsen's performance is restrained but not tentative; you could say the same for the movie around it."
Rolling Stone - 11/10/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[I]t's Olsen, as a damaged soul clinging to shifting ground, who makes this spellbinder impossible to shake."
Film Comment - 09/01/2011
"MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE harkens back to Pasolini's notion of the cinema of poetry -- and achieves it beautifully."
USA Today - 10/28/2011
"Without resorting to anything overtly spooky, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE is a truly haunting tale reinforcing the notion that nothing is more terrifying than fear itself."
Washington Post - 10/28/2011 3 stars out of 4 -- "Elizabeth Olsen delivers an utterly transfixing turn as the title character of this chilling psychological thriller..."
Total Film - 04/01/2012 5 stars out of 5 -- "Olsen is a wonder....[She] creates a lingering dread that carries us right up to the disquietingly ambiguous final shot."
Uncut - 03/01/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "Durkin delivers an accomplished, disturbing drama, that at times feels like a horror movie."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2012
"[Y]ou'll be haunted and disturbed by a film that seeps into your consciousness on a slow drip-feed and then refuses to let go."
An escaped cult member experiences paranoia and isolation while attempting to start a new life with her sister's family. Try as Martha might to blend into her new upper-middle-class surroundings, she can't help but be haunted by nightmares of the time she spent under the control of a malevolent cult leader, or the fear that the group is watching her every move and awaiting the perfect moment to take their revenge.