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The Pianist Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A great movie on a powerful, essential subject -- the Holocaust years in Poland -- directed with such artistry and skill that, as we watch, the barriers of the screen seem to melt away.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Astonishing visually and problematic dramatically.

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    With this 2002 Cannes Film Festival best-picture winner, Polanski skips the quirky flourishes and simply brings history to life.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

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  • See all The Pianist reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

True story of a Jewish pianist; OK for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is clearly not a movie for children. However, in addition to being an excellent work of art, it's an instructive movie for teenagers who take for granted the comfort and stability of their world. War isn't glamorous, and the most principled and courageous people are among its first victims. This is an excellent movie about survival, fate, and values. It's a very worthwhile movie for young adults. Parents should know that the movie has strong language and graphic and horrific violence, including casual murder of Jews.

  • Families can talk about why movies like this one, which is based on a true story, are so important, even today. Are there any current events you can think of that are similar to the plight of Jews in World War II?

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Intense violence, characters killed in Holocaust. Explosions. Total devastation of towns after bombings.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false4

    Language: Very strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mild.