(1998)

Critic Reviews

51

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Dallas Observer
This brutal film borders on the brilliant. Beautifully structured and edited, with a chilling central performance by Ian McKellen and an exceptional score by John Ottman, who also edited the picture, it churns up emotions and leaves the viewer feeling stunned and depleted.
80
Empire
Not all the plot developments ring true, but moments carry a real chill - even in a coma, McKellen can terrify a fellow patient almost to death - and it has more than enough thought-provoking material to command your interest.
75
Brought off with such skill and commitment that there isn't any time to snicker at its obviousness.
70
Both actors play their roles so trickily that tensions escalate until the horror grows unimaginatively gothic.
67
Austin Chronicle
It's not perfect King, but it is jarringly close, which these days remains pretty much all one could hope for.
60
Despite the riveting performances of Renfro and McKellen, we're left with classic horror-movie sociopaths, evil-doers without conscience, or much to say about the nature of evil.
50
Christian Science Monitor
This sensationalistic tale doesn't delve very far into the issues it raises.
50
Film Threat
A creepy, if disjointed exploration of the nature of evil. But compared to its predecessor, it's also a bit of a disappointment.
50
Newsweek
In the end, artifice overwhelms art. Apt Pupil is too serious to work as a genre movie, and too contrived to be taken seriously. [12 October 1998]
50
ReelViews
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Apt Pupil is the lack of sustained tension generated by director Bryan Singer.

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