(2002)

Critic Reviews

52

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Chicago Sun-Times
LaBute likes people who think themselves into and out of love, and finds the truly passionate (like Blanche) to be the most dangerous. He likes romances that exist out of sight, denied, speculated about, suspected, fought against.
80
Rolling Stone
Maud and Roland's search for an unknowable past makes for a haunting literary detective story, but LaBute pulls off a neater trick in Possession: He makes language sexy.
75
New York Post
A lush, genteel romance of the Merchant-Ivory school that qualifies as a guilty pleasure -- largely because of the unexpected chemistry between its improbably matched leads, Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.
75
ReelViews
Compelling material, especially for those who believe that the lives and loves of the dead can impact the trajectory of the existences of the living.
70
Wall Street Journal
A romance, a detective story, a comedy and a fable. Such a mishmash prevents it from being a standout in any of those categories. -- It's lovely to look at, though, and it's ultimately carried to success on the back of a strong story.
63
New York Daily News
What Possession reminds us more than anything is that love is more exotic at the safe remove of history. The irony is that LaBute is more at home chronicling the present, yet that's where this movie falls apart.
63
Possession needs a sharp eye, a wicked tongue, less reverence and much more of its author's voice.
63
Miami Herald
It is entertaining enough to send intelligent viewers (but only the intelligent ones) in search of the book.
50
Entertainment Weekly
The movie is intelligent yet lifeless; it's all wisps and abstractions.
50
An intelligent literary mystery story that holds interest and is intermittently affecting, but it never soars.
50
Philadelphia Inquirer
The real problem isn't with the actors, it's with 1) the source material, a highfalutin romance novel with a clever literary conceit, and 2) LaBute's clumsy, uncomfortable efforts to telescope Byatt's book into a workable movie.

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