Critic Reviews



Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The movie gathers momentum with a steady, assured pace, accumulating incidents, characters, secrets and lies until the rush of events is absolutely transfixing. Cinema can sometimes rival the novel in compulsive intensity and Sarah's Key is one such example.
That makes Sarah's Key that rare Holocaust tale that punches through the cobwebs of history and its dry, inhuman statistics, and brings that terrible past to life.
The Holocaust scenes are wrenching, the past-meets-present dialectics less so.
Sarah's Key is, for the most part, an exercise in reserve. We never see Hitler, never enter battle. Paquet-Brenner (Pretty Things, Walled In), rightly tells his Holocaust story as it now lives: through survivors and descendants.
It does provide audiences with the satisfaction of seeing and hearing an important truth expressed, and that's better than making you feel good. That's making you feel something.
Excellent performances make the movie effective. Yet the flashbacks have a depth and resonance largely absent from the modern scenes.
Miami Herald
Unlike most films about the Holocaust, which has provided artists with an infinite array of heartrending stories and tragedies, Sarah's Key doesn't spend much time recounting the horrors that Jews suffered during World War II.
Though the picture is lovingly and often quite strikingly shot and styled, there are too many dangling and swiftly clipped threads for the film to amount to more than another tasteful Sunday matinee set against one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.
The glib story and hectoring structure undermine the filmmakers' best intentions.
Ms. Scott Thomas is as intelligent and attractive as ever, but the synthetic world her character inhabits can't compete with a harrowing past that depicts French complicity in Nazi atrocities.
A dramatic tale of survival and horrific memories struggles against distracting melodrama in Sarah's Key, and unfortunately, melodrama wins.

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