Critic Reviews



Based on 30 critic reviews provided by
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.
Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner has done an elegant job of reducing a complex piece with many components into a riveting narrative that grabs you by the lapels and refuses to loosen its grip.
The Holocaust scenes are wrenching, the past-meets-present dialectics less so.
Working in a classical style and genre that rep a far cry from his previous work ("Pretty Things," "Gomez and Tavares, "UV"), Pacquet-Brenner's direction is always respectful if never entirely subtle.
When Sarah's Key leans into the horror (as it should), it's harrowing. Alas, that's only half the time.
Boxoffice Magazine
That Sarah's Key never quite descends into melodrama is a credit to the strength of Scott Thomas' performance, more than to the writing.
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.
Sarah's need to save her brother provides the initial raison d'être, but with the mystery is resolved early on Sarah's Key turns into a flimsy meditation on grief.
Village Voice
Dutifully follows the template of scores of movies about the Shoah: wringing from atrocity the most unseemly sentimentality.
Slant Magazine
Sarah's Key becomes a musing ("meditation" would be too generous) on the importance of uncovering the past that fails to honestly contemplate why such an act is significant.

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