All parent member reviews for Martha Marcy May Marlene

Parents say

(out of 4 reviews)
age 15+
Review this title!
Adult Written bybobward April 24, 2016
Adult Written bytccampa November 10, 2012

Superbly acted, emotionally powerful film

This film is beautifully filmed, and the acting is superb. Elizabeth Olsen is perfect in this role, as is John Hawkes. The main character, Martha, moves into a farm commune that she views her new "family." The commune's leader (Patrick), a man in his late 30's/early 40's, is manipulative but also likable, so it's easy to see how Martha is drawn to him and his group. At the heart of the movie is the issue of trust. At first everything in the group seems idyllic, but as the story unravels, Martha gradually realizes she cannot trust anyone there. Everyone she trusts betrays her and no one is who they seem to be. The 2 most concerning scenes: a rape and a stabbing. Rape: Martha is drugged by the other female members and raped by Patrick. The scene is sick and disturbing, but there's no nudity. Still, it's enough suggestive enough to be inappropriate for younger kids. Stabbing: The group is robbing a house and they are confronted by the owner. A tense conversation ensues, and then one of the group members sneaks up behind the owner and stabs him violently. After fleeing the scene, the group cleans up and Patrick tries to convince Martha that "death is beautiful." The stabbing (and Martha's realization about the group's belief system) is what ultimately causes Martha to run away. The psychological trauma is much more pronounced than anything else. Discussions about trust, empathy, and being true to what you believe can definitely follow watching this film. It is a quality film, but parents should be there to watch it with younger teens. My son, age 14 saw this and liked it a lot. We discussed the whole idea of what a cult is and why Martha would be drawn to it. Note: The word "cult" is never mentioned in the film, and the group is more of a commune than a cult.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written bywonder dove May 20, 2012

Intense look at cult life!

I mainly viewed for the third Olsen sister, Elizabeth, because I was so curious of her potential. Wow, what a fantastic actress! Nothing like her sisters. I found the film to be very interesting yet very intense. It has very mature themes that should only be viewed by mature older kids and adults. It's basically about a young woman (E. Olsen) who escapes a cult and deals with the aftermath. She gets caught between her past and present and lives a very fearful life causing her to be paranoid about being found by the cult members she escaped from. What she had learned from her cult-living life has caused her to be completely unaware of what's right and wrong - so living with her sister isn't much easier as they try to figure out what is wrong with her and why she acts the way she does. It's a little slow most of the time but in a good way. There's some violence (a graphic murder), strong sexual content (rape, sex scenes, nudity) and some language but not much. Certainly not for young viewers - Elizabeth Olsen is on the road to an amazing acting career!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byDad&DaughterReviews November 18, 2011

Fascinating Movie, Wildly Inappropriate

Before we start, it should be known that this Martha Marcy May Marlene is an amazing and breath-taking, and the acting is beautiful. However, we strongly note that it is very inappropriate for children and most teens. Rape, sex, a brutal murder, explicit language, and brainwashing are present in the movie. While there is not excessive graphic imagery, if a child is at least ages 10-11 (depending on how aware they are of sex) will probably realize what is going on. You see, the daughter part of this duo saw this at age 12. We were in a different (but English speaking) country, and in the newspapers there were no ratings. We were out with some family, and did not have access to this or any other American review sites. When we called the theater, we were told that it was okay for 13 and up. The review in the newspaper said absolutely nothing about the sex or violence, and we judged it okay to see with this mature 12 year old. HUGE mistake! When we've done this before (let the daughter see a movie recommended for an older audience, like PG-13), we've had American ratings and proper newspaper and online reviews. So unless you are in a foreign country, you have no excuse for the mistake of letting your child under 16 see this movie : )
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing