Oliver Twist

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    159 ratings from 2 sites
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    Site Users Rating
    TheMovieDB 13 6.1
    RottenTomatoes 146 60
    Description

    Oliver Twist the modern filmed version of Charles Dickens bestseller, a Roman Polanski adaptation. The classic Dickens tale, where an orphan meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

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    It's noble, high-minded and safe, and I can't help thinking that I would have preferred an audacious but honest failure.

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    Great expectations are unavoidable when Roman Polanski takes on a Charles Dickens classic. Alas, his version of Oliver Twist fails to live up to them.

    2/4
    Name user

    A grounded and unusually matter-of-fact adaptation.

    4/4
    Name user

    Poignant and primal, Roman Polanski's splendid adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic pricks the heart and the conscience.

    3/4
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    In Oliver Twist, it's the viewer who is punished.

    2/5
    Name user

    Oliver Twist is a lovely, tony picture, but it isn't exactly essential.

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    Nitpickers may squawk over missing elements, but the film doggedly hits on the book's big themes: the power of innocence, the cruelty of class.

    3/4
    Name user

    Oliver Twist as presented by Roman Polanski is pretty much the same as Oliver Twist presented by anyone else, except perhaps it's a bit duller.

    C-
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    As handsomely made, well-acted, dramatically unflinching and heartfelt as it is, Polanski's Oliver is a movie more admirable than emotionally affecting.

    3/4
    Name user

    Polanski's Oliver proves surprisingly uninspired, taking nearly the entire movie before it belatedly springs to life.

    C+
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    Polanski could have made Oliver as haunting as his 2002 Academy Award-winning film, The Pianist. Yet his new effort falls just short.

    Name user

    The film is worth seeing, but it won't hold a cherished place in your moviegoing memories.

    B-
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    It's as though Polanski had set the story's foolproof motor on cruise control and left the room; the tale is well told but told without personality.

    Name user

    Technically sound and surprisingly faithful to its source material, Roman Polanski's version of Oliver Twist comes across as uninspired and flat.

    Name user

    Perhaps it will take a school trip to encourage kids to see Oliver Twist, but that's one permission slip parents should sign.

    4/5
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    Seeing Polanski's version of this most Dickensian of all Charles Dickens' tales, I felt full and wanted no more versions (please, sir!), having now seen the definitive one.

    3/4
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    The film is high on production values but short on heart.

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    Polanski's Oliver Twist is craftsmanly and relatively unsentimental.

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    Polanski's film is visually exact and detailed without being too picturesque.

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    When was the last time you walked out of a Polanski picture talking mostly about the sets and music?

    C
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    Dickens knew that melodrama answers to something permanent in our nature; without it, any version of Oliver Twist draws perilously close to the genteel.

    Name user

    The first question I have is, why? Why would Roman Polanski, one of the most innovative directors of the last half-century, want to adapt a story that has been told again and again?

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    This is that rare movie version of a great novel in which watching is reading.

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    Polanski and his Pianist scribe Ronald Harwood have chosen to tell it in as simple a manner as possible, as though they had been given a Masterpiece Theatre assignment to dispatch.

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    Polanski's adult fans deserve something more than a film for the kiddies, and Dickens deserves better treatment than merely 'tasteful.'

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    Drab and unfeeling.

    2/4
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    Polanski's take will spark debate among Dickens lovers, but audiences won't respond as warmly as they have to Lean's classic.

    Name user

    Polanski delivers an acceptable yet thoroughly uninspiring twist on the orphaned Oliver, who gets a raw deal every which way.

    2/4
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    A work of craft that could be flying the Masterpiece Theatre banner. You know, an earnestly worthy adaptation of a literary classic, as faithful and polished as it is ponderous and unprovocative.

    Name user

    That Polanski chose this as the movie he wanted to make for his own children feels motivated by more than a septuagenarian dad's desire to take a $60-million stab at a bedtime story. It feels inspired by a need to tell them who he is.

    4/5
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    It still stings in unlikely places.

    3/4
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    With tact and enthusiasm, Roman Polanski grabs hold of a great book and rediscovers its true and enduring vitality.

    4/5
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    A near-masterpiece.

    A
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    Lacking energy and pace and enslaved by a ghastly score, this tepid movie left me longing alternately for David Lean's thrillingly grim 1948 masterpiece, and Carol Reed's chipper 1968 sing-along, with pretty tunes by Lionel Bart.

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    It's irresistible to read his sorrowful and seemingly classical take, from a filmmaker known as much for the schisms in his personal history as for the lurches in his work, as something much more personal and poignant.

    B+
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    The quality of mercy is strained, but by some strange feat it doesn't dissolve entirely.

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    Conventional, straightforward and very much within what used to be called the Traditional of Quality, this handsome film is a respectable literary adaptation but lacks dramatic urgency and intriguing undercurrents.

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    The spark that an original point of view might bring to the oft-told tale is missing.

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