Martha Marcy May Marlene 2011 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(165) IMDb 7/10
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In her stunning feature film debut, Elizabeth Olsen delivers an electrifying, star-is-born performance in this gripping psychological thriller that is far and away one of the year's best! After escaping from a dangerous cult and the watchful eye of its charismatic leader (Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes), a young woman named Martha (Olsen) tries to reclaim a normal life with her family. But the haunting memories from Martha's past trigger a chilling paranoia -- and nowhere seems safe as the fragile line between her reality and delusions begin to blur.

Starring:
Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott
Runtime:
1 hour 42 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

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Martha Marcy May Marlene

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Sean Durkin
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott
Supporting actors Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson, Adam David Thompson, Allen McCullough, Lauren Molina, Louisa Braden Johnson, Tobias Segal, Gregg Burton, Barbara Aragon, Donald E. Benjamin, Stacie A. Blaut, Carole L. Brookman, Heather Boyd
Studio FOX
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

If I was in a movie theatre, I'd demand my money back.
Sadie
She gets help from her sister and her husband, but is struggling with the adjustment to a more normal life and there is a dark secret.
EmR
I thought this movie was just "getting good" and then it ended.
Cannin314

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Tom Birkenstock on January 15, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Martha Marcy May Marlene marks the debut of two talents, the director, Sean Durkin, and the actress, Elizabeth Olsen. Both actor and director show a kind of assured performance that seems relegated to those who are either new to a scene, when talent has been building up for some time and only now has had a chance to unveil itself, or to older creative types, who have enough success behind them that they no longer fear failure (the in-between is usually the tricky part). Elizabeth Olsen (and here I'm required to tell you that she is the younger sister to the famed Full House Olsen twins) plays Martha, a girl who has spent an indeterminate amount of time in a cult hidden away in upstate New York. She eventually flees the confines of the commune and is taken in by her sister and brother-in-law who own a spacious lake house in Connecticut.

From here the film is divided into two narratives, one chronicling Martha's ordeal in the Manson-like collective and the other detailing her return to polite society at her sister's place. We learn from the former narrative that the cult takes in runaways and is overseen by a charismatic leader, Patrick, played by John Hawkes. While the cult members bandy about pseudo-New Wave jargon, we hear talk of energies, the specific philosophy of the cult remains vague. As one might expect, Patrick has intimate access to most of the women, as do the other men on the compound, to varying degrees. The cult members share duties taking care of children and tending to a garden, and they hope one day to go fully off the grid.

The second narrative follows Martha as she attempts to reconnect with her sister Lucy and return to normalcy. For Martha, the lake house is an even more foreign world than the cult. She still plays by the rules set up for her by Patrick.
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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Miller VINE VOICE on January 17, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
A young woman called Marcy May (played by newcomer Elizabeth Olsen, remember her name) flees from an abusive cult and calls her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) to pick her up. Her sister, who calls her Martha, hasn't seen her in over a year and finds Martha deliberately vague about where she has been. Lucy brings her to the large home she shares with her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy) and Martha's time in the cult is revealed through intercut flashbacks. Branded Marcy May by Patrick (John Hawkes), the charismatic leader, the commune consists of few men and many women, most from troubled backgrounds. The women are assigned individual duties, but the one they all share is to sleep with Patrick. The film wisely avoids giving too many details about the cult itself and what its basis is, but fills in all the necessary details otherwise.

This 2011 indie thriller marks the debut of writer/director Sean Durkin who has fashioned a quiet, powerful psychological drama that introduces the world to a terrific new actress. Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of two very famous twins, turns in a bold, Oscar-caliber piece of acting that allows her to successfully break from the stigma of having world-famous siblings. She's a remarkable talent and establishes her own niche as an actress, becoming a star on her own terms. The film is strong on its own merits, but, once you've seen it, it's hard to forget Olsen and even easier to forget her famous sisters.

This is a terrific debut for Durkin. Labeled as a thriller, it moves in a low-key fashion that doesn't go for easy "thrills" and instead opts for a deeply unsettling tone. The story, which uses shifting timelines in an intentionally disorienting way, never clues you in to where it's heading, but holds your attention rapt getting there.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Oleson TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 27, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Put newcomer Elizabeth Olsen on the list of brilliant young actresses filling the movie screen these days. In this psychological thriller, twentyish Martha Marlene (Olsen) leaves home after her mother dies. We don't know why, but she severs contact with her older sister, Lucy (excellent Sarah Paulson) who is married to Ted (Hugh Dancy). Somehow she ends up at a commune of sorts, headed by one of those Charles Manson types, but without the visible menace. Patrick (good as usual John Hawkes) clearly runs the show for his collective of young women and young men. What happens to them when they get older? We do know that occasionally children are born, but against all odds they are always boys. Hmmm.

After Martha (now renamed Marcy May by Patrick) is sexually abused, she decides to slip away into the woods. She finds her way into town and calls her sister on a pay phone. It's been 2 years but Martha doesn't know where she is. She thinks it's in upstate New York. Huh? Lucy, at their vacation house in Connecticut, goes to pick up Martha and returns with her to their picture perfect house on a picture perfect lake. Their primary residence is in New York City where they work.

Martha drifts in and out of rational behavior, often reverting to scenes of her experience at the compound. This gives us some insight of her plight, but we're never quite sure of her state of instability. I found it unrealistic that she wouldn't remember basic manners or that skinny dipping in front of your just-met brother-in-law would be frowned upon. After all she was only away for 2 years, but in this time it seems reality has left her. This leads to paranoia as to whether Patrick and the gang would go after her.
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