Acclaimed Drama Playing At Towngate

The Towngate Cinema will present a limited engagement this weekend of the critically acclaimed “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” starring Elizabeth Olsen as a vulnerable woman who escapes from a cult in rural New York and goes to live with her sister (Sarah Paulson). Adjusting to a normal life proves difficult for her, however, because she is haunted by the memories of what happened to her when she was living with cult.

The showtimes for “Martha Marcy May Marlene” are Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 and 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at 4, 7, and 9 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 and 4 p.m. The film is rate R, and its running time is 102 minutes. The following critical commentary is compliments of

Philadelphia InquirerSteven Rea
 Moves from its protagonist’s dream state to her memories to her waking present in imperceptible shifts – the effect is disorienting, at first, but ingenious. 

Portland Oregonian Marc Mohan
 It’s a topic that’s been handled in films before, perhaps most notably in Jane Campion’s “Holy Smoke,” but Durkin offers the most persuasively believable peek into the psyche of such a character I’ve ever seen.          

The A.V. ClubNoel Murray Because the movie plays on so many common fears – including fears of being in a remote house with big windows when intruders arrive – the confusion of Martha Marcy May Marlene proves effective, not sloppy.


indieWIREEric Kohn Like “Afterschool,” Durkin’s first feature explores the dangerous extremes of youth vulnerability.

Arizona RepublicBill Goodykoontz
 Olsen makes us understand, as best we can, Martha’s plight. She has a tenuous grip on reality, and, thanks to Olsen’s performance and Durkin’s sure hand, by the film’s end, so do we. 

Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey
A film of rough edges and no easy answers, nearly perfect in its imperfection.

Boxoffice MagazineSara Maria Vizcarrondo
 Martha Marcy May Marlene enters so richly into psychological horror it recalls those disturbing dramatizations of Jonestown that were big on TV in the ’80s. 

Orlando SentinelRoger Moore
 The rawboned Hawkes manages both charm and menace in the same look, and Dancy gives his character a testy, fearful edge that doesn’t make him scary, but rather someone we fear for.

Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips
 The acting in Durkin’s feature is excellent. Olsen is utilized largely as an object for camera adoration, but not in the usual glamorizing way. Olsen, Hawkes and company play slippery figures with lovely assurance.

Chicago Sun-TimesRoger Ebert
 A linear story, or one that was fragmented more clearly, could have been more effective. Still, a good film, ambitious and effective, introducing a gifted young actress and a director whose work I’ll anticipate. 

ReelViewsJames Berardinelli
 Martha Marcy May Marlene offers a challenging, emotionally riveting experience, even if the conclusion dangles at the edge of an unresolvable cliffhanger.



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