[Pawlikowski] creates a nice sense of paranoia and multicultural bewilderment that's the welcome tonal opposite of Woody Allen's romanticized Midnight in Paris fripperies.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Although Mr. Pawlikowski often shows Mr. Hawke in medium and long shots, the actor draws you close.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
It's a curio, ripe with dreamy atmospherics and intriguing mysteries, but little else.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
You're not sure what this is till it's over, but certainly Hawke's performance is his nerviest and most sincere in a decade.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
Pawlikowski can't decide what to do with his protagonist, whose writer's block is the least of his emotional burdens.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
When do we first sense reality slip away? Do we? Can the film be accepted on its own terms? Can the point of view be trusted?
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The movie casts such a seductive air of mystery that the resolution feels anticlimactic, yet there's plenty to enjoy along the way, particularly Hawke's nuanced lead performance as a quiet man with secrets of his own.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
Those who prefer tidy, "Murder, She Wrote" closure are advised to shop elsewhere.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The Woman in the Fifth" leaves so many holes unfilled that instead of ending up intriguing, it's just plain frustrating.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Pawel Pawlikowski's great-looking but pretentious adaptation of a Douglas Kennedy novel.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
We are never sure if what we are seeing is actually happening, including the nature scenes that Pawlikowski interjects as contrast to the urban jungle - and also as a symbol of man's animal nature.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
The Woman in the Fifth is an interesting chameleon until it runs out of disguises, and all that was transitory just looks transparent.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
This pensive, seductive drama is full of devious strategies, which begin with its protagonist's name: T. Ricks. Tricks.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
A thankless lead vehicle for Ethan Hawke who's left largely stranded by writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski's opaque adaptation of Douglas Kennedy's novel.
Gary Goldstein - Los Angeles Times
Though it's disguised as a "thriller," there's a good deal more than thrills to savor and ponder in The Woman in the Fifth.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A dark testimonial to the notion of artistic bloom and creative salvation through misery -- an intellectually engaging puzzle box, a movie that happily dances about on both literal and metaphorical planes.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Too many questions are left unaddressed, much less unanswered, in its rush to a meager non-payoff.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The last fifth of "Fifth" is pretty unsatisfying. But the rest of it is tense, intelligent fun.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
An arresting film but ultimately an unsatisfying one, creating an effectively menacing mood but not delivering much dramatic punch, especially in a disappointing final twist.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
[Mostly slow, this film at least] has some absorbing moments of strange sexuality, haunt and mystery.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
Ethan Hawke gives a standout bilingual performance in this low-key psychological thriller.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Reveal too much and you've done all the heavy lifting for the audience. Reveal too little and they're left scratching their heads. The Woman in the Fifth will leave you very itchy indeed.
Rob Hunter - Film School Rejects
Hawke's sympathetic performance gives the film an emotional continuity that seems to make sense of things even when things don't make sense at all.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
It is guaranteed to haunt you for awhile.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's a thing of beauty to watch Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas work together, but we'd be lying if we said we understood this drama.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
The Woman in the Fifth leaves a tantalizing trail of breadcrumbs only to lead us to...one last breadcrumb.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
For all the promise of minor-key, David Lynch-esque surrealism with a French twist, the movie offers perilously little payoff.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
[It's] watchable and enjoyable, but it's fairly impenetrable, and it gets more peculiar as it goes along.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
I wouldn't have minded a little more time with these characters, before they faded away into the gray Paris sidewalks.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The Woman in the Fifth fairly oozes enigma; if only it could drum up something to be enigmatic about.
Ella Taylor - NPR
Fifth feels like a literary bauble, chipped by imperfections.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
You realize you've been watching an object that's all surface, no soul.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Pawel Pawlikowski has crafted a film that throbs with substantial personal weight and bristles with a violent, haunting interior life.
Chris Cabin - Slant Magazine
A pretentious, muddled drama that teases and mystifies.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
A beautifully-crafted, intriguingly-mysterious trip into the strange workings of the human condition.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Oh, deliver us, please, from tiresome male fantasies.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Serves as a haunting insight into one man's struggle to rediscover himself and escape the clutches of mental illness.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
The chemistry between the actors is gorgeously unhealthy; Oedipal, spiteful and sexy.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
It's a rare film that leaves you wondering where it's going, how it may end - and afterwards, even questioning what actually happened. It's an intriguing enigma.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
Hawke gives a thoughtful performance - the mainly subdued Ricks displaying telling flickers of rage.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
The end result still gives every appearance of the film having been made up as they went along.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Hawke is splendid in this psychological thriller with supernatural nuances.
James O'Brien - Daily Mail [UK]
It often feels like a sort of b-side to The Tenant; it could, alternatively, have worked as one of the stories in the Three Colours trilogy.
With the exception of one brilliantly uncomfortable literary party scene, the film is really just a euro-sub-pudding with psycho-thriller possibilities.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
It's a little too vague to be satisfying, but it's thoroughly haunting.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
There is no doubt that Pawilowkski can produce flms of great beauty. But this latest effort feels like a practice round on his way back to regular movie-making.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
Engaging and frustrating in equal measure, this is a haunting and frequently disturbing thriller with a superb central performance from Ethan Hawke.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Grief and a cruel search for companionship and belonging hang painfully over the film and work to counter some of its more frustrating loose ends and anti-climaxes.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
An ambitious thriller from Pawlikowski assisted by excellent performances from Hawke, Kulig and Scott Thomas.
Liz Beardsworth - Empire Magazine