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The Pianist

  R HD Closed Captioning

Roman Polanski

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Plot Summary

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and winner of 3, The Pianist, stars Oscar® winner Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, triumphant film follows Szpilman's heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer. A truly unforgettable epic, testifying to both the power of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit, The Pianist is a miraculous tale of survival masterfully brought to life by visionary filmmaker, Roman Polanski, in his most personal movie ever.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 178
  • Fresh: 170
  • Rotten: 8
  • Average Rating: 8.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A portrait of hell so shattering it's impossible to shake. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Nov 24, 2006

Fresh: We admire this film for its harsh objectivity and refusal to seek our tears, our sympathies. – Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: In going home to tell Szpilman's story Polanski seems reborn: once again he's become a filmmaker who matters. – David Ansen, Newsweek, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The Holocaust has been the subject of many films. The Pianist is one of the great ones. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I'm not sure how recently this film was made available here, but I'm shocked that there are only 4 reviews on here (as of 8/14/09). This is such a great film, from the writing, to the acting and of course the directing. Polanski is at the top of his game, telling a story so close to his own. Adrien Brody truly earns the Oscar he won. And despite it being a bleak, sad, "downer" of a movie, it's not depressing! It offers a ray of hope at the end. It's one of those "triumph of the human spirit" movies. The musician who overcomes terrible odds and manages to survive. The Nazi officer with a kind heart. It's so simple, so honest, so pure and so good, I can't imagine anyone not being moved by it. Man, at the end, after he's been STARVING and struggling to survive for so long, and he finally gets that bread and a little strawberry jam - You can just TASTE that jam as he eats it. And anything you eat while watching that movie is going to taste SO good, just out of appreciation of HAVING food... It makes you count your blessings, and this movie IS a blessing. I'm right, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong! So speaketh Jesse! (:

The Pianist

One of the best movies I've ever seen. The best part of the movie is that it's based on a true story. Great acting.

Much more impressive than the synopsis

This is truly a moving story made right by Roman Polanski. When I read the synopsis I didn't think it was going to be all that interesting, after all there have been so many movies on the Holocaust and WWII theme that I thought this is just going to be "an other one". How wrong could I be. This is a masterpiece. I also bought the book after I saw the movie and the special feature. I am still learning about the Holocaust, and I think we should all be aware of how it felt as it wasn't that long ago and the best way to avoid the history repeating itself is by knowing the history.