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Movie Info & Cast


A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.


  • James Spader
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Jeremy Davies
  • Lesley Ann Warren
  • Stephen McHattie
  • Patrick Bauchau
  • Jessica Tuck
  • Oz Perkins
  • Amy Locane
  • Mary Joy

Atom User Reviews

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Lee's journey of the body and soul is something else. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes it strangely touching, a revelation.

Metacritic review by Joe Morgenstern
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

Not meant to be realistic; it was shot by the director Steven Shainberg in a slow, dreamy neo-De Palma style and in candy colors, and Gyllenhaal has a Kewpie-doll silliness that almost makes the naughty parts of the movie fun. [23 Sept 2002, p. 98]

David Denby
The New Yorker

Secretary is deeply conventional: Edward and Lee accept their bondage as the way to a more fulfilling life. It's the filmmakers who need to be spanked.

Metacritic review by Peter Rainer
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine (Vulture)