Saltburn: A Dive into Reviews and Critical Consensus


Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” captivated audiences in late 2023, leaving a trail of mixed reactions and sparking conversation.  

This psychological thriller, starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, and Carey Mulligan, explores themes of wealth, deception, and the allure of danger. But how did critics and audiences react to the film?

This article delves into the world of “Saltburn” on Rotten Tomatoes, exploring its critical reception, audience score, and the key takeaways from reviews.

Unveiling the Rotten Tomatoes Score: A Tale of Two Sides

On Rotten Tomatoes, “Saltburn” currently holds a 75% critics’ score based on 226 reviews. This indicates that a majority of professional critics enjoyed the film, appreciating its bold direction and performances. 

However, the audience score paints a slightly different picture, sitting at a respectable 79% based on over 25,000 ratings.

This disparity between critic and audience reception is intriguing and suggests a film that might not be for everyone. While critics praised its artistic merit, some viewers might find the narrative pacing or thematic ambiguity challenging.

A Closer Look at the Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

Diving deeper into the reviews, here’s a breakdown of the aspects critics commended in “Saltburn”:

Emerald Fennell’s Vision:  

Critics lauded Fennell’s (director of the Oscar-winning “Promising Young Woman”) bold filmmaking choices. Her ability to build suspense and create a visually stunning atmosphere was widely praised.

Stellar Performances: 

The cast, particularly Barry Keoghan and Carey Mulligan, received rave reviews. Keoghan’s portrayal of the enigmatic student was lauded for its vulnerability and intensity, while Mulligan’s performance as the captivating socialite was deemed captivating and complex.

Thought-Provoking Themes: 

The film’s exploration of class, social manipulation, and the blurred lines between desire and destruction resonated with many critics.  “Saltburn” isn’t a film that provides easy answers, prompting viewers to ponder its deeper themes long after the credits roll.

Pacing and Ambiguity:  

The slow-burn nature of the narrative and the film’s deliberate ambiguity didn’t sit well with all reviewers.  Some felt the story lacked a clear direction and that some elements were underdeveloped.

Accessibility for Mainstream Audiences:  

The film’s dark themes and unconventional storytelling might alienate viewers seeking a more traditional thriller experience.

The Audience Perspective: What Viewers Are Saying on Rotten Tomatoes

Looking at the audience reviews, a recurring theme is the film’s captivating atmosphere and strong performances. Many viewers found themselves drawn into the world Fennell created, commending the film’s visual style and the performances of the lead actors.

However, some audience members echoed the concerns raised by some critics.  The slow pacing and lack of clear resolution left some viewers feeling frustrated or underwhelmed.

Beyond the Score: The Saltburn Conversation on Youtube

The conversation surrounding “Saltburn” extends beyond Rotten Tomatoes scores.  Let’s explore some key aspects of the Youtube discourse:

Analysis Videos:  

Several Youtube channels delve into the film’s themes, symbolism, and potential hidden meanings. These videos offer insights that can enhance viewer understanding and appreciation of the film.

Reaction Videos:  

Watching Youtuber reactions to “Saltburn” can be an interesting way to gauge audience reception.  These videos showcase the diverse range of emotions the film evokes, from excitement to confusion.

Fan Theories:  

The film’s ambiguous nature has fueled fan theories on Youtube.  Viewers are piecing together clues and offering their interpretations of the story’s events and character motivations.


Q: What is Saltburn about?

Saltburn follows a young student at Oxford who becomes entangled in the world of a charming and enigmatic classmate, leading to a summer filled with dark secrets and thrilling revelations.

Q: Who are the main actors in Saltburn?

The film stars Barry Keoghan, known for his roles in The Green Knight and The Banshees of Inisherin, alongside Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and Jacob Elordi (Euphoria).

Q: What is Saltburn’s Rotten Tomatoes score?

As of today, May 3, 2024, Saltburn holds a score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating generally positive reviews from critics.

Q: What do critics like about Saltburn?

Critics praise the film’s candy-coated visuals juxtaposed with a dark and unsettling narrative.  Many commend Emerald Fennell’s bold direction and the performances of the lead actors.

Q: What are some criticisms of Saltburn?

Some viewers might find the plot slow-burning or the ending ambiguous.

Q: Does Saltburn resemble any other films?

Comparisons are drawn to psychological thrillers like Fatal Attraction and Single White Female, with a touch of the social commentary found in Fennell’s previous work, Promising Young Woman.

Q: Was Saltburn inspired by a book or true story?

No, Saltburn is an original screenplay written and directed by Emerald Fennell.

Q: Is Saltburn a good fit for everyone?

Due to its mature themes and potentially disturbing content, Saltburn might be better suited for adult audiences who enjoy psychological thrillers.

Q: What can I expect from watching Saltburn?

Prepare for a visually stunning and thought-provoking film that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Q: Where can I watch Saltburn?

The film’s current release details are limited. It might be available in select theaters, on streaming platforms in the future, or through video-on-demand services depending on distribution deals.

Q: When was Saltburn released?

Saltburn had its world premiere in November 2023. The exact wider release date, including digital or streaming release, might not be announced yet.

Q: Who is Emerald Fennell, the director of Saltburn?

Emerald Fennell is a rising star in the filmmaking world. She won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, which she also directed.

Q: Where have I seen the actors in Saltburn before?

Barry Keoghan has garnered acclaim for roles in The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Batman. Carey Mulligan is known for her performances in Pride & Prejudice and Drive. Jacob Elordi rose to fame with the television series Euphoria.

Q: Has Saltburn won any awards?

As a relatively new release, Saltburn might be considered for upcoming film awards depending on its wider release and critical reception.

Q: Where can I discuss Saltburn with other fans?

Online movie forums, social media groups dedicated to the film, or YouTube channels with reviews and discussions might be good places to connect with other fans.

Q: Are there any popular theories about Saltburn’s ending?

The film’s ambiguous nature invites audience interpretation.  Search online discussions to see what theories other viewers have developed.

Q: Will there be a sequel to Saltburn?

There’s no official confirmation of a sequel at this point.  The film’s box office performance and critical reception will likely influence such decisions.

Q: Could Saltburn become a cult classic?

Its unique style and thought-provoking themes have the potential to resonate with a dedicated fan base, potentially leading to cult classic status over time.

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