Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 1, 2012
    In its jagged style and tone Black Butterflies is as close to an inside-out view of Jonker's tumultuous life as a movie could go without sinking into chaos. Its hues are continuously changing, and the seaside weather around Cape Town reflects her tempestuous emotional life.
  2. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Feb 26, 2012
    Paula van der Oest's biopic of South African poet Ingrid Jonker is conventional yet captivating thanks in large part to a terrific lead performance from Carice van Houten.
  3. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Feb 26, 2012
    The uncompromising power of Ingrid Jonker's poetry runs like a pulsing vein through Black Butterflies.
  4. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 29, 2012
    Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Feb 26, 2012
    A reasonably sensitive and occasionally insightful look into the mind and psyche of an impassioned and deeply troubled artist.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Feb 28, 2012
    Carice van Houten (Black Book) is superb as the emotionally unstable Jonker - all manically beaming highs and depressively gloomy lows, a tempestuous force of nature in a movie that too often plays it blandly polite.
  7. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Feb 29, 2012
    At least Black Butterflies gets the tortured-soul part right.
  8. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Mar 2, 2012
    The script is cliché-ridden and ends on an overly sentimental note.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 28, 2012
    Art, politics, and craziness conspire to form a rather mechanical melodrama in Black Butterflies.

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