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Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 919 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Black Swan is a psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. Featured dancer, Nina, finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company. (Fox Searchlight)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Kristin Hunt
    Jan 6, 2011
    100
    Just like the final performance by its deeply disturbed heroine, Black Swan is perfect.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    Wild and woolly, the movie is a breathtaking head trip that hails from a long tradition of backstage melodramas: "42nd Street," "A Star Is Born," "All About Eve," and, yes, that kitschy '90s relic, "Showgirls."
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 9, 2010
    90
    It's all or nothing with Black Swan. Either you embrace its headlong descent into madness brought on by the pressures of artistic perfection, compounded by smothering anxiety, or you reject it. It's that simple.
  4. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Dec 6, 2010
    80
    Both a baroque thriller set in New York's ballet demimonde and a portrait of artistry as schizoid perfectionism, Darren Aronofsky's new film percolates parallel lines of fine madness-but then, doubling down on duality is this movie's raison d'etre.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 17, 2010
    75
    Arriving with a savage grace, director Darren Aronofsky's nightmare-come-to-life Black Swan cements his reputation not only as one of the more daring filmmakers of his generation, but also as an actor's director of the first order.
  6. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Dec 6, 2010
    75
    Some girls fight over men. Ballerinas fight over parts. But the occasional brilliance of Black Swan is that it's a one-way fight. Nina battles herself.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 6, 2010
    30
    Not just any kind of trash, it's high-art trash, a kind of "When Tutu Goes Psycho" that so prizes hysteria over sanity that it's worth your life to tell when its characters are hallucinating and when they're not.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 257
  1. Mar 7, 2011
    10
    I just watched the film yesterday, and I can honestly say that "Black Swan" is, without a doubt, my favorite film of all times, (beating myI just watched the film yesterday, and I can honestly say that "Black Swan" is, without a doubt, my favorite film of all times, (beating my former favorite: Fellini's "Eight and a Half"). In a sense, both films have lots in common. Both explore the inner turmoil and real-life hardships of people working in the entertainment business, or that of artists in general. Both films are centered on characters how are under massive pressure from the people in their lives, and both little by little fall appart because of it.
    Now that I think about it, however, unlike "Eight and a Half", "Black Swan" is not a "comedy" (as Fellini himself defined his film) but is almost a horror film. Nina Sayers (amazingly performed by Natalie Portman, who has become my second favorite actress, after Marion Cotillard) is evidently losing her mind, suffering from hallucinations and paranoia, which may or may not be completelly unjustified, living under the rule of a manipulative and oppressive mother, who tries to compensate her own failure as a ballerina by forcing her daughter to devote her whole existence to ballet. Nina is unhealthilly obsessed with perfection, and it seems as if she was a robot, whose only purpose is to dance.
    "Black Swan" is enthralling, disturbing and terrifying. It keeps you on the edge all the way, even if the whole premise becomes obvious and predictable, because the film's point of view is completelly focused on Nina, and thus, even the most surrealistic events don't seem entirelly unreal. Near the end of the film, you lose, just like Nina, the ability to distinguish between what is real and what isn't.
    The other actors are excellent in their performance, and the soundtrack, which I guess belongs to the actual "Swan Lake", is not only fitting but it even helps to pull you into every scene, but the largest assets are the scarse, but bone-chilling, special effects, and Natalie Portman's mind-bending, trully Oscar-deserving performance.
    You want a good mind-f***k? Go and watch "Black Swan"!!
    Score: 10.0
    Expand
  2. Dec 12, 2010
    10
    Amazing visceral acting, cinematography, score, and most importantly, the film deeply immerses you.

    Natalie Portman deserves an oscar
    Amazing visceral acting, cinematography, score, and most importantly, the film deeply immerses you.

    Natalie Portman deserves an oscar nomination for her role.
    Expand
  3. Dec 14, 2010
    10
    This is one of the best movies made in the past ten years. Its art is mesmerizing. Its entry into the psyche of Portman nearly singularlyThis is one of the best movies made in the past ten years. Its art is mesmerizing. Its entry into the psyche of Portman nearly singularly unique. Its portrayal of the relationships excellent, its moments of tenderness and want, concern and horror, worthy of almost any director. Over the years, we will see this film grow in stature. Its record twelve Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations are no mistake. Expand
  4. Feb 22, 2011
    9
    One on the most disturbing movie i have ever seen! Portman it's just amazing. Darren Aronofsky made a wonderful direction with this movie. TheOne on the most disturbing movie i have ever seen! Portman it's just amazing. Darren Aronofsky made a wonderful direction with this movie. The music of clint mendell its probably one of the best soundtrack of all times. Expand
  5. Jan 26, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Black Swan, as has come to be expected from Darren Aronofsky's films, is not an easy watch. It's multiple layers of reality, heady themes and dark, surreal imagery may put some viewers off. If you enjoy challenging, original filmmaking that works on multiple levels, then Black Swan could be the ideal film for you. There is no weak link in the casting. Natalie Portman quite rightly won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and her powerful and intricately complex performance as the massively paranoid ballet dancer Nina Sayers will remain with you long after the end credits roll. Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel and Barbara Hershey all leave their own marks on the film as Nina's rebellious but talented rival Lily, her womanising director Thomas and her over-protective, domineering mother respectively. Also worth a mention is Winona Ryder playing Beth MacIntyre, a huge ballet star forced into early retirement and replaced by Nina - it's a relatively small but crucial role, and Ryder's best performance in years. The film looks fantastic, with Matthew Libatique's cinematography and Andrew Weisblum's editing evolving with the mood of the film - as story becomes more fractured and erratic, the camera movements become less smooth, the editing choppier and more jarring. The style of the whole film is designed to create a steadily increasing sense of unease, so as Nina steadily loses her grip on reality, so do we as viewers. We don't quite know what is as isn't real from about halfway through the film, so much of it is open to interpretation. My only gripe is in the final act where Nina appears to physically transform into a swan with the assistance of expensive-looking CGI. I almost wish Aronofsky saved his money here, as the simpler visuals he employs are far more effective (Portman's reflection moving of its own accord is a far creepier way to represent Nina's fractured identity as a result of her obsession with the black swan role than her physically sprouting feathers). Despite this minor annoyance, Black Swan remains an extremely powerful, intelligent and thought-provoking film that you'll be hard-pressed to forget. Expand
  6. Mar 30, 2011
    7
    Great movie in a bad year for movies. I think 2010 was just a very bad year for movies and that just helped to make this movie look betterGreat movie in a bad year for movies. I think 2010 was just a very bad year for movies and that just helped to make this movie look better than it was. I'm not saying it was a bad movie, I'm just saying that this year in movies is making it look better then it really is. Expand
  7. May 29, 2011
    0
    Absolute garbage.Absolute garbage. ........................................................................................................................................................... Expand

See all 257 User Reviews

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