Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 6, 2010
    88
    A full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd. It centers on a performance by Natalie Portman that is nothing short of heroic.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 6, 2010
    88
    The look and feel of Black Swan, which captures the essence of a major New York ballet production, is one of Aronofsky's great successes.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 6, 2010
    83
    Lurid and voluptuous pulp fun, with a sensationalistic fairy-tale allure. You can't take it too seriously, but you can't tear your eyes away from it, either.
  4. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    This eye-popping, inspired and often-demented (in a good way) cross between "The Red Shoes" and "All About Eve" channels horror maestros David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma and Dario Argento.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 6, 2010
    88
    Portman's portrait of an artist under siege is unmissable and unforgettable. So is the movie. You won't know what hit you.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    To induce a state of dread and mesmerize with beauty is a rare, paradoxical achievement.
  7. 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."
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 6, 2010
    88
    Is Black Swan high-minded? I'm happy to say: No. It is extremely high-grade hokum, which is to say it offers several different and combustible varieties.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    One of the best movies of the year.
  10. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Dec 10, 2010
    91
    Whether your tastes are delicate or coarse, whether you prefer the ballet or horror movies, there is plenty in the film for you.
  11. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 6, 2010
    88
    A near-masterpiece of a film set in the hothouse world of New York ballet.
  12. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 6, 2010
    100
    Black Swan is visceral and real even while it's one delirious, phantasmagoric freakout.
  13. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 6, 2010
    91
    A florid, often lurid, completely enthralling film held in place by a disarming Portman, who rarely leaves the frame.
  14. 100
    This is, no doubt about it, a tour de force, a work that fully lives up to its director's ambitions.
  15. 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Dec 9, 2010
    89
    This drama-horror hybrid, set within a New York ballet company, strikes a tone more along the lines of the terrifying hallucinatories of Aronofsky's breakout film, "Requiem for a Dream," revisiting, too, favorite themes of monster mommies and female hysteria.
  17. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Dec 15, 2010
    100
    Artful, epic, operatic even, this thriller set in the world of ballet challenges the viewer with its intelligence and depth and wit.
  18. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Dec 11, 2010
    88
    Black Swan is ridiculously over the top, but in a way that makes it fascinating to watch.
  19. Reviewed by: Kristin Hunt
    Jan 6, 2011
    100
    Just like the final performance by its deeply disturbed heroine, Black Swan is perfect.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 6, 2010
    90
    A wicked, sexy and ultimately devastating study of a young dancer's all-consuming ambition, Black Swan serves as a fascinating complement to Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," trading the grungy world of a broken-down fighter for the more upscale but no less brutal sphere of professional ballet.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 893 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 257
  1. 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 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. Full Review »
  2. Sep 21, 2011
    9
    "Black Swan" is a fearless movie that unveils the psychological horror of perfectionism and observes the deepest, darkest personalities of mankind. All of this is created and formed with Keen, sensitive direction and a frightfully perfect performance from Natalie Portman (as expected, she won a Oscar for her performance). Ultimately, this masterpiece is a beautiful dark twisted movie you must, and will watch. Full Review »
  3. Dec 29, 2010
    5
    Lets be honest, in 5 years time people are not going to be looking back saying " wow, remember that movie Black swan? It was amazing!!!" Nope, Once it has finished surfing its current 'hype' wave, it will sit among the 'pretty good' movies of 2010! Ill give credit where its due, Natalie Portman gives so much of herself that you wonder what depths she went too to portray this tortured soul...She is absolutely spellbinding. The Director 'Darren Aronofsky' however holds the reigns as best he can, but with such a bleak pallet and morbid tone, his raw technique, digs deeper than it needs and seems lost in its own pretensions. The Final 20 minutes however are breathtaking, with all the forgotten loose ends brought together in a truly operatic finale. To be fair maybe it needs another viewing to fully appreciate its complexities, but the thing is, " I don't want to watch it again"!! Full Review »