User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 889 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 889

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  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. Expand
  2. 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"!! Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Jan 16, 2011
    2
    There are very disturbing sequences throughout this film of putrefying flesh and violated bodies, and these images do not make sense, either psychologically or artistically. They are simply the usual manipulations of the audience employed by almost all films of the horror genre. Such images play upon the morbid fascination that one feels when considering the loss of something that one considers to be essential to one's being, like a leg, or one's flesh, or one's face, or one's eyes. Not even one of the characters is truly nurturing of either art or of the human beings who make it. Even the mother of the lead character is revealed to be a falsely nurturing figure. If that were true in real life, then there would be no art at all. The movie left me with a feeling of dread that took several hours to overcome. Expand
  5. Feb 2, 2011
    3
    Portman sports a worried grimace through the entire movie, making the ending more of a relief than a climax. Should have been called The Emperor's New Tutu.
  6. Dec 12, 2010
    1
    This movie is a horror flick and is not worth the money to see it. The story and script are terrible. Perhaps the acting is good, but it is wasted on this terrible horrific film. Save your time and money and skip this one.
  7. Jan 10, 2011
    4
    As I was watching "Black Swan," I started counting the times the camera lingered on Natalie Portman staring pointlessly at herself in a mirror and lost count at eight billion. Guess that means I'm not one of the many crying "bravo" for this film. I love Vincent Cassel, but here he's wasted as one more catalyst for the flowering of Natalie Portman's neurosis into capital-A Art. It's interesting to me that Winona Ryder showed up as the has-been dancer because Portman seemed to base her character on the timid mental patient Ryder played in "Girl, Interrupted" (watchable only for Angelina Jolie's much more dynamic sociopath). The difference here is that we experience manifestations of Portman's disintigration and are clearly supposed to wonder whether she is, in fact, being sabotaged. That would be the thriller part. But it's evident from the first 10 minutes of the movie that this chick is way too screwed up for anyone to bother sabotaging; all an intelligent rival would have to do is stand around, smoke a cigarette or two, and wait for her to self-destruct. So "thrills," for me, along with surprises, were in pretty short supply. I was mildly interested in how she'd finally sex up her Black Swan (hint: no sex involved) but rolled my eyes when it finally happened. I'm happy for all the people who swooned with delight at this film, but I was definitely not one of them. Plusses: some nice dancing. Vincent Cassel putting the mack on Portman then walking off in disgust. Barbara Hershey's scary facelifts finally used to advantage. Expand
  8. Dec 20, 2010
    4
    Considering all the laudatory reviews and the number of 10 ratings one might assume a masterpiece had birthed. Alas not for this viewer. Natalie did a fine job, no problem there, but talk about an overwrought Polanski rip-off. If this is masterful film making today, I'm depressed. It had the makings of an interesting, dramatic thriller. But where was the subtlety, the craft of a work that gradually seduces you. Not here. I'm only seen a couple major reviewers that have really questioned the artfulness of this project. I felt like I had been hammered by it. It was so over the top. Expand
  9. Dec 31, 2010
    1
    Very Disappointed in this movie. Yes the dancing and the Photography is good, but it takes a lot more then that to make an interesting movie. My group found the movie tiring and the ending predictable. The idea that anyone would cast such a fragile, timid ballerina in the lead of a major production of Swan Lake in one of the world's premiere ballet companies is laughable. Dancing required hard work and discipline. As the movie states, it is a very competitive art. I do not think this character, who still sleeps in a room that was designed for a three year old would have ever made it past her first three years of dance, much less make it to stardom. She would have "cracked up" years and years before. I have read the other reviews and "know where they were going"...I just don't think they ever got there. Expand
  10. Jan 5, 2011
    1
    I heard great reviews about this movie so I expected to see a great movie about the ballet Swan Lake. The movie started with camera work I would have expected from an amateurish 8th grader holding the camera for the first time. It was shaky, forcefully zoomed in, and did not capture the mood of an ballet. After the terrible camera work hit me I was forced into the overworked tense scene where everything they tried to place in a scene that would scare her just seemed funny. The dream sequences which were not dream sequences left me asking who asking who came up with this script and you need to pick a genre and stick to it. Finally while things like costumes and acting were amazing, the directing was terrible and ruined what could have been a great movie.

    I go to art school and saw it with my art school friends, unless you are a pretentious art school kid, skip this movie. As a man, even the lesbian scene was just sad and I kind of laughed through most of it due to just how unrealistic this movie is. I can't really find a group of people to recommend this to. I know girls who have done Ballet and yes they are stressed but do not have mental issues like she does. Just generally a bad movie...
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  11. Dec 3, 2010
    8
    Coming from a successful award circuit with The Wrestler - which consequently restarted Mickey Rourke's acting career - director Darren Aronofsky returns with the ballet-based psychological thriller Black Swan. Following in the footsteps of Aronofsky's previous films (Pi, Requiem For A Dream), Black Swan is a dark psychological nightmare with disturbing cinematography that freely crawls underneath the skin of its audience. In his newest venture, it seems as if Aronofsky took stylistic notes from Jean-Luc Godard and at the same time attempted to make a vague statement. Essentially, Black Swan is a film that has too much style rather than its implied substance. Like The Wrestler, Black Swan converges most of its attention onto a single character. Natalie Portman strays from her archetypal roles and impeccably plays the innocent character of Nina; an aspiring ballerina who receives the star role of the "Swan Queen" in an upcoming rendition of Swan Lake. The production of Swan Lake requires the queen to play the innocent White Swan and the provocative Black Swan. Primarily, the film focuses on Portman's conservative character, who must under pressure, contrastingly channel her inner malevolence to "perfectly" perform her role. Portman IS the highlight of this film. Like with Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, Portman defines herself as an actress in this film. Although it takes an excessive amount of time to buildup to Nina's breakdown, the final half of Portman's performance is flawless. The spectrum of emotion and insanity she displays is so real, she has truly locked the "best actress" category for the upcoming award season.

    While Portman's performance is flawless, this brings to question the real point of the film. Aronofsky places symbolism in the film that is vague and at the same time obvious. With different scenes of shocking imagery such as the sensual scene between Kunis and Portman, it is really difficult to grasp why the film possesses such figurative scenes. There are various points of blatant symbolism, giving the impression that the film attempts to be deep. An exemplification of this complaint is the non-stop sensuality seen in the film. I acknowledge that it is to bring out Portman's immorality and show the effects of a disturbed artist, but there is just so much that it overshadows the brilliance of the film. There are too many figurative aspects in Black Swan. That is where the film loses substance, it tries to be cerebrally abstract even when it is not. The film really should have focused on Portman's mental breakdown rather than employing figurative imagery. Even though the film's "figurative" impression refrains itself from being a masterpiece, Black Swan is one of the best films that 2010 offers. Set aside the excessive focus on deepness, Aronofsky's film is visually gorgeous and its intensity immense. The visual imagery is the disturbing essence that you expect from the director. It digs into your emotions, and it stays there throughout the movie. Black Swan is gritty and raw, and the usage of handheld filming is subtle yet effective (unlike movies like **** which uses it in an irrelevant fashion).

    Overall, Black Swan is an excellent film that is not quite the "masterpiece" that many are saying it is. With that being said, it is still a quality film where its pros outshine its cons. Its visual brilliance and its suspenseful emotion makes up for the film's flaws. Black Swan will disturb and haunt its audience to the fullest. Hopefully audiences will just ignore the film's senseless statement. Grade: B+
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  12. Dec 18, 2010
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Spoilers!!! Not that much of the plot revealed below would be surprising after watching the first 10 minutes of the film. 1. The premise is flawed. Why would they select such a spiritless, vapid, flat emotional wreck to carry Swan Lake.


    2. Natalie Portman's performance is spiritless, vapid and flat for 90% of the movie and laughably over the top for the remainder. Though the laugh factor is not entirely her fault, because....


    3. The forced combination of surrealism and melodrama provided by the script and Aronofsky's direction would be hilarious if it wasn't so embarrassing.

    4. At least Showgirls had nudity and memorable one-liners.

    5. I'm sure Aronofsky and whoever wrote this has seen The Piano Teacher and that pisses me off, because both movies include:

    a. A sexually and emotionally constricted woman that trains vigorously in a performance art

    b. a disturbingly intimate relationship with a mother who is overbearing

    c. a closing shot of the lead having stabbed themselves at one of their performances

    6. Even the frequent masturbation scenes and casual lesbianism that was included to keep straight guys like my brother interested in the movie was unsuccessful. According to my brother, these ladies are thin and gross.

    7. The frequent shifts in what is real and what is a hallucination is tiring and I eventually lost interested in telling the two apart, thus making me indifferent to what was I assume meant to be a tragic ending.

    8. Aronofsky put me in the uncomfortable position of feeling bad for laughing when other people might not have realized how stupid this movie is.

    9. This movie sucked.

    10. My brother may never trust me to choose a movie ever again. Here is my brother's two word review of the movie: **** Swan.



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  13. Jan 4, 2011
    1
    Unbelievably trashy. A cross between Polanski's Repulsion, Carrie and everything done by Cronenberg. But unfortunately done by all the above much better. A boring, repulsive, claustrophobic experience with a courageous, yet artificial performance by Portman. I never believed for a minute that she was the obsessed, naive and sheltered character she was playing. And this whole nonsense that all she needed was a good orgasm to perform the Black Swan with passion was too much. And was the lesbian sex scene really necessary? Expand
  14. Jan 2, 2011
    2
    Lame and boring. How can I use 150 characters to say this movie was lame and boring? Until the last 20 minutes, I was really wanting to just leave before I fell asleep. And I really went in expecting to be impressed. Maybe it's aimed at the artsy, NYC theater crowds. But here in Texas it just falls flat. And this was from the general consensus of the people we talked when leaving the theater. Lame and Boring. Unless you live in NYC and have a thing for Ballet, skip this one Expand
  15. Dec 19, 2010
    5
    I found this movie to be deceptively shallow--entertaining to watch but ultimately flimsy. It is a psychological thriller and a conventional one at that, often dependent on predictable horror movie cliches. It is generally well paced and effectively creates a mood of foreboding, but the payoff, when it comes, is not terribly interesting and is no surprise at all. It confirms what you'd already anticipated and resolves whatever mild curiosity you might have had. The acting is good. Mila Kunis is terrific. The relationship between Natalie Portman's character and her domineering, self-loathing mother is completely credible, and Portman is effective in playing an obsessive, egocentric, immature artist. Unfortunately for her, that sort of emotional unintelligence does not make for an absorbing character--the interplay between reality and her own disturbed psyche is just not that interesting.

    Considering all the hype and critical acclaim, I'm tempted to give this movie a score in the basement, but it's not a _bad_ movie. It's an entertaining way to spend an hour and a half, but nothing more than that.
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  16. Jan 29, 2011
    2
    Ridiculous pap geared to 13 yr olds. The whole deal was idiotic, all geared to how they could get the next gruesome special effect or soft-porn scene into the flick.

    Give Nat Portman credit, she never seemed to act like she knew she was in a ridiculous movie, give her an academy nod for that.
  17. Dec 18, 2010
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A beautiful, seriously flawed, at times laughable, melodrama. The only suspense, soon disposed of, is whether we are witnessing the descent into madness or a ghost story. Descent into madness it is! Sit back and watch her unravel, or rather metamorphize. Vincent Cassell is out of his depth in a role that requires more than his usual fetid pathological intensity. Natalie is sweet but her ultimate transformation seems like more than she can, or is allowed to, emote. The ultimate problem lies in the often weak direction which seems engrossed in pulp fiction or comic strip camp instead of the exploration of driven ambition. Expand
  18. Dec 21, 2010
    10
    If 'Black Swan' was directed by David Fincher, it would be called 'Ballet Club,' and it would be a thematic sequel to 'Fight Club.' However, it wasn't directed by Fincher, but instead by Darren Aronofsky, which explains why it is probably the most well-directed movie of the year. I can't say that it is the best film of the year, which I believe is 'The Social Network' because it is both good and culturally relevant, but Aronofsky's skill is at its peak in 'Black Swan,' and it sure is something to marvel. I believe Aronofsky exquisitely directed the most perfectly structured and beautifully told story of any film I have seen this year. I still give major props to Fincher, as well as David O Russell ('The Fighter') and Christopher Nolan ('Inception'). Natalie Portman steals the screen for the majority of the film, brilliantly portraying the fragile ballerina Nina Sayers. After winging the role of the Swan Queen in the upcoming show of the popular Swan Lake dance, Nina struggles to move out of the shadow of her nutty, sheltering mother, while rejecting the sexual advances and dark nature of her extremely professional instructor, all the while preparing for a performance she wants to make perfect. Seeing 'Tron Legacy' and 'The Fighter' before this (I saw all three in one day) helped keep me up with this whole perfection fiasco, which is the entire theme of 'Black Swan.' The most brilliant thing about 'Black Swan' is that it actually adapts the story of 'Swan Lake' into Nina's story that we see in the film. Since I'm a guy, I know very little about 'Swan Lake,' but Aronofsky obviously wasn't targeting all females with this film, so he throws in a summary about halfway in. It is then that you should be able to pick up that everything Nina is going through is a literal translation of the 'Swan Lake' story. This is even easier to notice with the orchestra music that plays throughout the movie during scenes that would not normally have music playing in the background. Most guys won't find this information fascinating at all, but hey, we get to see two hot chicks making out. Or do we? Aronofsky does a lot more with this film than you'll probably be able to notice after seeing it once. This includes having Natalie Portman always wearing white while Mila Kunis always wears black, to represent Portman as the Swan and Kunis as the dark side, although this symbolism is all in Nina's head. Her reluctance to push everyone else out of her life shows as we continually see her trying to keep her mother out of her room, as well as her attempts to impress her instructor while failing to understand what he wants out of her. Her struggle to impress two perfectionists drives her to the point of insanity, and the balance of the two characters on Nina's shoulders represents the struggle of the "swan" with it's dark side, which we see leads to a surprisingly extravagant conclusion. I would say that Aronofsky was very Fincher-esque with the psychological mindf**k, Kubrickian with the perfectionist structure of the film (especially with the bombastically loud orchestral soundtrack), or even Tarantinoish with the way he incorporated symbolism every which way (as 'Inglourious Basterds' did), but if you have seen any of this director's past films, you will understand that this is all Aronofsky. While it is indeed perfect, and very symbolic, it is also very dark and never afraid to push the limits, just as his other films are. 'Black Swan' as a whole represents the beauty of Aronofsky's dark natured filmography, although some will not like it since the limits the film pursues to push are not the type fans of Disney's 'Ice Princess' would've expected. It actually thrilled me to see many of the young girls in the theater covering their eyes throughout the film, just so I could assure myself that I wasn't watching some Hannah Montana manure. Expand
  19. Jan 3, 2011
    10
    This is the best movie to come out in the past twenty years. Absolutely gorgeous, and haunting at the same time. It will stay on your mind for days after seeing it. Every Academy Award should go to Black Swan, Natalie Portman, and Darren Aronofsky. My new favorite movie.
  20. Dec 6, 2010
    4
    I did not enjoy watching this movie and I would not see it again. I had two serious issues with it: (1) the premise that an emotional lightweight could get the lead role of Swan Lake in one of the world's premiere ballet companies and (2) the overuse of stock surprise elements -- over and over and over again to the point of distraction (and exhaustion). The basic story line is good and interesting, and some performances were very, very strong (especially Mila Kunis'). That said, the overall execution was very disappointing. Expand
  21. MkM
    Dec 6, 2010
    10
    Make note: of the two idiots who gave this bad reviews, one did so to draw attention to a technical problem with the metacritic site and the other wrote his based on the trailer, which made him "angry" even though he doesn't seem to know what the movie is actually about. Frustrating. Oh, and by the way, the movie is one of the best to come out this year.
  22. Dec 21, 2010
    4
    This movie's plot was thin and played out in a shocking and gruesome way. Come on folks, give the viewer a little more credit for taste and intelligence.
  23. Feb 26, 2011
    2
    get to work and stop dancing like a baby! dumb ****
    get to work and stop dancing like a baby! dumb ****
    get to work and stop dancing like a baby! dumb ****
  24. Jan 19, 2011
    4
    This is one of the worst movies made in the past 10 years. After all the buzz, my wife and I had hyped up hopes that were dashed halfway through this wannabe psycho-thriller. It's one of those movies in which, at the end, when you expect to have this "aha" moment that gives some measure of clarity or answers ... you see the beginning of the film credits. We expected a sophisticated, sexy thriller ... we got a goofy movie with a few titillating scenes with Portman squirming on a bed. Expand
  25. Dec 26, 2010
    10
    Perfection--a major theme of the film and ultimately what it achieves. Portman is stunning. Aronofsky's direction is masterful. The cinematography and sound are interesting and integral to the story. This is simply a masterpiece in the psychological horror oeuvre.
  26. Dec 22, 2010
    10
    Kenneth Turan of the LA Times is absolutely clueless. This film was brilliant. The fact that you are unable to distinguish reality from psychosis is what is so compelling about the piece. Natalie Portman deserves an Oscar for her amazing performance.
  27. Dec 20, 2010
    9
    Black Swan is one of those all too rare films these days where you are never quite sure where it is going. Sometimes that can be upsetting and disorienting--but not so with this film. Aronofsky's direction kept me constantly on edge and even provided some genuine thriller moments where more than one audience member shrieked out loud. It is a darkly hued tale expertly told and performed by Natalie Portman in what is surely one of her most powerful roles to date. Indeed this story is at times disturbing and provocative, but that's the way good art should be--even in the seemingly simple lithe world of ballet dancing. Expand
  28. Feb 15, 2011
    5
    The first thing I did after seeing The Black Swan, was buy new socks. Comfort is not in the emotional vocabulary of this film. Think Requiem for a Dream without the laughs or the moral tale. Black Swan is a fable of self destruction.
  29. Feb 5, 2011
    10
    Wau!!! Awesome, Natalie Portman is wonderful. She make a mysterious and fantastic interpretation. Darren made a movie that it can be one of the best in this year. Mila Kunis do a great job.
  30. Jan 12, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Black Swan makes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 look like best picture of the year--I say this because I thought the Potter movie just might be the worst movie of 2010. To my surprise, and dismay, that is not the case. There's an even worse film: Black Swan. It takes itself so seriously--We're making Art here, people!--that I wished I was watching ballet and not this movie. I hate ballet and this movie made me want to watch ballet. That's how bad this movie is. Watching ballet would have been more entertaining, more fun, and for more original than this insipid meat cleaver to the face--thirty seconds into the movie and it's clear that Natalie Portman's character is madder than a hatter and there the guesswork ends; the conspicuous meat cleaver has split your face in two, but does director Aronofsky stop there? Nope. His disgust for subtlety (of any kind) knows no bounds, or shame. He wants us to be so sure that Portman is madder than a hatter that he meat cleavers us in the face over and over: She's madder than a hatter! It's all in her head! Get it? Yes, Darren Aronofsky, I got it thirty seconds into the movie when the first meat cleaver got me square between the eyes, thank you very much. This movie is so bloody obvious that I began to wonder if Aronofsky simply doesn't want his audience to use their brains while watching one of his art house movies. (We're making Art here, people, and curing cancer!) Is he so threatened by someone else's interpretation that he leaves no possible room for interpretation? Is that the reason for the meat cleavers to the face, Darren? If true, I'd argue Aronofsky's got some issues that he might want to take up with his urologist. There isn't an original moment in this predictable, so-called disturbing movie. Disturbing? It's disturbing that Black Swan was so bad it made me want to watch ballet! To make matters worse, (if that's possible, and dear God in heaven, it is), there isn't a likeable character in the entire film. Now, there's nothing in filmmaking 101 that says you have to have a likeable character in your movie, but basic storytelling will tell you that if you want your audience to connect in a way that matters, a likeable character might be a good idea. In the very least, have an unlikable character find some kind of redemption at the end so that the audience will feel emotionally satisfied. In Black Swan, every character is not only an obvious stereotype, they're repugnant. (When Barbara Hershey came in as the evil ballet stage mother, I thought I was watching bad satire.) I was like, well, geez, I can't stand these people, I have no hope for them, it's clear there is no hope for them because they're all crazy, so why do I care what happens to them at the end? It isn't my fault that I felt this way. It's Darren Aronofsky's fault. When the end did finally come (thank God), was I surprised, shocked, horrified, confused, sad? No! I just wanted to get out of the theatre and see some ballet! And this brings me to Natalie Portman's brave acting job: Brave because she lets a hot chick go down on her and shows us her orgasm face. Wow, that takes some talent. (Porno stars do it all the time, but they're professionals so they make it look easy.) Halle Berry did the same thing for Monster's Ball, and she did it better, longer and with Billy Bob Thorton--now that's what I call brave!--and at least Halle showed some boob. All we get in Black Swan is Portman's worried orgasm face. Of course, she'll be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (because she was so brave--We're making Art here, people, curing cancer and bringing peace to the world!) The Academy did the same thing to Halle, but Hollywood has a tradition of rewarding actresses who show us their orgasm faces in movies. Put a famous actress in a movie where a guy or girl goes down on her and she shows us her orgasm face and you can be sure she'll receive a nomination. Most of the time, they don't do that for the men. (Sean Penn got an Academy Award for MILK, but he didn't show us his orgasm face or go down on a guy in the movie, so it doesn't count.) It's usually just the ladies. Hollywood's orgasm face double-standard, like this typical Hollywood movie: A steaming pile of hubristic crap.

    My rating: Six Irish Carbombs and a Mind Eraser shooter, and a ticket to the ballet.
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  31. Jan 17, 2011
    2
    Surprisingly one dimensional and lacking in heart, especially when compared to Aronofky's The Wrestler from a year ago which I thought was superb. Natalie Portman was good, as was most of the other acting, but the movie as a whole did not make me care at all.
  32. Feb 2, 2011
    4
    Way over hyped.

    Natilie Portman acts in a movie that is both bland and banal.

    I am amazed at the ridiculously high scores from the luvvie film reviewers.
  33. Feb 6, 2011
    2
    Neither fish nor fowl-"Black Swan" neither surprises nor probes the mind of its would-be tragic heroine. The theme of the young femme lost in an exhibitionistic/voyueristic art-world, beset by a husky voiced rival, willing to do everything it takes among the casting couch set - and then some, has been done before and much better. Take it from this man raised in a ballet family, see "Show Girls" for the real deal! Ironically, that piece of high-brow trash was the one critics loved to loath - which I take, as here, a mark of the nebbish anti-sexual nerdosity of the average film reviewer. In short, "Black swan" is predictable and boring, while "Show Girls" still delivers the devilish thrills and erotic chills Swan is wan to do. Expand
  34. Jan 31, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Was I trippin on acid? This movie is a mess!!! a weak storyline, and average acting does not a Oscar make!!! I know some of you fan boys loved to hot **** scene but I though it was a little tasteless.....wait....or did it really happen!!! who knows, who cares! I give this movie 2 thumbs down!!! Expand
  35. Feb 4, 2011
    0
    As someone who has been involved with ballet both as an aspiring dancer and an administrator I was looking for ward to this film with great anicipation, particularly considering the overall glowing reviews. It took about five minutes to dissolve. The rest of the time watching this film was utterly painful and a complete waste of time. An idiotic plot without drama (in spite of the gory blood and explicit sex), stereotypical characters, wooden acting and ridiculous attempts at making Natalie Portman look like a dancer. She does, when standing still, having achieved the required amaciated look but nothing more. Her very beautiful face is in every scene - but after a while even the most gorgeous looks become tedious, especially if it only has the one static expression of a stunned rabbit cought in the spotlight.
    The film offers no subtelty, no mystery, no suspense. It's boring and predictable, confirming all existing prejudices that surround ballet. It doesn't even show any interesting dancing .An utterly dull film that makes a mockery of the art form that it sets out to portray. Stay away!
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  36. Feb 5, 2011
    3
    I had been wary going to see this film after reviewers who I would generally trust had been greatly unimpressed by it, but as a big fan of Requiem for a dream I still had hopes. I had read that as a description of the ballet world it was full of clichés, but this did not concern me, as it was not intended to be one. What did, was that as a portrayal of anything faintly human, there was nothing but ridiculous pastiches of human beings. The premise of the film is the extreme suffering and destructive forces a person must endure to achieve their artistic goals. While there is truth in the idea that one must suffer for their art, or to excel in anything, this idea is explored in a crude and superficial way. Black Swan trades on a romanticized view of the 'high art' ballet world, and on the idea of the mysterious and mad artist perusing perfection at the expensive of their sanity. This is itself just another cliché, and an approach that makes the most of the cultural myth of the tortured and illusory artist engrossed in an exotic and unhinged life. While this idea may be seductive to some judging from the many favourable reviews, if you are not sucked in by the shallow illusion, all that is left is affected banality. In time I think this film will come to be seen in a less favourable light. Expand
  37. Feb 20, 2011
    2
    Histrionic and overly-dramatic movie full of smoke and mirrors, with nothing new to reveal. Natalie Portman, a fine actress, is tearful and earnest. Since the film is all from her POV we never know when she's hallucinating. Perhaps the overbearing mother is a total hallucination as well. Perhaps the whole ballet company is a hallucination.
    Seriously, what Martin Scorsese did in a similar
    over-the top vein in Shutter island still contained a surprise at the end, which gave context to the horrific and strange events the main character experienced. But where's the surprise in seeing Portman going slowly crazy. Not to mention that Aronofsky himself is totally mired in the Madonna-whore complex, seemingly unable to portray a woman realistically. Expand
  38. Feb 20, 2011
    3
    To be honest, I was very disappointed by this movie. When I saw the previews, I really wanted to see it. It looked like a film that dealt with the trials and tribulations of perfectionism, masochism, and mental illness. It did deal with all three of those issues but in an extremely slow and unexciting way. I did not connect with any of the characters and the ending was no surprise. Because there was no connection made with Natalie Portman's character, I didn't even feel bad for her in the ending. Honestly, I was just glad the movie was over and was grabbing my coat the second she made the jump. Expand
  39. Feb 22, 2011
    3
    i dont understand why natalie portman is getting such rave reviews(dancing aside).. she either cried or hyperventilated for 2 hours thats it ... i had more questions than answers by the end of that movie, for all the hype was i was very disappointed. a
  40. Jan 13, 2012
    10
    Black Swan deserves the title of psychological thriller more than simple drama because, although its about a ballet dancer that wants to get the leading role in the Swan Lake, shows the journey that has to make an obsessive and disturbed girl throw her subconscious to change her personality. But this will become more difficult because she will have to struggle not only against herself but also with an overprotective mother who tries to fulfill her broken dreams through Nina.
    Changes start physically and with the help of the director of the ballet company and another dancer, Nina will discover her alter ego. This concept is pursued by Darren Aronofsky, and it can also be notice in The Wrestler. The idea is to show the other side of reality, the one that scares us, our other personality hidden deeply in ourselves.
    The performances are as remarkable as the plot, and in the final scene, Natalie Portman gives an incredible presentation, which is impulsive and seductive at the same time, culminating her transformation and achieving perfection.
    The amazing thing about this movie is that all the elements: plot, performances, music, dialogues, confusing and frightening images, leads to complete madness. And because of this is hard to distinguish if the things that you see in the movie are fact or fiction, but that topic is for your own interpretation.
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  41. Jan 9, 2011
    10
    Black Swan is not a psychological thriller that's privy to holding hands with its audience. In fact, you're expected to comprehend its entirety on your own. If you have problems understanding obsessive compulsive disorders and elaborate hallucinations mixed with other psychotic tendencies, Black Swan will confuse you. But in the midst of the confusion is the pure value of the film -- this stuff is WORTH studying. Natalie Portman's quest to perform her greatest role isn't a high school drama escapade, it's a disturbing reality that traumatizes and destroys the life of real people. Black Swan is one of the best productions in recent memory, and it's a must watch for anyone curious. Expand
  42. Dec 21, 2010
    8
    Some may mockingly call it "Repulsion in a Tutu", but the movie works. The acting is top notch, lifting the heavy atmosphere of repression (sexual and otherwise) and body horror above the Grand Guignol theatrics into pure gut-wrenching psycho-terror and pain. Portman (in Machinist-style emaciation) is sublime in her descent into psychosis, Hershey is fabulously creepy as her domineering mother, Ryder does wonders with her few minutes on screen and Kunis is a great fiery and free-flowing opposite to the frigidly perfect Swan Queen. Aaronofsky is a bit heavy-handed with symbolism and uses too many of his trademark tracking shots from behind, the script could have been better, but there might be some awards here, especially for Portman and Kunis. Well worth a watch. Expand
  43. Dec 23, 2010
    9
    Thrilling, chilling, and mesmerizing is how I would describe this movie. I was fully into the movie then entire time, even though I don't know too much about ballet. Portman gives an incredible performance and the climatic finale had me on the edge of my seat. At some times the movie was confusing but that is why it works.
  44. Dec 21, 2010
    9
    I've never used this word before but this movie was breath taking. It started out a little slow but man does the pace pick up as the movie goes along. Portman deserves Oscar consideration for an amazing performance. The camera work was fantastic. I've never attended a ballet before. I think I'd like to go to one now.
  45. Dec 23, 2010
    9
    Great film. Natalie delivers one of her best performances to date.
    Not for all the family because of the sexual tension on it.
    It has many levels, if you can see trough it.
  46. Dec 5, 2010
    8
    Black Swan is an imperfect film. But it is thought provoking and interesting. I am not a fan of ballet; in person it bores me to tears. But I do respect the athleticism and talent involved in the process. The ballet in this movie is merely the context of the story, not the point. This is also not about a rivalry between two ballerinas, which was written by another user. That may be implied by the trailer but it is not what's going on; I bet that person did not see the movie. This is about a woman who is losing her mind, imagining lots of things including a rivalry that is more about her limitations and flaws than anything else. My only complaint about the movie is either about how Natalie Portman played Nina or how Nina was written or how Arronofsky wanted Nina to come across. I'm not quite sure which one. The problem is that Nina is so sheltered and so scared and so naive and so timid and so repressed that her character doesn't ultimately make sense. The time and effort that go into such a career are monumental, as is the amount of rejection and judgement to which these people are subject. It simply is not realistic on any level that Nina could have gotten as far as she did in the world of ballet while being on such a weak psychological precipice. It makes the story easier to believe, Portman looks on the verge of tears many times in this movie. But anyone who had gotten that far in such a difficult profession quite frankly would have more mettle. But that person wouldn't psychologically crumble as easy as Nina. Still it is interesting. Is Nina's mom living vicariously through her daughter (because she had to give up her career) or is the mom so over-protective that she has kept her daughter in a state of perpetual childhood. I suspect a little of both. Is Lily a potential ally or is she the rival Nina perceives her to be? Did Lily help Nina by giving her ecstasy or did that hasten Nina's downfall? I had hoped that it would have been less clear what was real vs. imagined. It sure seemed pretty obvious. Expand
  47. Dec 25, 2010
    9
    Definitely worth seeing. The acting is as brilliant as the psyches portrayed are perverse.
    Brooding, dark, and mysterious, while compelling you to watch, ever mindful that you do not know what what is truth or delusion.
  48. Mar 11, 2011
    5
    Creepy and disturbing at parts. Every person in this movie is severely screwed up in the head. Only good thing was the making out between Mila and Natalie.
  49. Dec 6, 2010
    9
    "Black Swan" runs an intense and gripping course that is provided by the direction of Darren Aronofsky; but the spectacular and spellbinding performance of Natalie Portman is the reason that this film will be remembered long after.
  50. Dec 19, 2010
    6
    The performances were strong, but the story just was not credible. It relied too much on the idea that to be a great artist, one must be at least a little bit mad. Although many artists have fought madness, it's hardly a requirement. Furthermore, much of Nina's madness was hard to accept. Finally, I didn't find any of the characters likable.
  51. Jan 18, 2011
    5
    If I would have seen just one more scene of her picking at her bloody fingers or back I think I would have walked out. I am a fan of Natalie Portman so I went to see this movie with a friend. We both had the same reaction - "What is the big deal about this movie"? The film goes back and forth between reality and her dual personality which is a bit confusing. The lead is supposed to be perfection at playing the "white swan", but Natalie Portman looks like she's about to cry even when she dances as the white swan. Lots of mommie dearest scenes, drugs, masturbation, and festering bloody sores. Not what I would call entertaining. In the end, a very polarizing film. You either like this style or not. I didn't. I have to give it credit for some great visual style, however. Expand
  52. Dec 20, 2010
    9
    Black Swan is very good!. The movie is perfectly paced, great art direction and Mila Kunis is very underrated in this prestige film. I am not a big fan of Darron Aronoksy but this is a rare feat. I don't like ballet but it was interesting to have a better understanding of the art.
  53. Jan 2, 2011
    8
    Mind-blowing and a horrific epic movie, '' Black Swan '' is one of the best dramas I ever saw. Natalie Portman plays, remarkably amazing, Nina Sayers, a ballet dancer who struggles with her role as the ''Swan Queen'', which she must both be the White Swan (the good side) and the famous Black Swan (the evil side, witch she loses control). Very artistic and interesting movie. The chemistry between the actors was brilliant ! You can really feel the emotion going on. It was very unique and even if you're not into ballet, you will still enjoy this thriller. But the ending disturb me a little bit. Everything was perfect until the last tiny ten seconds. It's still a amazing film. Definitely worth to watch Expand
  54. Dec 6, 2010
    9
    Outstanding film. Portman gives an excellent performance. This is not a film that is enjoyable to watch, minute-to-minute, as it moves along. It is a ride you are on. And it is incredibly stressful and scary at points, but that is a sign of Aronofsky's success in putting you inside the protagonist's increasingly frayed mind. The ending is exhilarating and powerful. As good of a closing 30 seconds as I have seen in a film in quite some time. The film is an excellent piece of art with several good acting performances. Expand
  55. Dec 6, 2010
    10
    An excellent psychological-horror film. The score does a wonderful job of setting the mood and tone, along with the excellent cinematographic. The acting overall is phenomenal. It would be a shame if Portman did not get Oscar consideration for her role. In a age where for some, being entertained at the movies is a rare occasion, Black Swan succeeds triumphantly.
  56. Dec 14, 2010
    10
    An excellent movie. Definitely a Best Picture. The acting is just brilliant and if you don't see it know I guarantee you will be missing out on an important piece of 21st century cinema.
  57. Dec 18, 2010
    10
    Wow. The one weak link is the screenplay (Cassel has to say some truly awful lines). I couldn't possibly care less. I haven't seen a film this visceral in years, maybe ever. Portman is career-best (by a lot) and Barbara Hershey is superb. Perfectly captures the weird dichotomy of the deathly serious and the absurd that any obsessive artist confronts themselves with on a daily basis... why do we let ourselves tear ourselves to shreds over something that, in the grand scheme, should be so trivial? Black Swan doesn't answer the question and doesn't seek to, but it does explore it through a totally committed performance from Natalie Portman that has to be one of the most difficult acting assignments I've seen someone take on in a film in years. A dizzy, demented film that doesn't give a damn about the line between reality and delirium. I love that. Expand
  58. Feb 11, 2011
    5
    I watched this because of all the hype and awards it was garnering. After watching this, I was quite surprised. It was not nearly as good as what most of the critics were saying. I mean, the whole movie is about Nina and how she descends into madness. And that's it. Everything else are just fillers. The ballet dancing, sure, it was great and Natalie Portman did a splendid job. There were, what I would consider "unnecessary" scenes that contributed much to the film's age viewing classification. Hmm... I don't quite know how to put this but we don't really get to see much love towards the "art of ballet" instead we get a tortured soul that happens to be in ballet. We never get to see Nina loving ballet. We just see her desire to be perfect. This is not a bad film, not it is definitely not. But it is not as good as I thought. I don't believe this film will bag the Best Picture Oscar, but Natalie Portman, sure, she will for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Expand
  59. Dec 18, 2010
    10
    Stupendous film, which could have at its core the would-be, the almost, the near-but-not quite great, the jock who is on the brink of stardom but can't cope with the pressure, the constant stress and anxiety, the bodily abuse. Except it's the mirror image, the almost great ballerina who is coping poorly (at best) with the stress/fatigue/injuries/obsessions/dedication/rejection/guilt trips, ya-da. Definitely not for those who like fluff, Mr. Happy-Face, P or PG rating, or perhaps R ratings based on swearing or violence. A true "art house", "artsy - f--tsy", "thinkin' " movie. The remarkable finish leaves the audience stunned, astonished, agog. Expand
  60. Dec 24, 2010
    10
    I hate to be so vulgar but this movie was a total mindf*ck; and I mean that in the best way. Seriously, I don't know how else to describe it. Whatever it feels like to drop acid, that's what this movie was like. Mesmerizing. Uncomfortably intense, dark, powerful, creepy, sexy, and heartbreaking. I recommend you see it; it will kick your ass and you'll love every second of it!
  61. Dec 24, 2010
    10
    As any movie, Black Swan has it's little defects. Even though i am willing to call it - Masterpiece. Natalie Portman's performance is breathtaking. We see Nina as a skilled ballet dancer obsessed of the desire of being perfect. She has the greet opportunity of playing the lead role in Swan Lake, but to take it she has to become the very best. Finally it results that the only obstacle on her way is her own personality. That is one of those love or hate movies. As you watch it you stop thinking about the other stuff and once it is over you spend several seconds or even a minute staring at the screen, processing the information, while wondering what exactly you just saw. As the time passes by the image becomes clearer and at the end you succeed in realising it's message. For me that's the idea of a brilliant movie, the one that leaves a trace behind in your mind and soul. Expand
  62. Dec 25, 2010
    10
    Natalie Portman was difficult to watch in this so-called psychological thriller. Her quest for perfection took her into the uncharted territory of real/imagined physical injuries and damages, real/imagined conflicts with her demanding and smothering mother and her jealous competitors, and real/imagined conflicts about her sexuality.
    This movie was painful to watch because it WENT NOWHERE
    and had no UNDERSTANDABLE RESOLUTION in the final frame. If I had ten thumbs, they would all be DOWN in rating this abortive attempt at defining the conflicts of a woman searching for ultimate acceptance of her talents by all her peers and her critics. An absolutely HORRIBLE, DEPRESSING MOVIE!! Expand
  63. Jan 5, 2011
    10
    F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece. F'in Masterpiece.
  64. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    I loved this movie! Natalie Portman was mesmerizing! I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie. It was exhilarating and disturbing at the same time. An Oscar contender for certain. I would see this movie again.
  65. Jan 10, 2011
    10
    This movie is ally hype. It's nothing more than a compilation of lesbian sex scenes, blood and emotion. If this is what the world calls a good movie I seriously wonder what the hell is in the water these days! Americans need to wake up and see what is essentially softcore porn.
  66. Jan 23, 2011
    0
    Really one of the worst movies of 2010. Pointless and dull, movie felt like a soft porno. This movie will only get little virgins excited about the sex scenes. This is not art.
  67. Feb 13, 2011
    10
    I like lesbians so when that lesbian scene came up, I was all like "Awh sweet, I like this." So if you want to catch some hot lesbian action, watch this movie. They lez out.
  68. Feb 13, 2011
    0
    Who wrote this crap?!! What an objectionable, cluttered, incoherent, sophomoric mess. Give me "Repulsion", "The Tenant" or "Gaslight" instead of this pretentious, infantile drivel.
  69. Feb 21, 2011
    5
    High art, beautiful photography, great costumes. So so acting, over the top plot, with a few memorable moments. Go to an afternoon showing or wait for it to come to your ondemand service.

    This movie does not deserve an Academy Award nomination. It's good, but overhyped.
  70. Feb 22, 2011
    0
    Awful movie! I almost walked out like half the audience! What were the critics thinking? Ok, she does a decent acting job but 80% of the movie is nothing but pure PORN! if that's what you're looking for then enjoy. Personally I had no desire to see girl on girl and other sexual acts on a large screen. Trailers & movie description VERY MISLEADING. I left wanting my money and sense of decency back.
  71. Apr 10, 2011
    0
    Boring and disturbing. Could not even finish it. I do not qualify insanity and boarder line porn ART. This movie was so uncorfortable that we decided to not put ourselves through any more torture.
  72. Jul 4, 2011
    2
    A lite porno with a tacked on story line that was as "thrilling" as watching a silent horror movie from the silent movie era where the only sound was that of a piano being played to enhance the viewers mood during those otherwise silent screenings. Except this movie doesn't have that piano to enhance the mood. The only disturbing sound throughout this entire movie is that of a protagonist that, when speaking, stuck out like a broken, ill confident little child. Would this kind of character ever get to be the star of a leading production ballet company? I don't even hardly think so.

    If the protagonist in this movie were to have been, from the start, an over confident and obnoxious character that slowly descended into madness then this would have been much more thrilling. Instead the meek and clueless character gets a little less meek and a little less clueless and then completely breaks. Bearing in mind that the impact of this break might be equally reflected by an egg cracking on the floor after having been accidentally dropped, not thrown. Not a very surprising result, really.

    The actors made a valiant attempt at playing the characters that they were assigned. It's just a shame that the characters were all bland.


    This film gets 2 points from me. The lite and brief porn scene at least made me sit up straight in my chair and grabbed my attention that little bit more for those few, undeserving seconds.
    If you're a fan of ballet then you might appreciate the behind-the-scenes drama this film shows. If you're not a fan of ballet then I would suggest you look elsewhere for a thrilling time.
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  73. Jul 3, 2011
    10
    Honestly. The best movie I've ever seen. I believe it was a nicely cast film and well written. It takes you deep into the psychologically disturbed mind of Nina (Natalie Portman). It's apparent that Nina is a closed off "mama's" girl. Nina, still living with her mother and sleeping in a pink bedroom, starts the film seeming rather normal with a few odd things such as the scratches on her back. Things seem to spiral further into psychological torment after she is cast as Swan Queen in "Swan Lake". She, as well as the audience, begins to see things wrong with her that everyone around her cannot see. For example, the tearing of skin off her finger in the bathroom, the lesbian love scene with Lily (Mila Kunis). In this fantastic psychological thriller Natalie Portman reaches what seems to be deep down to be able to portray herself as this disturbed soul. The last scene is simply breathtakingly fantastic, leaving you in awe and wanting more. One of the best film's I have ever seen. I say you must watch "Black Swan". Expand
  74. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    Black Swan is gripping, dramatic, intense and passionate and Natalie Portman brings all that in her unforgettable performance. This movie also has a strong performance from Mila Kunis and has some cool visual effects that fit the movie. I give this movie 93%.
  75. Jan 9, 2012
    9
    This movie is plain brilliant. The stronghold is its script as with all movies, but this one in particular stands out because of its very unique and dynamic development. The storyline is very original and it is putted out in the same way, with a very intriguing and terrifying psychological plot. The concept of madness is its central element, and it is unwrapped is a way that will make you feel it yourself. The horror also takes deep involvement in the telling of this story and it has a huge part on constructing the mind altering movie this is. Over another aspect; the acting is as well excellent, with wonderful performances that have proven to be an essential part of this production with major contributions to the whole feeling of it. Totally amazing, this dark and machiavellian title will challenge your mind as never before and make you experience the psychological evolution through unexpected twists until achieved the utmost insanity seen in this movie. Expand
  76. Oct 17, 2011
    9
    Black Swan is almost as perfect as it's protagonist's final performance. With an incredibly detailed, perfected, yet subtle performance by Natalie Portman - a career best, most certainly - Black Swan manages to keep ones attention fully throughout the length of the film. Not only does Portman shine, but so does the supporting cast, especially Barbara Hershey and Mila Kunis. With many fantastical aspects to the film, it is somewhat confusing and keeps one on the edge of their seat, since we never know what is really happening with Nina (Portman) and her surrounding. The cinematography is beautiful and the editing is done quite superbly. The musical score is very appropriate, with beautiful music by Tchaikovsky, including a techno-redo for a club scene, done by the Chemical Brothers.
    The only aspect of the film that left me wanting more was a pre-story to Nina's situation. Yes, the focus of the film is rather appropriate, but a nice extra 5-10 minutes at the beginning to set the stage would be nice. Or some sort of flashbacks? That, of course, would take away from the mystique of the film, but by the end I did feel I wanted to know more about Nina and how she got to where she was. The film did that in many ways effectively, but I still felt there were some things Aronofsky could have worked out.
    Nonetheless, one of the best films of the year, by far! Excellent!!
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  77. Dec 30, 2010
    10
    I really love Natalie Portman's performance ever in this dark twisted movie. She really scared everyone in the audience. Black Swan is a perfect film that shows a character who really wanted to become a perfect ballerina so she can be in the musical stage and then she got split personality on herself that she couldn't control herself all because of the fears of practicing ballet. But also,I really love for my personally favorite is to all of you men,that we love to see Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are making out in this picture,that's it! Expand
  78. Feb 17, 2011
    6
    Aronofsky is brilliant as a director and Natalie Portman as an actress. But "Black Swan"doesnt have the psychological impact of "Requiem for a Dream" or the connection viewer-protagonist of "The Wrestler." The scares are predictable and somewhat ruin the atmosphere that Aronofsky tries to create. The music and cinematography are fantastic.
  79. Feb 14, 2011
    9
    "Black Swan is a disturbing , shocking , moving sadistic tale , that is captivating , compulsive and a work of art just shy of a masterpiece and will be no surprise when Natalie Portmen wins the Oscar for Best Actress" ... A-
  80. Jan 6, 2011
    10
    Bravo! Encore! The best film I have seen for a very long time.
    A spectacular film, through the brilliant mind of Aranofsky who never ceases to impress me. The story is gripping, with strong contrast between beauty and elegance with darkness and insanity. The score is really moving and adds to the suspense and the surprisingly the previously shallow Portman brings a rich in layer and
    depth performance worthy of many awards! Expand
  81. Dec 18, 2010
    8
    This movie was good but the story limited the effect as one knew what the outcome would be. They did a great job of keeping you rattled and not sure of what was real and unreal. Portman dazzled as did Hershey who creeped me out. This will make my top ten but not the first five.
  82. Dec 18, 2010
    8
    Natalie Portman gives a career-defining performance as a ballerina who's been chosen to dance the title role in "Swan Lake." Her lack of confidence and obsession with perfection rise to hallucinatory levels before it's all over. Director Darren Aronofsky knows how to create a character's world that's intimate and potent. This time he and Portman have plumbed the depths and emerged with a dark, compelling character study. Expand
  83. Jan 30, 2011
    6
    It was beautiful that's for sure. But honestly, do they think their audience is stupid? The ending ruined the entire movie! Portman was fine, but the real praise should be going to Mila Kunis & Vincent Cassel who steal the show each and everytime they are on screen.
  84. Mar 30, 2011
    3
    I understand what this film tried to do and what direction it took and why. But i couldn't help but feel so bored throughout all this film.

    It's a love hate thing. Natalie Portman takes up so much of this film, if you don't like her character you won't like this film. Which i didn't.
  85. Dec 22, 2010
    9
    this movie is the best I saw in 2010, amazing, one of the best music underscore.! Portman just wonderful, everything was spectacular ... This combination of psychological drama is a mixture of feelings that you uncoordinated and keeps you glued to the screen until the last minute
  86. Dec 21, 2010
    10
    This movie is stunning. I just love a movie when, after you leave, you can't stop thinking about it and talking about it. Well made and well acted, a must see.
  87. Dec 22, 2010
    9
    Outstanding Acting, Directing, and story. One of the best thriller movie i seen. Outstanding performance by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. On of the year best films. This movie is going catch your attention from beginning to end. I enjoy this movie a lot. Natalie Portman gave such a good performance in this movie. I love thriller movies like this. I think this is a movie ever body would enjoy. Very crazy and amazing movie. Expand
  88. Dec 19, 2010
    9
    "Black Swan" is a terrifying and beautiful psych-thriller which completely blew me away. I almost felt genuinely sick while watching the movie, similar to the feeling I had while watching the downward spiral that was "Requiem for a Dream;" but I can't say that it wasn't amazing. "Black Swan" hits you at your emotional core, and Portman's performance in the film may very well be her best outing to date. The film follows Nina (Natalie Portman), the main character and recently selected lead in her studio's upcoming production of "Swan Lake," through the weeks leading up to the debut of the play (which is re-instated in a more simple form to attempt to defibrillate the struggling company). As her instructor Thomas (Vincent Cassel) states, the role is very dynamic, and requires her to get "loose" to play the seductive and deceptive black swan. She struggles at first, but soon finds darkness in a life filled with innocence, and becomes ensnared in the role. The movie turns into a nightmarish and terrifying struggle between good and evil, as Nina battles amongst herself to try to come to grips with the ballet role that is consuming her life, and her soul. The film is edgy, raw, and at times, outright frightening. It has that visceral and striking presence which Aronofsky is so masterfully talented at projecting, although it is purposely flawed so that you are sick to your stomach with Nina's mental health. It makes heavy work of symbolism and irony, and repeating themes include duality, hatred, anger, control and insanity. Personally, I loved the film. It is almost impossible to not be hypnotized by the intense cinematography, the outstanding performances, and the bold imagery. The entrancing score by Clint Mansell, a long-time collaborator of Aronofsky's, is real and powerful, and perfectly captures the essence of the film's most intense moments. I guess the one thing which kept me from giving it a ten would be that the film almost does too much at times. It is complicated, and although brilliantly conceived, it draws away from an audience which may more greatly appreciate it for it's terrifying reality, and not its symbolism and depth. Regardless, the movie is greatness in a bottle. If you haven't seen it yet, treat yourself over the holidays; you won't regret it. Expand
  89. Dec 11, 2010
    9
    It is one film of the year where I walk out of the theater and went, Hmm, nice! Well, that doesn't mean it's better than some other films I saw this year, but this is an impressive. Black Swan offers plenty of drama, plenty of thrilling moments, and plenty of sexiness. With a thrilling and perplexed performance by Natalie Portman, and stylish directing from Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan can go far. The story is more complicated than you think it is. It is not just about a ballet dancer, it is about a ballet dancer with deep mental issues. Nina is professional ballet dancer who got promoted to play the key role in a ballet performance, the Swan Queen. With a lot of pressure on her, the story proposes that she is obviously hallucinating about her body being deform. At first, I thought all of this was real because Natalie Portman is so believable. But as the story developed, I know for a fact that this girl has some serious mental issues. A summary about the film really doesn't do it justice, go watch it and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Black Swan demonstrates how ballet is as exciting and thrilling as an action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it. Natalie Portman might even win the Best Actress Oscar, that is if she beat Annette Bening (but she already locked herself an Oscar nod). Darren Aronofsky will probably snatch the Best Director nod, but Black Swan will definitely have a chance at the Best Picture run. Expand
  90. Dec 12, 2010
    10
    Amazing visceral acting, cinematography, score, and most importantly, the film deeply immerses you.

    Natalie Portman deserves an oscar nomination for her role.
  91. Dec 14, 2010
    9
    If you were a fan of The Wrestler you'll love this. If Requiem For A Dream flipped your stomach over, get ready for Black Swan. This movie was absolutely incredible. The story isn't unknown to the common movie-gower, but it doesn't have flashing signs and big arrows that yell "SYMBOLISM" or "METAPHORE". The surrealism mixed with the psychological torment of competition gave this film a VERY realistic feel for any person once involved with competitive theatre or dancing. All the actors were terrific and Mila Kunis was not shadowed by Natalie Portman, she stood her ground as her black swan and was a terrific supporting actress. Do what you can to see this movie. Do it. Expand
  92. Dec 17, 2010
    10
    Leaving the theater, my friend and I overheard a man say, The lesbian scenes werenâ
  93. Dec 19, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really feel like Aronofsky has found a happy medium between Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler with his latest masterpiece, Black Swan. He definitely takes his interpretation of Swan Lake and All About Eve to some unique places with the film. And he doesn't feel the need to have to make sense on a practical level, because he is using his chosen medium to express the torment Natalie Portman's character is going through as she prepares for the greatest role of her career. And the film parallels both the stories of Swan Lake and All About Eve's storylines on a metaphorical level that is raw and provocative. I have talked with many people who hated this film and our biggest degree of separation is the fact that I felt this film perfectly conveys what it is to put one's self out there on the stage, and what an actor (or dancer) must do to get to a certain place. They felt that the film's unrealities derailed it from the point it was trying to make. But I don't think a good filmmaker must be constricted by reality when trying to prove a point. An artist must separate themselves from who they are and become what the character demands. Portman's character didn't need to change to be the White Swan. But to be the Black Swan, she had to abandon everything her mother wanted her to be. Which brings me to the relationship between Portman and Barbara Hershey. I personally know girls who have this EXACT relationship with their mothers. I even know a girl who was named after Baryshnikov, who trained as a ballerina as a young girl, but ultimately gave up that dream and she has this exact relationship with HER mother. So needless to say this relationship REALLY spoke to me. The mother wants her daughter to remain innocent and perfect and be the ballerina in the box. But she ultimately becomes the broken and chipped away figurine because that's what life does to us. She has to rebel against her mother, her company, and even herself to find the darkness within that she needs to play this part. And if people don't really believe this is what artists go through, they don't have to look as far back as Van Gogh severing his ear to remember the fates of Heath Ledger and River Phoenix. Some artists who try and tap into the darkness wind up killing themselves in the same way Portman's character slips over the edge. That's why I think this movie is so spectacular, and why Portman deserves the Oscar. Her transformation was flawless. And lovely to watch. And Clint Mansell's hypnotic score ushered us along in perfect sync with Portman's descent. For someone who has enjoyed ballets and operas and theatre in general, Aronfsky has given us a dour tour de force that should satisfy most pallets, whether they can handle the macabre elements or not. I can't wait to see what he does with The Wolverine. Haha. Expand
  94. Dec 19, 2010
    9
    Natalie Portman does for Black Swan what Mickey Rourke did for The Wrestler. Both players pushed themselves physically and emotionally to lend gravitas to an art form that isn't widely respected or understood. She brings such life to her roll. She embodies anxiety, fear, excitement, frustration, and sexual confusion. Every other character in the film represents some external source of emotion. None of the supporting players gets three dimensions. Each fills a role: "the mother," "the director," "the rival," "the former star." To that end, each of those characters inspires a different sort of anxiety, curiosity, dread, or fury in the central character, and Natalie Portman brilliantly evokes the oftentimes subtle distinctions between those emotional responses. It's fascinating to watch. Expand
  95. Dec 26, 2010
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Aronofsky's dizzying and dazzling new film grabs the audience and take them on a ride through the intense trials and pressures on a increasingly unstable ballerina played masterfully by Natalie Portman. Aronofsky's engaging camerawork places you directly in the action and dares you to join him on his feverish trip through Nina Sayers' mind. Although Aronofsky's film may not be "perfect" like Nina's final, suicidal performance, it comes close. Expand
  96. Dec 31, 2010
    5
    He pulled it together by introducing Kunis' character and a solid ending, but the opening half hour is atrocious. overall, it's a bit overwrought for my taste, but i did appreciate the campy humor and quality acting.
  97. Mar 6, 2011
    6
    Let's face it: the movie is poor. The only worth mentioning idea is the hallucinating part of Natalie; apart from this, i was very frustrated and nervous watching this movie. I somehow felt it from the beginning that is a poor movie, but i give it a chance. i was disappointed. It is for sure not worth the Oscar. It will be forgotten in time.
  98. Jan 9, 2011
    9
    The little girl in LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL (1994) had grown up now. Natalie Portman is at her peak performance so far. Team up with heavy-caliber Director Darren Aronofsky, they made a beautiful story but horrifying at the same time. Aronofsky is invincible, especially when he explored human desperation, like in his previous films REQUIEM OF A DREAM (2000), THE FOUNTAIN (2006) and THE WRESTLER (2008). For about 100 minutes of the movie, I felt like I was experiencing the theater performance, not just like a common movie. It filled with beautiful images and great orchestra. Nina (Portman) is a chosen ballerina to fulfil her dual roles all at once, to be irresistible innocence White Swan and also to become seductive evil Black Swan. Slowly but sure, the darker side of Black Swan absorbs her real life. I love the brilliant Cinematography. Aronofsky seemed to use two techniques of camera work. One was for The Long Shot, he used steady conventional method. And the second for The Close-up, he used Hand-held Camera. I had ever said that Hand-held Camera is modern technique in today cinematic world. Not only for Action, but recently for Drama as well, Hand-shake Camera is able to effectively drag you into the middle of ongoing situation, if you are not using Hand-held Camera, you are out of date now. The Cast is amazingly fit. Vincent Cassel is fit for provocative and ambitious Ballet Instructor. Mila Kunis is fit for seductive and ambitious Nina colleague. Barbara Hershey is fit for authoritarian and ambitious mother. And even a brief but impressive appearance by Winona Ryder as anxious and ambitious competitor. Yeah, it is all about ambition and you can see it in each character, all of them have their own ambition. However, the star of all stars above is Portman herself. She shows her darker side successfully, you could literally feel her pain, pressure and paranoia situation. The movie becomes more mysterious with some unusual sex scenes. For the last half hour of film duration, she drives us into beautiful but ironic condition, sometimes absurdity become the part of it. Those last scenes are extremely horrified, with broken fingernail, peeling skin and fractured bone for the elements. I almost could categorize thiz movie as a Horror movie. The movie emphasizes in every beautifulness of ballet, there is dark side that we never know before. Finally, I just want to say, It was perfect.


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  99. Jan 11, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Making a deep art experience a horror film is a big, big flaw. Making a horror film a deep art experience, a big sin as well. Aronofsky has usually a deep insight and great, great imagery, but like in Requiem for a Dream the one-dimensional plot is a problem and it can be summarized in "drugs are bad". On the Wrestler, that's a perfect example of a good main character. In here, instead of creating two faces of a same character (depth!), he keeps playing with one dimension in two characters. Where's the moment that the actress mixes the two swans and get in control of that? Besides the 'actress-killing-rival-before-premier' is quite worn out already. I was expecting a true transformation, a true character, and all that was shown is a girl that cannot stop whining and an alter-ego that is a plain murderer. Everything else was stunning, and brought high art to the masses: the songs, the grace of the swans, the art environment, and a specifically good scene where the teacher, tryint to seduce her, shows her (and us) the true meaning of ballet. I just think it needed characters with more depth to add verisimilitude to it. Expand
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: Dan Jolin
    Jan 17, 2011
    80
    An extraordinary, intoxicating movie. Its hard, twisted edges may turn off some, but there's no faulting either Aronofsky's technical mastery or Portman's flawless performance.
  2. Reviewed by: Kristin Hunt
    Jan 6, 2011
    100
    Just like the final performance by its deeply disturbed heroine, Black Swan is perfect.
  3. 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.