Black Swan

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 957 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 957
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  1. 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
  2. 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,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
  3. 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.
  4. 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'sAs 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
  5. 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 thatConsidering 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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,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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 torturedLets 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
  12. 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'dI 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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  13. 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 andI 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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 beIf 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. Collapse
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Jan 14, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. the lead actress is very nice. She had a superb acting. the movie is good but it is not as exciting or thrilling as I expected it to be. Since from the beginning I already guessed that Nina has psychological disorder so its not thrilling for me anymore. however, it is still a bit confusing. Expand
  20. May 31, 2011
    4
    I am deeply confused by Black Swan. On one hand it is an astonishing mix of twists and turns, displaying the very essence of madness and obsession. But it has quite a flaw. When I watch a film I feel for the characters. Whether its because I hate them or love them, I become attached and care about what happens to them. In Black Swan, I never really cared what happened to the characters.I am deeply confused by Black Swan. On one hand it is an astonishing mix of twists and turns, displaying the very essence of madness and obsession. But it has quite a flaw. When I watch a film I feel for the characters. Whether its because I hate them or love them, I become attached and care about what happens to them. In Black Swan, I never really cared what happened to the characters. The director has created abominations. Extremely talented acting, but each portrayed in such a way as you cannot become attached to them. In it's main box office rival, the Kings Speech, I was infatuated by all the characters. For good or ill, i wanted to see what happened. In Black Swan, I was left un-moved. Expand
  21. 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.
  22. Jan 5, 2011
    6
    I just plain didn't enjoy this movie. I'd give it another chance if I thought I could sit through it again. It's not a ballet thing either... I could enjoy watching anything if I found the story engaging. Vincent Cassel is great at playing douches...there, I found something semi-positive. Did anyone notice that there was a lot of crotch grabbing in this film? That's all positive.
  23. Feb 15, 2012
    6
    I finally saw this movie recently. If I were rating this on a scale of ballerina/dance movies, it would get a flawless 10 out of 10 score. I never would have thought that a ballerina/dance movie could be this interesting. A lot of the credit goes to Natalie Portman, who is phenomenal in this movie. All that being said, as a movie, it's just pretty good. It simply wasn't entertainingI finally saw this movie recently. If I were rating this on a scale of ballerina/dance movies, it would get a flawless 10 out of 10 score. I never would have thought that a ballerina/dance movie could be this interesting. A lot of the credit goes to Natalie Portman, who is phenomenal in this movie. All that being said, as a movie, it's just pretty good. It simply wasn't entertaining enough, and there were too many scenes that didn't seem to have much of a point. Worst of all, I didn't feel much of a connection with any of the characters (as good as Portman was). I've heard some people compare this to the Wrestler (which seems pretty fair). The difference between those two though is that Mickey Rourke's character seemed so much more human than Portman's character. It's pretty hard to really like Portman's character in this, considering she's a borderline pyscho. Decent movie, overhyped, probably won't see it again, but don't regret seeing it. Certainly gets points for originality. Expand
  24. Mar 29, 2013
    4
    sorry to break it to you fan boys but this movie is overrated the story is confusing Natalie Portman performance was solid but that can be said about anyone that will take her part in the movie the writing was awkward and don't even get me started on the homosexual parts of the movie.
  25. Jun 26, 2011
    6
    At first, I was hesitant towards this movie seeing as melodramas and ballet dancing aren't really my thing. But when I saw it I thought it really was rather good, at least in the wonderfully directed and choreographed dance sequences. It also makes a very effective thriller at times, with some horrific hallucinations that actually shocked me. The acting is over the top and the plot is veryAt first, I was hesitant towards this movie seeing as melodramas and ballet dancing aren't really my thing. But when I saw it I thought it really was rather good, at least in the wonderfully directed and choreographed dance sequences. It also makes a very effective thriller at times, with some horrific hallucinations that actually shocked me. The acting is over the top and the plot is very overly complicated and confusing, but if you like classical music, ballet and drama at its highest level, go see this film. Expand
  26. Jun 29, 2013
    6
    Great script with a strong, engaging storyline. Excellent acting throughout but a film about a ballet dancer losing her marbles just didn't interest me enough
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.