Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    How often are psychosexual lunacy and classic cinema combined so fiendishly well?
  2. Enhanced by Jason Staczek's superb score, this is characteristically intense and, unlike most of Maddin's silent-movie models, frenetically edited.
  3. 88
    It's an astonishing film: weird, obsessed, drawing on subterranean impulses, hypnotic.
  4. The film is a singular achievement.
  5. 88
    Not many people are making silent horror serials these days, but Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin pushes his love of lurid melodrama to the limit in his latest demented treat, Brand Upon the Brain!
  6. A feverishly imaginative Freudian vampire film from Guy Maddin, is like a silent-movie serial by Louis Feuillade or an improbable collaboration between writer Oscar Wilde and photographer Man Ray.
  7. 83
    This much is guaranteed: You won't leave thinking you've seen the like before.
  8. 80
    The result is giddy, exciting and hilarious, not quite like any artistic experience you've ever had.
  9. Wildly imaginative if extremely strange.
  10. 75
    Coming after the inspired trifecta of "Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary," "Cowards Bend The Knee," and "The Saddest Music In The World," Brand feels a little like boilerplate Maddin rather than a fresh burst of inspiration.
  11. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    70
    Winnepeg filmmaker Guy Maddin isn't known for run-of-the-mill movies, but the feature he debuted at the Toronto Fest was outrageous even for him. A silent film taking the form of a twelve-chapter Feuillade-flavored serial and designed to have live accompaniment, the movie itself is a match for any of his features to date, and could outstrip earlier efforts in the arthouse arena.
  12. Delirious, ingenious, often very funny and strangely touching film.
  13. 88
    Audacious, hypnotic and utterly breathtaking.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    Billed as a silent film, Guy Maddin's Brand Upon the Brain! is actually closer to a live theatrical event -- a feature-length motion picture screened with the accompaniment of a live orchestra, plus Foley artists, sound effects technicians and assorted vocalists, too. Together, they provide the elaborate soundscape for a typically frenetic, Maddin-esque amalgam of the autobiographical, Freudian and willfully absurd.
  15. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    60
    Not to discredit its wild artistry by saying the gimmick's the prize, but . . . the gimmick's the prize. Without all the hoopla, there simply isn't enough variation to this stylized fever-dream to justify its fatiguing running time, nor to call it anything less than predictably Maddin–esque.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 25, 2011
    5
    I am not really sure what to say about this. I guess I just am never going to understand Surrealism/Art- house/ Expressionism. Supposedly a autobiographical (yeah right because my dad had a ring that he stuck into children's necks to harvest their nectar so he could make my mom young again too) this story is extremely well shot and edited as a modern day silent flick. The visuals and camera work are disturbing yet at the same time pleasing to the eye. The shrieks of mother from the audiophone are downright scary and the visuals of here in the watchtower swiveling back and forth looking for the children is horror at it's best, yet again I just can't really enjoy these movies for anything other than technique. The story's don't appeal to me and really make little sense unless completely over scrutinized and over analyzed. Full Review »