User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 148 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 148
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  1. Mar 14, 2015
    10
    One of my favorite films ever, really deep and the musical it's emotional fantastic, the soundtrack moves your soul with such a beautiful and Electro-organic sound that reflects perfectly the Selma feelings
  2. May 31, 2014
    9
    Dancer in the dark is a fantastic and touching musical drama with stunning interpretation of Bjork. I would love see her in another movie because she was simply perfect.
  3. Dec 26, 2013
    9
    Emotive and artistic. This is a Master piece, i dare to say it's the best film Von Trier has ever made.
    Björk becomes in a lovely mother that wants the best for his son... but we're not used to watch sad movies, may tear your heart appart.
  4. Oct 2, 2013
    10
    This movie is utterly depressing, but you can't help feeling its wonder of the musical. It's very inventive and compelling. Yet, the story is making us frustrated. It is very unique in its own way. See it, and i dare you not to cry at the end!
  5. Feb 15, 2012
    7
    Dancer In The dark by visionary film director Lars Von Trier is one of my favourite films, yes what my favourite film is doesn't matter, but this film is quite simply exquisite. This film uses all of the wonderful techniques seen in Dogme 95 films, to create a deeply immersive filmic experience. The handheld style helps to feel like you are watching a woman's life unfold tragically beforeDancer In The dark by visionary film director Lars Von Trier is one of my favourite films, yes what my favourite film is doesn't matter, but this film is quite simply exquisite. This film uses all of the wonderful techniques seen in Dogme 95 films, to create a deeply immersive filmic experience. The handheld style helps to feel like you are watching a woman's life unfold tragically before you. As it may not be to everyone's taste i'm sure, it is certainly a heart breaker, you cannot help but sympathise with Selma, and a powerful award wining performance certainly contributes to your emotions. For some reason I enjoy the musical/drama, a unique blend. I find it hard to find flaws, and to me it will be a narrative and aesthetic masterpiece. Expand
  6. May 29, 2011
    7
    Lars von Trier never fails to impress and distress in his films. Dogville, Antichrist, Manderlay and Dancing In The Dark, which this one is his most gripping work. Situated in a United States built in the middle of England, since the director refuses to ride a plane, but compensates by rebuilding the spirit of the country and its people with pesonal perfection, the film tells the story ofLars von Trier never fails to impress and distress in his films. Dogville, Antichrist, Manderlay and Dancing In The Dark, which this one is his most gripping work. Situated in a United States built in the middle of England, since the director refuses to ride a plane, but compensates by rebuilding the spirit of the country and its people with pesonal perfection, the film tells the story of the sweet and innocent Selma, suffering from a disease that will leave her blind and that by being hereditary, then began to affect his beloved son Gene. Despite being in immigrant status, work hard in a factory, living in a small trailer for the properties of a couple and have to struggle to save money for an operation for her son, who refuses to reveal, even tense moments in the film, Selma with her spirit always remains light and dreamy and outrageously good throughout the movie, a character without becoming silly or annoying, but incredibly exciting. After committing a crime is intention, Selma sees everything so that struggled to escape her control, but still insists her goal of helping her son and her good behavior not to harm anyone. After the event climax, all sequences become distressing and depressing, in placing side by side with the pain of the character and causing outrage, anger and absolute sadness in particular at the crime scene and the final sequence. The few, crucial musical moments, are very similar to the work of Björk, a somewhat surreal atmosphere, which take place in the mind of Selma, and act as a form of escapism from the harsh realities it faces. The acting is another highlight for the movie. Björk surprised with an interpretation intense and moving every second of the film, which unfortunately wasnâ Expand
  7. May 7, 2011
    8
    The movie is shot like a documentary which magnifies the sadness of the ending. It is a sad sad movie and has no moral message to offset the tragic ending. Its a movie that i will always love but its always a movie that i would never recommend giving its fatalistic ending. Only for the strong at heart.
  8. Dec 25, 2010
    9
    If you think all this movie has is depression and really nothing else, I think you don't even have emotion. You can see the cast and director put so much of feelings and effort into the film. The film is equal to humanity. The themes of the story are love, compassion, greed and ignorance, and what else the human mind works. Lead actress Bjork acts and sings so impressively, the directorIf you think all this movie has is depression and really nothing else, I think you don't even have emotion. You can see the cast and director put so much of feelings and effort into the film. The film is equal to humanity. The themes of the story are love, compassion, greed and ignorance, and what else the human mind works. Lead actress Bjork acts and sings so impressively, the director chose the right actress to star and the correct composer who was Bjork. Sad film but many lessons learned from it indeed. Expand
  9. Dec 20, 2010
    10
    Dancer in the Dark is one of my favourite films ever. I cannot help but cry every time I watch it. The excellent performance by Bjork (surprisingly excellent, might I add) and the genius direction of Lars von Trier work perfectly to make one of the best films that have graced the film screen. Intensely disturbing, yet intensely gratifying and rewarding.
  10. Aug 27, 2010
    2
    A movie that will tear your heart apart - that is if you don't tear your eyes out first. It's too bad, because Björk showed so much promise as an actress in the beginning - but by the end her performance just relies on viewer sympathy and nothing else. To give it some credit, the musical sequences are very well done on their own, but they have no stylistic place in this movie
  11. AndrewP
    Sep 13, 2009
    9
    "Dancer" is one of the most thought-provoking, heart-wrenching films of the decade. It's a work of art that demonstrates that film as a medium, is still capable of evolving. "Bambi" may have been voted the saddest film ever, but surely, "Dancer" makes a mockery of any such list.
  12. ClifC
    Dec 23, 2008
    9
    Some reviews are simply made for speculations. This film is not about Lars von Trier's self-importance, I don't even know what's the reason of this statement! It's an original movie (even "worse", a musical film) that depicts the ordinary life of a mother who's ready to make everything, really hard, to save her son from blindness. It's common, yes, but the Some reviews are simply made for speculations. This film is not about Lars von Trier's self-importance, I don't even know what's the reason of this statement! It's an original movie (even "worse", a musical film) that depicts the ordinary life of a mother who's ready to make everything, really hard, to save her son from blindness. It's common, yes, but the movie breathes of sincerity and realism, with this touch of surrealism with Björk's extraordinary music and great voice. The performances are great, specifically Björk's one (this woman is really THE ART in itself). The story is black, cold. We are not invited to laugh in front of this movie, simply to see how cruel life can be. Depressing? Maybe, but life is sometimes worse than that. The only problem I noted is the way sometimes it's filmed. Sometimes hard to stomach. Maybe this film would have a metascore of 90 out of 100 if it was directed by Steven Spielberg. F**k Hollywood-boot-lickers reviewers! Expand
  13. SilentH
    Sep 9, 2008
    10
    One of the best movies Ive ever seen by far. A total masterpiece. Definitely recommend this movie.
  14. Fenwicke
    Jul 20, 2008
    4
    Bjork was great, but what was the point of this depressing movie?
  15. BrianC
    Jan 17, 2008
    10
    The only movie that has ever made me sob uncontrollably. That may sound like a bad thing, but this is simply an amazing film. I had the soundtrack prior to seeing the film and kinda knew that it was going to be something somber. She is amazing in this film. It is absolutely heart-wrenching, but a must-see nonetheless.
  16. Jeremy
    May 2, 2007
    10
    [maybe spoilers] Spectacular movie. Spectacular performances. Had this been done by a major famous Hollywood director, it'd be up for an Oscar - if anything for Bjork's wondrous lead performance. One thing that bothers me most about the critics giving poor reviews (20s, 30s, 40s) is that they blame it on the depression. "This si 2.5 hours of pure depression," or "the climax: [maybe spoilers] Spectacular movie. Spectacular performances. Had this been done by a major famous Hollywood director, it'd be up for an Oscar - if anything for Bjork's wondrous lead performance. One thing that bothers me most about the critics giving poor reviews (20s, 30s, 40s) is that they blame it on the depression. "This si 2.5 hours of pure depression," or "the climax: with death row unendurable." It bugs me cause THATS WHAT THE MOVIE IS! It's supposed to be gut-wrenching, and heart-wrenching. It's supposed to make you cry. Make you feel. Make you hate it. It drains you mentally and emotionally, and, sometimes, physically. It's not unendurable though, cause you need to see what happens to her. And then that last song and it's pure misery backing it up - it really gets to you. And when it gets cut off.... one of the most depressing and best endings I've seen to a movie. Though probably the most depressing movie I've ever seen, and probably one of the most depressing movies EVER MADE... it's incredibly well done and it ranks among my favorites. Expand
  17. AndrewW.
    May 14, 2006
    10
    This movie is simply amazing to me. So emotionally moving.
  18. BrettC.
    Mar 11, 2006
    10
    It is the first movie that made me cry in years; Bjork's performance is mind blowing, though the camera work can be a bit frustrating, the movie itself is thrilling.
  19. JoanneA.
    Feb 22, 2006
    9
    A stunningly emotive film, as true to life as it wants to be. The morale, " They say it is the last song / They don't know us, you see / It's only the last song / If you let it be" is one to live your life by.
  20. CraigB
    Oct 24, 2005
    8
    This movie is disturbing, really disturbing. But disturbing in a good way because it confronts the viewer with a reality of capital punishment that its strongest advocates mostly are not willing to face. Bjork is one of the most talented singer/songwriters of our time, and it was interesting to see her abilities as an actress, as well. The film loses points for its unnecessary overuse of This movie is disturbing, really disturbing. But disturbing in a good way because it confronts the viewer with a reality of capital punishment that its strongest advocates mostly are not willing to face. Bjork is one of the most talented singer/songwriters of our time, and it was interesting to see her abilities as an actress, as well. The film loses points for its unnecessary overuse of the shaky, handheld camera. Expand
  21. AmitS.
    Apr 30, 2005
    9
    For all it's apperent flaws and misleadings, this film is deeply affective piece of art. Bjork is a compelling protagonist. Von Trier is infamous for 'brutalising' the actors. The authenticity of this comment should not be debated; as this detail is incosequential to us, the audience. What should be commended, is the film's audacity, it's bold vision and it's For all it's apperent flaws and misleadings, this film is deeply affective piece of art. Bjork is a compelling protagonist. Von Trier is infamous for 'brutalising' the actors. The authenticity of this comment should not be debated; as this detail is incosequential to us, the audience. What should be commended, is the film's audacity, it's bold vision and it's sincere if bleak honesty. I've found myself on repeated occasions thinking about this film. Expand
  22. AnneC.
    Mar 26, 2005
    2
    This film is fascinating as a horror movie. I am horrified. Bjork's amazing voice and presence can't save the misdirected energy of this film from imploding. I feel embarassment for most involved other than Bjork who seems to live off of discomfort.
  23. Giulia
    Feb 25, 2005
    7
    I love lars von trier movies, but this one was a bit too sad. and my eyes are bad, and so i dont like this accpect.
  24. CatherineZ
    Jan 30, 2005
    10
    [***SPOILERS***] Best film ever... Bjork is awesome and the story is really great... But... the last scene was just too much for me... Seeing someone die like that... especially the part that she sings and the person make the floor go down, it's really wierd, but nice in a way...but the film is like that and I love it even if it's horryfying to see Bjork die... Wow! amazing film.
  25. JasonT
    Jan 20, 2005
    10
    There are few films that I have ever seen that impacted me like "Dancer In The Dark." I have put off seeing it for years, and now finally got around to it. I can't believe I waited so long. An absolutely crushing film. Goes down in the books as the first movie to make me cry since middle school. Amazing.
  26. HectorR.
    Nov 3, 2004
    9
    WOW! just speechless. even though it was a heart-breaking movie and gets you kind of dizzy sometimes, it's a very interesting prupose on how mixing drama and musicals. björk offers a powerfull atonishing near-to-perfection performance. definitely not for everyone, just for people with a fine modern taste, but worth watching. did i menction bjork offfering one of the best female WOW! just speechless. even though it was a heart-breaking movie and gets you kind of dizzy sometimes, it's a very interesting prupose on how mixing drama and musicals. björk offers a powerfull atonishing near-to-perfection performance. definitely not for everyone, just for people with a fine modern taste, but worth watching. did i menction bjork offfering one of the best female performances of all times??? Expand
  27. PaulD.
    Sep 11, 2004
    7
    Not for all tastes. Bjork is great, but the odd mixture of tragedy and musical numbers makes the movie erratic and difficult to watch. It reminded me of "Pennies From Heaven".
  28. IvanR.
    Apr 11, 2004
    10
    A masterpiece of sustained operatic feelings. Few movies can get an audience wailing in pain like this one did.
  29. LeeD.
    Mar 21, 2004
    10
    It's just... astounding. I can see why people would hate this film, I just feel so sorry for them. This movie does depress me, but only because I know Bjork will never act again after she gave (so far) the most powerfrul performance of this millennium. You can't miss it.
  30. DaveC.
    Dec 30, 2003
    10
    Von Trier, "you just did what you had to do" and made one Hell of a film in the process. This film is fresh, bold, prolific and utterly compelling, but be warned... IT'S NOT FOR ALL TASTES!!
  31. MarquezC.
    Oct 11, 2003
    10
    A very existential film where the only thing that matters is the truth, this life: here and now. The videography gives it a 'realistic' feeling towards the events that unfold. The characters are dealt with a lot of issues and the film is unafraid to tell a story to its fullest, regardless of judgmental consequences (ie. 'violent', 'graphic', etc). Life is Art A very existential film where the only thing that matters is the truth, this life: here and now. The videography gives it a 'realistic' feeling towards the events that unfold. The characters are dealt with a lot of issues and the film is unafraid to tell a story to its fullest, regardless of judgmental consequences (ie. 'violent', 'graphic', etc). Life is Art and Art is Life. This is both. Expand
  32. HarryC.
    Sep 30, 2003
    9
    Really revolutionary--despite some shackled carings for activated cells...
  33. GilbertM.
    Nov 12, 2002
    8
    I'm not going to stoop to insulting people just because they don't like this film. It's exactly like everything else Von Trier's made: boiled down, either you like it or you don't. Though why you'd boil yourself down, I don't know.
  34. JackD.
    Oct 25, 2002
    8
    A self-conscious dare and challenge to moviegoers and critics...
  35. CharlesG.
    Jul 24, 2002
    10
    Absolutely wonderful and intense, one of the best (if not the best) movies i've ever seen, I could say "I've seen it all" after watching these movie. And Bjork is just speechless, her acting it's so natural that you could believe that it's really happening in real life, also one of the best act performances i've ever seen.
  36. MichaelF.
    Jul 22, 2002
    6
    First-off... I LOVE Lars von Trier. I consider him one of, if not, the best filmmakers alive. This movie has a great 1st and 2nd act but it's 3rd act is just SO SO SO SO SO off-putting and ridiculously depressing. Yeah, it's powerful stuff but it is just depressing for depression's sake. Bjork is great, more than great, UNBELIEVABLY ASTOUNDING! LOVE the casting, so many of First-off... I LOVE Lars von Trier. I consider him one of, if not, the best filmmakers alive. This movie has a great 1st and 2nd act but it's 3rd act is just SO SO SO SO SO off-putting and ridiculously depressing. Yeah, it's powerful stuff but it is just depressing for depression's sake. Bjork is great, more than great, UNBELIEVABLY ASTOUNDING! LOVE the casting, so many of my favorite actors in one movie makes me incredibly happy, even though the movie is the most off-putting movie ever made. Great performances all-around. Beautiful direction, wonderful musical-esque scenes, great songs, great performances. But just depressing for depression's sake. Imagine Breaking the Waves, the musical except much much more depressing. Now, Breaking the Waves was much more meaningful and powerful. I'm okay with downers but this movie really fell apart as soon as she was (SPOILER) arrested and tried and hung. Yeah the whole death-row bit was SO SO SO depressing and powerful but unessesary. But, Lars von Trier is the next John Cassavetes and that makes me a very very very very happy man. Expand
  37. JökulskonaF.
    Jun 22, 2002
    8
    Even though I do like Björk and I did love the movie, it still had a few problems that involved the sound. It was difficult to follow at times since the voices were muffled and low. It was a bit too shakey at times. This was a creative aspect of it but it was too much. Bjork did an amazing job and so did Catherine Deneuve as well as everyone else, but I am grading the movie as a Even though I do like Björk and I did love the movie, it still had a few problems that involved the sound. It was difficult to follow at times since the voices were muffled and low. It was a bit too shakey at times. This was a creative aspect of it but it was too much. Bjork did an amazing job and so did Catherine Deneuve as well as everyone else, but I am grading the movie as a whole, not the marvelous actors. It seems Lars Von Trier could have worked out those technical issues and made it worthy of 10 stars in my book. The story was creative and amazingly I was not sad at the end. It made me think and I was happy at least something good came in the end namely for Gene and then for Selma who finally was truely happy knowing she succeeded. Expand
  38. EricS.
    Mar 31, 2002
    10
    Seems to be an archetypal love-it-or-hate-it film, and I loved it. Everyone who hated it seems to point out smugly that the premise and characters are implausible or downright exploitative. But these pretentious, jaded critics are missing the damned point. This movie is a musical fantasy that seamlessly fuses a morbid vision with a celebration of the joie de vivre. And yes, Bjork is perfect.
  39. J.J.L.
    Jan 30, 2002
    4
    I am a great Lars von Trier fan, and have seen nearly everything of his that's been exhibited in the U.S. (Zentropa, Breaking the Wave, The Idiots, The Humiliated, parts of The Kingdom I and II). In this case, he really messed up. The musical interludes are boring and pointless - they in no way contribute to the story or our undertanding of Bjork's character, which we need both I am a great Lars von Trier fan, and have seen nearly everything of his that's been exhibited in the U.S. (Zentropa, Breaking the Wave, The Idiots, The Humiliated, parts of The Kingdom I and II). In this case, he really messed up. The musical interludes are boring and pointless - they in no way contribute to the story or our undertanding of Bjork's character, which we need both because Bjork can't act her way out of a paper bag, and on top of that the script has her character making incomprehensibly stupid decisions. Plus, the lighting stinks. Expand
  40. PeterG.
    Oct 24, 2001
    10
    It's one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. I've seen it 5 times in the same week. The character of Selma is just wonderful. Bjork's passion is equally wonderful. I loved it. There's nothing else to say. I LOVED it. If there's any LOVE in your heart, go see this movie.
  41. SeonadP.
    Oct 10, 2001
    10
    Bjork bjork bjork bjork bjork bjork... compelling, wonderful, imaginative, tear wrenching... simply beautiful.
  42. GaryR.
    Sep 21, 2001
    10
    My favorite film. An amazing masterpiece that touches your heart and makes you think. One of the best films ever. Bjork delivers an incredible performance and the story, along with its ending, is unforgettable. A must-see.
  43. [Anonymous]
    Aug 17, 2001
    10
    This movie is haunting; it stays with you days after you've seen it. Does justice to the power of music. Bjork is a genius.
  44. PatriciaB.
    Jul 6, 2001
    10
    I rented the video and had to watch it twice. I had several emotions all rolled up into one. Bjork pulled off a magnanimous feat. What a wonderful actress.
  45. Daddy
    May 31, 2001
    10
    Oh yeah...
  46. Daddy
    May 31, 2001
    10
    Oh yeah...
  47. RichardC.
    May 28, 2001
    10
    A classic, no doubt. A truly beautiful and unique artform. The only people who rate this movie low are clearly those ignorant, close-minded fools who can't appreciate anything but going to church all day and scraping roadkill off the highway for dinner. Idiots.
  48. CarrieR.
    May 27, 2001
    10
    It made my heart ache like only the best things can.
  49. EthanK.
    Mar 8, 2001
    3
    An unbearable, pretentious crock with a fascinating premise.
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. 89
    Easily the year's most trying, tormented, and thrilling movie ordeal.
  2. 88
    It is a bold, reckless gesture.
  3. 80
    I was astonished to find myself weeping copiously over von Trier's latest, which is another parable of monomaniacal sainthood.