Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Bjork stars as Selma, a Czech immigrant and single mother working in a factory in rural America. She is losing her eyesight and her 10 year-old son stands to suffer the same fate if she can't put away enough money to secure him an operation. (FilmFour)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. 100
    One of the most searing experiences to be had at the movies this year.
  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.
  4. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    70
    Slow and depressing, but ultimately haunting film.
  5. What is meant to be an innovative, cutting-edge musical melodrama is so jumbled, irrational and amateurish that it makes dinner theater look like the Old Vic.
  6. Like a naive modernist hymn made by someone who doesn't, deep down, believe in hymns.
  7. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    20
    A 2½-hour demo of auteurist self-importance that's artistically bankrupt on almost every level.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48
  1. 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 BjorkDancer 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. Expand
  2. 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 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. Expand
  3. 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 [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
  4. 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 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
  5. 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 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
  6. 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 theThe 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. Expand
  7. 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 soA 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 Collapse

See all 48 User Reviews

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