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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 137 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
    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
    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
    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. Expand
  2. BrianC
    Jan 17, 2008
    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. Oct 2, 2013
    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! Expand
  4. ClifC
    Dec 23, 2008
    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
    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 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
    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. Collapse
  7. Aug 27, 2010
    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 Expand

See all 48 User Reviews


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