Dog Days


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14

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Critic Reviews

  1. Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.
  2. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    An acid portrait of contemporary Austria (and by extension, the whole middle class) as unspeakably dull, violent and stupid. The film itself, miraculously, is just the opposite: vibrantly inventive, aesthetically rigorous, sardonic and occasionally quite brilliant.
  3. 80
    The believability comes from the casting: he has found a group of actors and nonprofessionals who interact spectacularly well.
  4. 75
    Dog Days has much in common with "Code Unknown" -- both dart among several characters who may occasionally cross paths.
  5. His (Seidl) camera is shocking in its intimacy, his film surprisingly casual in its depiction of extreme behavior and the randomness of violence.
  6. 70
    Looks very much like a documentary: It's grainy and raw, and Seidl's actors -- a mix of actors and non-professionals -- are often unglamorously posed under what appears to be natural light.
  7. Willfully provocative, much like a small child performing outrageous acts just to get some attention.
  8. 70
    Dog Days is in fact a bleak but deeply felt humanism -- a yearning that we might all learn to better love our neighbors and, perhaps more importantly, ourselves.
  9. 50
    Dog Days adheres dogmatically to the school of sado-miserablism that Seidl's compatriots Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner have turned into something of a national industry (non-Austrian adherents abound too, from Gaspar Noé to Harmony Korine).
  10. Some scenes of Ulrich Seidl's first fiction feature (he's already a respected documentary maker) are so brutal and degrading that they're hard to watch. Others are highly atmospheric and sometimes quite funny.
  11. 50
    Working with non-professional actors, Seidl emphasizes their ordinariness to the point of cartoonish ridicule, putting them in scenarios either banal, perverse, or both at the same time.
  12. Occasionally provocative but frequently wearying.
  13. 50
    It is admirable and well-made, but unutterably depressing and unredeemed by any glimmer of hope.

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