Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. While the significance of the imagery, including the slow disintegration of an immense piece of sculpted petroleum, is elusive, the strangeness of Barney's visual sense never fails to stimulate the senses.
  2. 91
    You're either on the boat or off the boat with something like this. But for those willing to brave the open water, it's an awe-inspiring ride.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    A gorgeous feature that's both passing strange and undeniably beautiful.
  4. 80
    Conveys an intense sculptural loveliness with something moving beneath it, maybe a sense of menace. And it's leavened, like once per hour, with a teeny dash of humor. This isn't nearly as immediately likable or showy as "Cremaster 3," but in a quiet way just as spectacular.
  5. 75
    Songbird Bjork and artist hubby Matthew Barney team up in Drawing Restraint 9, and the spectacular result is exactly what should be expected from these one-of-a-kind creative oddballs.
  6. 75
    It's hard to shake the sense that there's less here than meets the eye, but what meets the eye burns with a rare intensity.
  7. Ultimately, the scale of the production and the expectation built into the release don't entirely justify the effort.
  8. The uninitiated viewer can admire it simply for the majesty of its visual poetry.
  9. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    A tapestry of sensuous, striking and sometimes disturbing imagery, Drawing Restraint 9 marks the latest cinematic visit to the wacky world of experimental artist Matthew Barney.
  10. 67
    As a narrative film, it's confounding and oblique – but still gorgeous to behold.
  11. 63
    Slow but rarely tedious.
  12. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Looks, feels, and tastes like a more accessible evolution of "Cremaster," so try to gauge your own tolerance for indulgent eccentricity (at 135 minutes, it could stand to lose 20).
  13. Visual artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney's follow-up to his acclaimed "Cremaster" film series continues this provocateur's penchant for outrageous imagery and numbing non-narratives.
  14. As visually stunning as it is, "DR9" is also more than two hours and contains, at best, 10 lines of dialogue, an ear-piercing Bjork score and no discernible plot.
  15. Reviewed by: Holly Willis
    It's difficult to see the characters as anyone but Barney and Björk, and the film's binary system, opposing hard and soft, East and West, male and female, etc., feels clumsy and simplistic. That said, there's creepy delight in seeing American consumption carried to its logical extreme.
  16. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    Those who fear that the mainstream of contemporary art has become little more than an extension of fashion will find no comfort in Drawing Restraint 9, Matthew Barney's latest big-budget ejaculation of ritual self-involvement and superficial foofery.
  17. Björk appears to have been a good influence on Barney: The soundtrack, which she supervised and participates in, is well worth the time for fans of experimental music. As to what the whole thing means, you're on your own.
  18. Sad to say, the new Matthew Barney opus, Drawing Restraint 9, made in collaboration with his main squeeze, Bjork, doesn't advance the Barney oeuvre an inch past where he left it with his massive, megalomaniacal opus known as the "Cremaster" series.
  19. 30
    The music Bjork wrote for the sound track is at least minimally accomplished, unlike Barney's staggeringly vacant direction.
  20. Reviewed by: Kenneth Baker
    Anyone who puts production gloss above performance, plot, dialogue and editing may thrill to Drawing Restraint 9.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 4 out of 6
  1. Deniz12s
    Jul 21, 2006
    I have seen the exhibit accompanying this film, and overall I think it's a big joke about the art world and American culture. Matthew Barney is just pushing limits to see how far he can go and still be called an "Artist" while creating very little that can actually be called art, or even that he made himself. Little Bjork is into the crazy imagery, and a lot of this film was probably for the purpose of impressing her. There is some interesting commentary on the role of whale slaughter and worship of the sea in Japanese culture, but it is so lost beneath the ridiculousness of the rest of the project, that it's almost beside the point. Full Review »
  2. PeterG.
    Jul 20, 2006
    Substantial organic talent is employed to produce this tedious and narcissistic film. I like obtuse art that is intelligently presented. This movies seems like giant egos (whale sized in fact) run amuck. I wish that some of the talented struggling artists out there had access to 1/100th the money and attention lavished on Barney. That's life on the post modern frontier. Full Review »
  3. KendraL.
    Jun 5, 2006
    I'm tempted to say that people who enjoy this would enjoy anything Bjork or Barney did, like throw up on stage. The images are striking, and the costuming is oddly intreguing, but I think the whole thing would have been better captured from a series of successful stills, rather than two hours of pointlessness. Full Review »