Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. Except for the tractors, and the tanks in the later desert battle sequences, Flanders could be taking place centuries ago. Or centuries from now.
  2. 88
    Unspeakable brutality ensues, including a rape, a castration and cold-blooded murder. Dumont never mentions Iraq, but the parallels are clear.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    With very little dialogue and lingering shots of the landscape -- always a very important visual trope in Dumont's deep-psyche explorations -- the film is nevertheless tighter and, clocking in at under 90 minutes, relatively brief.
  4. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Harrowing and complex, this study in terror is not for the faint of heart.
  5. 80
    The film arrives at a familiar conclusion -- that war is hell -- but the getting there is made uniquely unsettling by Dumont's relentlessly anti-psychological disposition.
  6. 80
    Nonprofessional actors Boidin and Leroux deliver intense performances which shoulder the emotional weight of the film.
  7. Flanders, which takes us from the rustic heartland of northern France to the killing fields of an unnamed foreign locale, has such a primitive poetry, we are moved even by its most gruesome moments.
  8. 75
    This film has few tangible pleasures, such as some somber shots of Demester walking far away in a field. Its achievement is theoretical. It wants to depict lives that are without curiosity, introspection and hope.
  9. Underneath the seeming blandness of its presentation -- the sparse dialogue, the affectless characters -- there's a ferocious and caustic view of humanity.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    With razor-sharp precision, Dumont interweaves scenes of battle with the unravelling of a young woman back home, involved with two of the soldiers. But this is not bleakness just for the sake of it. When it arrives, the ray of hope rings perfectly true for being so devoid of artifice.
  11. Whether you like or loathe Mr. Dumont’s movies, his unsettling vision of humanity stripped of cultural finery feels profoundly truthful.
  12. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    A somber, beautifully acted reflection on the barbarity of war and the bestiality of man.
  13. 67
    Once again, Dumont cycles through the pet themes of films like "L'Humanité" and "Twentynine Palms," but their repetition is beginning to seem like shtick.
  14. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    Bruno Dumont’s Flanders is something you don't see everyday: a decidedly non-sentimental love story.
  15. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    As a fan, it's upsetting to admit that Dumont's ideas and insights have narrowed with this picture, his relaxed pacing now lethargic, his physically and mentally thick characters too familiar, and his ice-water shocks a bit predictable. It would seem self-parodic if it weren't so damn tragic.
  16. Dumont is much more confident when he sticks to the title town and the young woman the men left behind; his habit of alternating close shots with extreme long shots and his singularly unsentimental way of showing sex are as distinctive as ever.
  17. 38
    A powerful film of suffering and sacrifice and desperation. But it's vacuous, banal, and, where its mix of sentiment and grisliness is concerned, rather despicable.
  18. Pretentious to the core and lacking any context or credible characterizations.
  19. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    Flanders is, dontcha know, a state of mind, and Dumont is plain out of his.

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