Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    In the end, it's best to make peace with the film's essential and deliberate inscrutability -- something Lynch fans have learned to do since Twin Peaks -- and to simply marvel at Dern's astonishing performance, which few actresses are likely to top anytime soon.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    100
    Inland Empire is interchangably terrifying, maddening, shockingly hilarious and perversely exciting, and that's just to those who end up disliking it.
  3. 88
    My advice, in the face of such hallucinatory brilliance, is that you hang on.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Inland Empire may be the most aggressively surreal feature film ever released to movie theaters in this country, and it's possibly close to the movie David Lynch carries around in his head.
  5. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    100
    While I did enjoy the ride I took with the film, after the lights came up I was just thrilled Lynch was allowed to create such a journey for us to go on. Imagine what the cinema world would be like if more great directors threw caution to the wind and followed their artistic vision. It's a world I'd like to see and I hope Lynch continues to pave the way.
  6. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    100
    A dazzling and exquisitely original riddle as told by an enigma, featuring a superb, multi-layered performance by Laura Dern.
  7. Only David Lynch could make the incomprehensible so compelling.
  8. David Lynch's first digital video, almost three hours long, resists synopsizing more than anything else he's done. Some viewers have complained, understandably, that it's incomprehensible, but it's never boring, and the emotions Lynch is expressing are never in doubt.
  9. 90
    It is Lynch's most experimental endeavor in the 30 years since "Eraserhead," that it will do nothing to draw new fans to the director's work and that, after two viewings, I cannot wait to see it again.
  10. One of the few films I've seen this year that deserves to be called art. Dark as pitch, as noir, as hate, by turns beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying, the film is also as cracked as Mad magazine, though generally more difficult to parse.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 65
  2. Negative: 19 out of 65
  1. NeilL
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Now that the critical dust has settled (love it or hate it, as always), this film stands out as Lynch's most complex, troubling and Now that the critical dust has settled (love it or hate it, as always), this film stands out as Lynch's most complex, troubling and perverse work. For that feat alone it deserves the highest score possible. It will continue to fascinate and perplex. Full Review »
  2. DerekC
    Oct 24, 2008
    9
    I'VE BEEN LYNCHED! - Bad, inevitable joke, but also fitting. One has to trust Mr. Lynch to sit through a film like this. What does one I'VE BEEN LYNCHED! - Bad, inevitable joke, but also fitting. One has to trust Mr. Lynch to sit through a film like this. What does one do with the grotesque in this film, as in his others? How about the evil, the innate self-destructiveness and pathetic cluelessness of mankind? There is no such thing as a happy ending in a Lynch film, despite appearances to the contrary. We're put through an intriguing, in your face nightmare. What does one do? Oddly enough it is possible to enjoy it. As a fan of Alain Resnais films, which are typically cryptic and challenging, I consider David Lynch to be the next generation of his school transplanted and grown in America. Inland Empire is so buried in the current American psyche it is startling. It digs right down to its twisted and self-strangling roots. Our culture is incomprehensibly bizarre. Inland Empire reflects that and leads you to feel like a victim of our own country's behavior. It's the undercurrent spirit of the age, increasingly so as time continues past the release date of the film. Then there are the parallels of the film inside the film inside the mind of the lead character that take place in Poland. Surprise America. Mankind has been there and done that before elsewhere in the world. How do humans entertain themselves? Persistently. Perennially. We don't just invent 'American' dreams. We consistently insist upon inventing dark games of deceit, sex and intrigue. Like it or not, we all make Lynch films of our lives. And we find it entertaining in the moment of each moment's birth. What are we? Why are we so dark? Why has mankind alone invented evil? With a bit of cinematic magic and flash, David Lynch dares put us through a hall of mirrors in an attempt to find out. The challenge: find the thread of sanity that holds us together. To Lynch fans, surviving the journey is worth the knowledge of understanding. Can we learn from our mistakes? Can we grow? Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2015
    5
    Wow. I love a good amount of David Lynch's work. I LOVE Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. I liked Lost Highway and Dune. But IWow. I love a good amount of David Lynch's work. I LOVE Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. I liked Lost Highway and Dune. But I cannot recommend Inland Empire. The exercise feels pointless and at the end, you will wonder why you wasted your time watching it.

    Okay maybe I'm being a little too harsh. The movie is creepy, I will give it that. Also, it is intriguing enough the whole way for you to wonder what actually is happening/going to happen. But the payoff in null (and I don't mean null as in not explained, David Lynch never outright explains anything).

    From an acting perspective, Laura Dern is great in other movies and she is great here. Justin Theroux is cool as usual, but he severely underutilized, which is unfortunate to say the least. All other acting in the movie is fine.

    If you need a creepy fix and/or like David Lynch, maybe watch this. I personally wouldn't recommend it. But I can see someone liking so, figure it out yourself! (Good Luck)
    Full Review »