User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 128
  2. Negative: 25 out of 128
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  1. VenlkatR
    Jul 21, 2008
    4
    I thoroughly appreciate the fact that Lynch has experimented with this film in a way he hasn't done with any other. However, it is extremely private and the viewer is lucky to understand anything (if at all). Lynch admitted to having no script and instead handing over to each actor several pages of dialogue each day. Ultimately, the movies spirals down into an endless abyss of I thoroughly appreciate the fact that Lynch has experimented with this film in a way he hasn't done with any other. However, it is extremely private and the viewer is lucky to understand anything (if at all). Lynch admitted to having no script and instead handing over to each actor several pages of dialogue each day. Ultimately, the movies spirals down into an endless abyss of meaninglessness, and drowns in self-preservation. Work of art:yes, avant-garde:yes; but unless you are a hardcore Lynch fan , or love abstract art this movie is definitely not worth a watch. You will be left alienated, and would have rather spent them staring at a blank wall. Expand
  2. DamonC.
    Dec 17, 2006
    3
    I'm the biggest fan of David Lynch. I have seen Mulholland Drive 5 times, Lost Highway and Blue Velvet twice each, and relished Twin Peaks, The Elephant Man and Wild at Heart. But as much as I wanted to, I didn't go for IE. I think the story is actually very simple: Laura Dern's character, despite not heeding a warning against acting in a particular movie, go ahead and does I'm the biggest fan of David Lynch. I have seen Mulholland Drive 5 times, Lost Highway and Blue Velvet twice each, and relished Twin Peaks, The Elephant Man and Wild at Heart. But as much as I wanted to, I didn't go for IE. I think the story is actually very simple: Laura Dern's character, despite not heeding a warning against acting in a particular movie, go ahead and does it anyway and falls in love with her co-star. This opens the pathway into two alternate universes: (i) a white trash equivalent of Laura Dern's character, and (ii) a Polish mirror image. Much happens, but the essential thing is that through the magic (i.e. catharsis) of cinema, a person is able to transcend humdrum problems, even murders, and Laura Dern's character learn enough from the movie to be able to connect to her white trash and Polish selves, and is eventually able to penetrate into a new world, where even bad acting (notably by bunnies, and by implication, herself) receives thunderous applause. Okay, but so what? I sat through three hours of tedium without experiencing much suspense, mystery or in fact, any emotional connection with Laura Dern's incarnations. The best thing about IE was the bunnies, and that was really stolen from a short film done a couple of years ago. I think Lynch is stuck on traveling the lost highway of Mulholland Drive, and needs to get off quick before it all turns into another sordid episode of True Hollywood Stories. Expand
  3. JustinL
    Jun 14, 2007
    3
    I'm a Lynch fan who almost walked out on this one at the theater. It's so overly self-indulgent & purposefully annoying. There's some wonderful Lynch moments, but as a whole piece it's certainly one of his weakest efforts.
  4. Aug 13, 2010
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I don't know what the hell happened in this movie - if "happened" is even a useful term. People talk about Inception as a "dream" movie - but this one was a true dream. F-ed up images, unconnected nonsense. I love Lynch, but he even admitted that random, unconnected scenes came to him and he essentially "threw them in!". It was a LONG three hours. Expand
  5. BlancoA.
    Dec 6, 2006
    4
    I consider myself a HUGE Lynch fan, with the Twin Peaks film/series, Mulholland Drive, and Wild at Heart being among my faves of all time. I'm sorry to say that Inland Empire, while visually and aurally stunning, is just wholly unacceptable. At the LA Film Festival, none of the actors involved could explain to the audience what actually happens in the film. Lynch himself explained I consider myself a HUGE Lynch fan, with the Twin Peaks film/series, Mulholland Drive, and Wild at Heart being among my faves of all time. I'm sorry to say that Inland Empire, while visually and aurally stunning, is just wholly unacceptable. At the LA Film Festival, none of the actors involved could explain to the audience what actually happens in the film. Lynch himself explained that he filmed a single scene with no story in mind, a couple of weeks later, he filmed another scene - completely unrelated to the first. Eventually, after following this organic process, a film developed out of this tapestry and Inland Empire was the result. I'm paraphrasing here, of course, but at about 3 hours, sitting through this sucker was BRUTAL. And it pains me to say so. Laura Dern is amazing in this film. Ideas here and there are provocative. But as a whole, it's unacceptable. Non-linear? Yeah. If nobody involved with the film can tell you what the film is about or what happens in the film, you've got problems. One day, I wish Lynch would go back to telling stories, where at least 80% of the film is comprehensible and maybe 20% is "Lynchian" or odd - a la the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks, etc. But this one is about 10% comprehensible, and the rest is just nice to look at and listen to. Please, David, come back to us... I can see you in there, but you're too far away at the moment. Expand
  6. TracyR
    Feb 10, 2007
    4
    Sure he's brilliant and even his crap is a lot better than many people's finest efforts. Some incredibly compelling scenes, totally exquisite at moments, but just not enough effort to frigging communicate and leaves the audience to do too much of the work. That's what the director is for and all the gee whiz visual effects don't cover it up. Maddening in a way, because Sure he's brilliant and even his crap is a lot better than many people's finest efforts. Some incredibly compelling scenes, totally exquisite at moments, but just not enough effort to frigging communicate and leaves the audience to do too much of the work. That's what the director is for and all the gee whiz visual effects don't cover it up. Maddening in a way, because he has proven what a terrific albeit non-narrative story teller he can be when he wants to be. But this one, however intermittenly entertaining, doesn't offer enough to justify the effort of watching it. Expand
  7. DennisC.
    Aug 14, 2007
    2
    This is a befuddling mess of a movie. Just like other great directors, there does seem to come a time when an artist has only sycophants to guide him/her. I have followed Lynch down many a dark alley of his mind, but this just leads nowhere.
  8. LarryH.
    May 5, 2007
    0
    I love David Lynch. I am a follower of Lynch. But Inland Empire was 3 hours of abysmal film. It was plotless, it was uninspired, and it made no sense. This movie has officially become the worst movie of all time in my books. Shame on Lynch for directing and Dern for producing this movie.
  9. KadorP.
    Dec 31, 2006
    2
    OK - this is it ladies and gents - a three hour actors' workshop - very good scenes but I Am a David Lynch fan and was sorely disappointed that there was absolutely No Payoff At All on this film - for the first time, in my humble opinion - Just because someone's done it in the past, doesn't mean everything they do is "brilliant" - This was simply a bucketful lot of OK - this is it ladies and gents - a three hour actors' workshop - very good scenes but I Am a David Lynch fan and was sorely disappointed that there was absolutely No Payoff At All on this film - for the first time, in my humble opinion - Just because someone's done it in the past, doesn't mean everything they do is "brilliant" - This was simply a bucketful lot of slap-dash with no continuity Or Relevance. But still, if you're a fan, you can't leave, sort of like one of those famous potato chips, though not as salty. Save your money for the DVD - it's certainly not something you need to see all in one seating. Collapse
  10. FredC.
    Oct 6, 2007
    0
    I rarely go to a movie that I feel was a total waste of money, but this one certainly was. I boldly sat through the entire unstructured mess, even though a good 1/3 of the audience had trickled out by the end. I've liked all of Lynch's films except for Eraserhead, but this fiasco even made Eraserhead look good. Come on, Mr. Lynch, you can do better! Please make some movies with I rarely go to a movie that I feel was a total waste of money, but this one certainly was. I boldly sat through the entire unstructured mess, even though a good 1/3 of the audience had trickled out by the end. I've liked all of Lynch's films except for Eraserhead, but this fiasco even made Eraserhead look good. Come on, Mr. Lynch, you can do better! Please make some movies with the audience in mind, not just to put your fantasies on celluloid. After all, you are expecting us to PAY to go see your work. It seems to me you've let success go to your head. Expand
  11. DrDM.
    Mar 10, 2007
    0
    Great acting, great vision, great cinamatogrophy. 1 hour less and a fusion of the ideas would have made this into an all time best, but Lynch is just playing with his audience - pretentious artistic faeces. No theme -maybe East Europe white slavery brought to US, drugged up hooker believing in her mind that she is a famous actress, but no -real shame and a waste of time.
  12. YokM.
    Mar 22, 2007
    2
    Three hours of relentlessly intense ugly digital footage, so icomprehensively incoherent and art installation-esqe that its just completely (and doubtlessly intentionally) unaccessible on any level. The most agrivating thing is that its so reminiscent of art installation work thats already out there it doesnt even have that element of originality that could make it exciting. The Three hours of relentlessly intense ugly digital footage, so icomprehensively incoherent and art installation-esqe that its just completely (and doubtlessly intentionally) unaccessible on any level. The most agrivating thing is that its so reminiscent of art installation work thats already out there it doesnt even have that element of originality that could make it exciting. The continually fluctuating fragments of messy editing, dialogue that might as well been spoken in Elvish it has so little relevence to the rest of the film and delivery similar to the average pullchord bandai toy, make this absolute torture to sit through. It is the embodinment of pretension and an obnoxiously self obsessive venture on Lynch's part, showing that his name is not only a license to print money, but also to actively abuse celluloid. Expand
  13. TomB.
    Jan 15, 2007
    0
    I've loved everything that David Lynch has done from Eraserhead to Mullholland drive. Having said that I have no reservation in saying that this is the WORST film I have ever seen from a known director. I believe that Mr. Lynch intentionally set out to show us all that he can do whatever he wishes with absolutely no regard for his fans or audiences in general. He made his point.
  14. DaveS.
    Feb 24, 2007
    1
    I will give it a 1 just because I have really enjoyed his past work, and I just *love* anything with rabbits after Donnie Darko. However, this movie is total crap, hands down. Anyone giving this a high rating is too caught up in the "art" of it all to just plain admit that it is boring, incomprehensible, and just feels like Lynch stroking himself from the first hour mark on. So you walk I will give it a 1 just because I have really enjoyed his past work, and I just *love* anything with rabbits after Donnie Darko. However, this movie is total crap, hands down. Anyone giving this a high rating is too caught up in the "art" of it all to just plain admit that it is boring, incomprehensible, and just feels like Lynch stroking himself from the first hour mark on. So you walk into an art museum, and an artist has thrown multiple colors of paint all over a canvas and called it "art". Guess what? That's called being lazy, and Lynch has done exactly that, only it feels like he's actually trying *harder* to convince us of something. Sorry, dude - stick with Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, where at least there's *some* sort of story. Expand
  15. Nadie....
    Jul 8, 2007
    0
    Big deception! David Lynch must think that after great movies we can see anything he films, he's wrong. This movie make me remember that time is too precious to waste it.
  16. Jessica
    Sep 24, 2007
    0
    Well! I love movies, and I was whiling to watch the whole movie... But this one.... was just the worst movie ever. I love confusing movies that shows you something interesting, but this one was terrible and it seemed like someone just filmed a bunch of different scenes and put them all in different order. The actors were good, but the movie wasn't good.
  17. FrankieB
    Dec 16, 2007
    1
    This is by far the worst movie I´ve ever seen and for sure the worst movie Lynch has ever made. This flick is just so trivial and weird, moving here and there, making no sense at all, not entertaining at all. I nearly turned it off after about 20 minutes, because it sucked so hard. Lynch used to make so great films, like Mulholland Drive, a masterpiece. But this time, he totally This is by far the worst movie I´ve ever seen and for sure the worst movie Lynch has ever made. This flick is just so trivial and weird, moving here and there, making no sense at all, not entertaining at all. I nearly turned it off after about 20 minutes, because it sucked so hard. Lynch used to make so great films, like Mulholland Drive, a masterpiece. But this time, he totally messed it up, might be due to a massive misuse of narcotics, I suppose. It took me all my manly toughness to watch this flick to the end, after 90 minutes I was just praying to the almighty father he shall show mercy to my tortured soul and let this horrible movie end at once. I would have rated it 0, but due to compassion I leave 1. Expand
  18. KevinD.
    Mar 17, 2007
    0
    Maybe the worst movie I have ever seen. Some artsy types might tell you, it's a great non-naritive but, it is three hours of boring pointless hell!!
  19. FredM.
    Aug 25, 2007
    2
    Extremely long and tedious mind-teasing mess. It lacks the compelling cohesive narrative of Lynch's previous films Mulholland Dr. or Lost Highway, whose themes also dealt with a fragmented psyche and experiencing a nightmarish alternative realities. Although Lynch is successful at presenting a dream state-like world, the film's overindulgence and pretentiousness result in a Extremely long and tedious mind-teasing mess. It lacks the compelling cohesive narrative of Lynch's previous films Mulholland Dr. or Lost Highway, whose themes also dealt with a fragmented psyche and experiencing a nightmarish alternative realities. Although Lynch is successful at presenting a dream state-like world, the film's overindulgence and pretentiousness result in a confusing bore. Previous Lynchean themes are all there: evil entities (Twin Peaks), enslaved women (Blue Velvet), alternative realities and stream of consciousness, weird characters and symbolic situations, but this time they do not capture our imagination. Shots of dilapidated buildings in the Polish winter or bare and dark Hollywood sets where an overacting Laura Dern get lost in the dark become interminable and meaningless. Close ups of faces in distress and histrionics are not elements of good filmmaking. I had to resist my urges to fall sleep! If you want to waste 3 hours of your time, watch it at your own risk. Expand
  20. MitchG.
    Dec 12, 2006
    0
    I am completely tired of people championing David Lynch for his surreal style while requiring not ONE iota of actual sense from his movies!!!! I'm sorry, I'm still paying $10 for a film, and it is NOT FAIR to abandon narrative entirely and just expect the audience to go along, scene after inexplicable scene. We're watching a movie, not a painting. The medium REQUIRES I am completely tired of people championing David Lynch for his surreal style while requiring not ONE iota of actual sense from his movies!!!! I'm sorry, I'm still paying $10 for a film, and it is NOT FAIR to abandon narrative entirely and just expect the audience to go along, scene after inexplicable scene. We're watching a movie, not a painting. The medium REQUIRES sense!!! I'm TIRED OF THIS. I appreciate Lynch's technical skills, but at this point he has become the lunatic running the asylum. Because of his cache, people call his nonsense "genius" -- it's laughable actually. It's like "Wow, I don't get that at all... wasn't it just genius?" I could go on and on honestly... I hated this film and had to walk out after two hours. It had long since abandoned any string of possible comprehension by the audience. And then in the middle of this morass, some female characters break into a dance of "The Locomotion". PLEASE. Some people may find that funny -- I find it insulting. If I've convinced just one person not to see this film, I'll be happy. Expand
  21. [Anonymous]
    Dec 21, 2006
    2
    Doze-inducing although obviously not without the occasional flash of brilliance. But it's a tough slog.
  22. Mar 21, 2012
    0
    Worst movie ever. Not only because there is no plot, mainly because there is no real work behind. Mr Lynch think he is so brilliant that he doesn't need the give sens to his creativity.

    On the other hand when I see so many of his fans loving blindly that movie, making them think, they are remarkably sensitive beings because they liked it, you can say that Mr Lynch is a genius.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Over time, though, with films such as "Lost Highway" and, to a lesser extent, "Mulholland Drive," Lynch's movies became less personal and more private. Whatever he is working out in his new film, Inland Empire, it's beyond the reach of all but his idolators.
  2. Inland Empire is so locked up in David Lynch's brain that it never burrows its way into ours.
  3. 88
    My advice, in the face of such hallucinatory brilliance, is that you hang on.