Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest hallucinatory vision from the iconoclastic director of "Blue Velvet" and "Twin Peaks," Inland Empire stars Laura Dern in a tour-de-force performance as, perhaps, an actress who lands a dream role that quickly devolves into nightmare. (IFC Center)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    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: Damon Wise
    A dazzling and exquisitely original riddle as told by an enigma, featuring a superb, multi-layered performance by Laura Dern.
  3. 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.
  4. Those willing to give themselves up to Lynch's sensibilities will find a hypnotic and richly textural experience that challenges them to make their own connections through the imagery, echoes of repeated dialogue and metaphor.
  5. 50
    If anything, it's worth watching as yet another example of Lynch's extraordinary collaboration with Dern. It may be overstating things to call her performance heroic, but it's nothing if not brave, as she dares to embody Lynch's most brutal impressions of Hollywood -- not as a dream factory, but as the place where dreams come to die.
  6. Inland Empire is way, way beyond my powers of ratiocination. It's the higher math.
  7. 50
    What is Inland Empire - which Lynch is understandably distributing himself - about? What is it trying to say? If you figure that out, let me know.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 64
  2. Negative: 19 out of 64
  1. Apr 29, 2011
    There is a very definite, specific entry point into this film. The bewildering, chaotic, inscrutable personality of this misunderstood film is only a facade - a false front - concealing a remarkably lucid narrative that absolutely is David's most potent, most intense, most shattering creation. There are "clues" offered at the film's beginning as to just what is required of the viewer in order to "gain access." These clues are delivered via the curious words of the "Polish" characters who are expressing a desire, a need for us to disregard all our preconceptions of Lynch's previous work, and more importantly to adjust our awareness to a point where all the fractured, hysterical elements of the film somehow realign into a much much more coherent continuum.There's even a fairly explicit instruction on how to achieve this mental "adjustment" provided by the unusual foreign "neighbor." The "story" you then discover is astoundingly vivid and vibrant. It unfolds elegantly, magically within your mind in a most spectacularly visceral process, like the most intense 3D of the mind - ultra turbo psycho 3D. It's David's stunning singular achievement to have so thoroughly deconstructed the forms of cinema and TV and theater and web casts and static art in order to create an entirely new, original, vital art form. It's revolutionary and unequaled by any other living artist. James Joyce attempted something similar in literature, Picasso labored for something comparable in cubism, Gandhi suggested something related in politics, and Shaman for eons have operated through similar processes to affect the Consciousness. Subjective experience is a malleable, variable, fluid process that defies our attempts to contain it, to name it, to control it. So David has learned if you can't beat it, join it. And he has intimately joined with these vague and threatening forces that guide our psyches. And in order to join with, or grok, this film you must surrender to it's design. It will reward your time and efforts ten fold. It's a roller coaster ride through the vast caverns, meandering galleries, and cluttered cupboards of David's Provincial Gothic mind. It transports you to a destination that presents itself as a profoundly disturbing insight into the nature of our Western Culture, the implications and ramifications of which are staggering in their impact. David has expressed his experience of being alive through a virtual recreation of process by which he came to his insight. We are not just witnessing a description of his discovery, but seemingly actually accompanying him on his spiritual voyage. I could almost hear him whispering in my ear the entire time, "This is so intense, right?" There is a profoundly sublimely experience that awaits you, if you choose to pursue this unprecedented adventure. If you do, you will know the deepest mystery of cinema and the society that reveres it. Expand
  2. Oct 6, 2010
    Inland Empire is not a bad film and has some great imagery but it is almost as if Lynch is taking the piss out of himself with virtually no story lines and endless amounts of critical interpretation and chatter. Where are the moments of realism like Mulholland Drive? No story, great imagery, average acting. It can only be a 5. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2011
    I will put it as simply as it has to be: If you like David Lynch movies, you will like Inland Empire. If you don't like David Lynch movies, you will hate Inland Empire. It is not Lynch's best. It is not Lynch's worst. It is simply his "Lynchiest." If you want to know what the directorial style of David Lynch is, as well as the most extreme boundaries to what a film can really be, watch Inland Empire and it will answer all your questions. Expand
  4. Aug 13, 2010
    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. Mar 21, 2012
    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.

See all 64 User Reviews