Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. a despairing movie that you can't look away from, though you'll wish you could.
  2. 100
    Light entertainment, this is not. Unforgettable and challenging cinema, it is.
  3. 88
    Lukas Moodysson, a young Swedish director, crafts a stunner of a film out of familiar turf.
  4. What's remarkable as we watch Lilya's plunge (and the brief, false rays of light that illuminate it) is how real Moodysson makes her plight, how intensely he makes us empathize with Lilya.
  5. 88
    Lilya is portrayed by Oksana Akinshina, who gives a dynamic, heartbreaking performance... She was wonderful in ["Brothers"], but is even more astonishing in Lilya 4-Ever.
  6. If you're tired of false holiday cheer, Lilya 4-Ever will provide a corrective to the spiritual eggnog force-fed to us all season. The climax takes place during Christmas, though one that would make Tiny Tim grateful for his crutch and cold chimney corner.
  7. 75
    The movie, written and directed by Lukas Moodysson, has the directness and clarity of a documentary, but allows itself touches of tenderness and grief.
  8. This grim Danish-Swedish production is socially revealing and artistically creative, both coldly realistic and infused with compassion for its heroine and her youth culture.
  9. Terrific filmmaking, but it's hard to leave Moodysson's picture without feeling much of anything except hopelessness. Utterly.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Doesn't derive its power from the turning wheels of plot suspense but from the simple act of looking and not blinking.
  11. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Akinshina and Bogucharskij are remarkable together, and Moodysson once again demonstrates a sophisticated visual skill matched only by his innate understanding of the adolescent heart.
  12. Reviewed by: Rich Cline
    Amazingly realistic and engaging drama about society punctuated with both humor and grittiness.
  13. A haunting and incandescent work of art.
  14. It's almost too devastating for words, yet never less than compelling and heartbreakingly affecting.
  15. 90
    Lilya is the more genuinely unsettling film because Moodysson seems to actually know something of what it is to take and stumble beneath a crushing blow. You feel that here. And you feel it for days after.
  16. I can't think of another good movie this year that's as tough to watch as Moodysson's, but, then, I can't think of very many movies that are as good.
  17. The most remarkable achievement of the film is its presentation of Lilya's story as both an archetypal case study and a personal drama whose spunky central character you come to care about so deeply that you want to cry out a warning at each step toward her ruination.
  18. Reviewed by: Gunnar Rehlin
    Hard-hitting, dark and tragic story that rarely lets up.
  19. Lilya's struggle to make a life for herself is both heartbreaking and heart-stirring.
  20. It is Akinshina's presence and performance that make the pedestrian story heart-wrenching. She is pretty, responsive, reflective. Without the slightest strain, she convinces us of the beauty and pathos and hope within Lilya.
  21. 80
    Forget "Irreversible," this is the season's most piercingly feel-bad movie.
  22. 70
    What it became is essentially one long free-fall from destitution to despair.
  23. The result is grimly "effective," but it made me long for Hollywood junk.
  24. 90
    As with "Together," Moodysson has pulled off a staggering dramatic coup, and again we are forced to ask: How does he do it? [21 & 28 April 2003, p.194]
  25. 70
    Not without its own bleak integrity. But the movie wipes you out and leaves you with nothing, not even the feeling of exaltation that can be present in the most tragic works of art.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. ColinE.
    Jul 25, 2007
    Riveting and powerful study of one girls journey from poverty and abandonment to life as a sex slave. Will impact all but the most cynical & hard hearted viewer, while telling one of the most important stories of the past decade. The issue of pedaling young girls for profit is a story that should be told in every high school. Full Review »
  2. YaelS.
    Jan 17, 2007
    is been almost 3 years since I've seen it and i still cant get over it. it goes to your soul, and plants itself there and like an internet virus comes up every now and then to shock and shake again. please watch it. you need to know this stuff. Full Review »
  3. M.Daye
    Feb 4, 2006
    If there is a more frightening and effective portrayal of a young girl's slow downfall, I've yet to see it.