User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 303 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 303

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  1. Jun 13, 2013
    0
    You have to be out of your mind for liking this dreadful dense bore. So depressing but for no valid reason. My eyes were hurting just starring at this pile of junk.
  2. Apr 1, 2013
    0
    I created an account on metacritic solely to warn you all of how utterly unbearable this film is. Why all these accredited actors chose to indulge the danish nutbar in his latest extravaganza is beyond me. nauseating camera angles, nonsensical lines and pretentious but awful humor all amount to an underwhelming finale. I have never seen a more overrated film in my life and this hasI created an account on metacritic solely to warn you all of how utterly unbearable this film is. Why all these accredited actors chose to indulge the danish nutbar in his latest extravaganza is beyond me. nauseating camera angles, nonsensical lines and pretentious but awful humor all amount to an underwhelming finale. I have never seen a more overrated film in my life and this has shaken my faith in aggregate sites like metacritic. save yourself the two hours. Expand
  3. Feb 11, 2013
    4
    I did'nt mind that it was dark, bordering on morose. After Dancer in the Dark, I expected that from Mr Von Trier. And I like dark films. What annoyed me was it was so banal. Please will someone tell me the thematic subtext buried in here? The best I can come up with: Depressed people will handle the possible end of the world with a more calm and dignified response. I watched on DVD, andI did'nt mind that it was dark, bordering on morose. After Dancer in the Dark, I expected that from Mr Von Trier. And I like dark films. What annoyed me was it was so banal. Please will someone tell me the thematic subtext buried in here? The best I can come up with: Depressed people will handle the possible end of the world with a more calm and dignified response. I watched on DVD, and required 2 sessions to complete the ordeal. It was however *quite* pretty visually, and Kirsten Dunst was good. Expand
  4. Feb 4, 2013
    4
    Another piece of film hysteria by Lars von Trier. It falls in the sub genre of art-house we could call Hermetic-German-Scandinavian-Drama. Characters with no depth at all whose actions lack of minimal motivation either dramatic or psychological. Situations are horrible and depressing for no other reason than the exclusive enjoyment of the director, who hysterically shines above the filmAnother piece of film hysteria by Lars von Trier. It falls in the sub genre of art-house we could call Hermetic-German-Scandinavian-Drama. Characters with no depth at all whose actions lack of minimal motivation either dramatic or psychological. Situations are horrible and depressing for no other reason than the exclusive enjoyment of the director, who hysterically shines above the film itself. And it has the most common error in pseudo-intellectual movies: there are two films squeezed into a feature. The first part (the wedding) is the film "Festen" (first film by Dogma movement) reheated. It´s simply awful. The second part of the film is what you expected to see but with the all the problems described above. Unfortunately, as we have good will to give him a chance the fact is that Lars von Trier is a quack. And like every charlatan he has a herd of followers. Expand
  5. Dec 27, 2012
    0
    Self-indulgent drivel... This bloated piece of excrement features depressing characters wandering around an estate while the world comes to an end. They blather at each other for what seems like forever until, blessedly, the gloom ends in a searing blast. Supposedly, this is a study in melancholy. After two and a half hours of this morose mess of a film, I could imagine audience membersSelf-indulgent drivel... This bloated piece of excrement features depressing characters wandering around an estate while the world comes to an end. They blather at each other for what seems like forever until, blessedly, the gloom ends in a searing blast. Supposedly, this is a study in melancholy. After two and a half hours of this morose mess of a film, I could imagine audience members offing themselves. The only lingering question in my mind, as the credits rolled, was why the writer of this protracted march into the grave didn't just lock himself up in the garage with his car running and explore despair all by himself. Expand
  6. Dec 15, 2012
    0
    I have never before fast forwarded through the beginning of a movie, but five minutes of still images set to symphony music is just too much. I'm writing this in the hopes of saving others from this terrible movie. It is unbearably slow, has nausea inducing handheld camera work, and a cast of unlikable characters. In the end we amused ourselves by making up lines for the characters whileI have never before fast forwarded through the beginning of a movie, but five minutes of still images set to symphony music is just too much. I'm writing this in the hopes of saving others from this terrible movie. It is unbearably slow, has nausea inducing handheld camera work, and a cast of unlikable characters. In the end we amused ourselves by making up lines for the characters while they stared at each other in gloomy silence. Expand
  7. Oct 8, 2012
    0
    This movie was so bad it made me register at metacritic.com to give my 2 cents. First of all the review by metacritic.com professionals led me to believe this was a great, not good, movie. Furthermore, the cast is amazing. With that said I began to watch the movie. I watch a lot of movies and couldn't believe how bad this was. I struggled through 2 hours and 15 minutes hoping I wouldThis movie was so bad it made me register at metacritic.com to give my 2 cents. First of all the review by metacritic.com professionals led me to believe this was a great, not good, movie. Furthermore, the cast is amazing. With that said I began to watch the movie. I watch a lot of movies and couldn't believe how bad this was. I struggled through 2 hours and 15 minutes hoping I would find a ray of something world noting of value about it. There was none. How the critics couldn't condemn this movie as worthless, let alone great, is beyond me. If you don't want to waist 2 hours and 15 minutes of your life don't bother watching this bomb! Expand
  8. KJJ
    Jun 13, 2012
    1
    What were the critics thinking? This is a cut rate, poorly made imitation of Ingmar Bergman - felt like Von Trier ripped out the script of a film like The Silence, and rewrote it, down to the idea of two people reflecting different personality parts of one person. Been there, done that. And the script is dishonest - I don't care how well Dunst acted, her character at the end of theWhat were the critics thinking? This is a cut rate, poorly made imitation of Ingmar Bergman - felt like Von Trier ripped out the script of a film like The Silence, and rewrote it, down to the idea of two people reflecting different personality parts of one person. Been there, done that. And the script is dishonest - I don't care how well Dunst acted, her character at the end of the movie is completely untrue to everything that goes before. I appreciate and have watched many off-beat films - this is not a good one. Expand
  9. May 19, 2012
    3
    It's... weird. Melancholia is not nearly as powerful as Lars von Trier's previous film, Antichrist. It will not feel like a punch in the stomach, it will feel like nothing. Lars von Trier seems to try too hard on Melancholia, and the result is a film that will please the eye - the scenery is beautiful, and the acting is fairly composed - but will leave no lasting legacy. Two days afterIt's... weird. Melancholia is not nearly as powerful as Lars von Trier's previous film, Antichrist. It will not feel like a punch in the stomach, it will feel like nothing. Lars von Trier seems to try too hard on Melancholia, and the result is a film that will please the eye - the scenery is beautiful, and the acting is fairly composed - but will leave no lasting legacy. Two days after watching Melancholia, you will wonder whether or not you had seen it. Kristen Dunst and Keifer Sutherland are the two highlights of the film, not because of their interpretations of shallowly-constructed characters, but because their on-screen feeling. They look wonderful. Melancholia does not. Expand
  10. May 9, 2012
    3
    I love slow, artsy films... this is not it. There are some wonderful effects hinting at surreality here, but they are only a side note in a cranky little domestic drama with thin writing. Not really a script, more like a mediocre, tiring dream. It just goes mostly nowhere in a tedious fashion.
  11. Apr 29, 2012
    0
    This is the worst sh*t I have ever freaking seen . The beginning of the movie was so boring, it made me want to punch myself in the face. I would not recommend seeing this crap because you will just be wasting your time.
  12. Apr 22, 2012
    2
    I was so looking forward to this as I like Ms Dunst and the summary sounded so unusual. But I was so disappointed. The lead character does a whole bunch of wacky things and appears to be suffering a mental disease. The rest are all caricatures, are not important to her (or me) in any way. The impending doom (planet) should have had much more of a presence to these people. But only near theI was so looking forward to this as I like Ms Dunst and the summary sounded so unusual. But I was so disappointed. The lead character does a whole bunch of wacky things and appears to be suffering a mental disease. The rest are all caricatures, are not important to her (or me) in any way. The impending doom (planet) should have had much more of a presence to these people. But only near the end is it's mighty foreboding and ultimate impact felt. The entire wedding scene plays as I would expect, well, at a wedding, with back biting petty people. But wait you say, the director has made these characters real. Maybe so, but I did not want to see them; nothing to like in any; no communication (them to me). Just a waste of a great idea and good actors. It was almost a failure. Though as I write this i can't remember why I didn't give it an F (0). And man is it long!! Expand
  13. BKM
    Apr 9, 2012
    4
    I'll say this about Melancholia: it's not like anything else I've ever seen--which is not necessarily a good thing. The film's depiction of depression feels alarmingly real as does its vision of the end of the world as we know it. But the the annoyingly tepid pace and startling pretentiousness of it all make you want to bludgeon yourself to death. Strictly a film for Von Trier devotees.
  14. Mar 3, 2012
    3
    Melancholia tells two slightly related stories, which mix drama, surrealism and sci-fi, the problem is that the only interesting part is the ending. It is a shame that such an original idea goes to the garbage, because of erratic performances, repetitive soundtrack, ill-defined script and overthink direction.
    The division of the plot is based on the different points of view towards a
    Melancholia tells two slightly related stories, which mix drama, surrealism and sci-fi, the problem is that the only interesting part is the ending. It is a shame that such an original idea goes to the garbage, because of erratic performances, repetitive soundtrack, ill-defined script and overthink direction.
    The division of the plot is based on the different points of view towards a specific situation of the two protagonists. The first part is about the wedding of Justine; here the human relationships are like a pendulum, in other words they are going nowhere. This fragment not even serves for establish the personality of Justine, because in the next part are fewer thing that are understandable. So in conclusion: if Lars Von Trier cut down this part it would not matter.
    The second half is about Claire, which is a more believable character, because is the only one that really seams human; but again the plot falls into a circle.
    This is the first film in years that I wanted to advance some parts because I was falling asleep. Dark, slow, depressing and extremely boring, Melancholia fails in almost everything.
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  15. Jan 14, 2012
    0
    Give me a break! This film actually scores well with the critics? The movie is self indulgent trash. I personally just can't stand movies that are so weird that it leads to some critics thinking, "I got to love it to prove how good I am as a critic." When it's bad, it's bad. Seriously, there are people out there who want to see this film again after the first viewing?
  16. Jan 7, 2012
    2
    No. No. No. Critical acclaim-itis has struck again. This movie tanked with me from nearly the moment that I rented it on pay per view. I thought the premise was Another Earth-ish enough to justify a watch, but I was sincerely wrong. This movie is a hot mess. Even the end will never be as powerful as what has been committed to film previously. See Last Night, a 1998 film about theNo. No. No. Critical acclaim-itis has struck again. This movie tanked with me from nearly the moment that I rented it on pay per view. I thought the premise was Another Earth-ish enough to justify a watch, but I was sincerely wrong. This movie is a hot mess. Even the end will never be as powerful as what has been committed to film previously. See Last Night, a 1998 film about the apocalypse, instead. It's a far better movie.

    I gave this film a 2 simply because I felt like the subject was a worthy one, even if the execution was sorely lacking.
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  17. Dec 28, 2011
    0
    What a pretentious, long, boring and empty movie. Another "style over substance" film. I found the Kirstin Dunst character very annoying, and the plot was disjointed and incoherent. By the time I was halfway into the movie, I was actually hoping the fictional planet would wipe out all of the characters involved.
    This movie is LONG AND DRAGGY. I actually walked out, and I almost never do
    What a pretentious, long, boring and empty movie. Another "style over substance" film. I found the Kirstin Dunst character very annoying, and the plot was disjointed and incoherent. By the time I was halfway into the movie, I was actually hoping the fictional planet would wipe out all of the characters involved.
    This movie is LONG AND DRAGGY. I actually walked out, and I almost never do that for a movie I paid money to see.
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  18. Dec 15, 2011
    4
    This is a very similar film to "The Tree of Life" in the sense that both of them could be part of a subgenre called "ambiguous art house dramas." But for me, there were some stark differences between the two films that led to "Tree of Life" being great, and "Melancholia" being art-house puke. The most important thing is that there is very little to latch onto in "Melancholia." The story isThis is a very similar film to "The Tree of Life" in the sense that both of them could be part of a subgenre called "ambiguous art house dramas." But for me, there were some stark differences between the two films that led to "Tree of Life" being great, and "Melancholia" being art-house puke. The most important thing is that there is very little to latch onto in "Melancholia." The story is told rather clumsily, the shaky-cam style takes away from the cinematographic beauty, and the characters are ruined by a script that seems more concerned with big ideas rather than compelling characters. At least with "Tree of Life," it had a compelling middle where character development was at the forefront, and the imagery was beautiful. Another aspect that bothered me was something many independent films are often guilty of which is taking unnecessary pauses. Characters often stare off into the distance, and there are so many pauses in the dialogue. People in real life do not do this, but in the art film world, apparently they do. Then there's the complete shift in the story. Melancholia recklessly jumps from depression drama to an end-of-the-world film. It's so abrupt you're left shaking your head as to why this shift happened in the first place. Then it becomes apparent when looking at Dunst's character shift, and you realize that "Melancholia" is simply a thin message movie about the nature of depression. Aside from a few gorgeous shots (the last shot especially), there's no reason to see "Melancholia." It makes you feel icky inside, and then it does something even worse, it makes you bored and wishing that the end of the world would just come already. Expand
  19. Dec 12, 2011
    4
    "Melancholia may be the most depressing film of the yearâ
  20. Nov 29, 2011
    0
    A contemptibly catastrophic collection of the most vapid, self-absorbed tiny people parade across this lifeless, empty, stupid and exceedingly long, painful movie. I forbid anyone who reads this to see this film. And I am a great appreciator of art film. This mindless and heartless movie gives art film a bad name.
  21. Nov 20, 2011
    0
    This is the **** movie I've ever seen. It's another boring indie flick about spoiled rich people who are stupid and depressed. Critics are truly stupid nowadays. Don't read or believe any positive reviews about this movie. They are shills.
  22. Nov 20, 2011
    0
    Pseudo-intellectual movie that just doesn't quite make it. The only thing real about the whole thing is her depression. If you think you're going to get accurate info about how that planet is supposed to be hiding behind the sun, yeah, well, no. But that wouldn't be an issue if the movie would have been halfway decent. It's just long and boring without giving you the satisfaction of havingPseudo-intellectual movie that just doesn't quite make it. The only thing real about the whole thing is her depression. If you think you're going to get accurate info about how that planet is supposed to be hiding behind the sun, yeah, well, no. But that wouldn't be an issue if the movie would have been halfway decent. It's just long and boring without giving you the satisfaction of having any substance. Expand
  23. Nov 14, 2011
    0
    Probably one of the worst movies I've seen in my life. What exactly is the point of it and what exactly does it show? I might as well watch paint dry.
  24. Nov 14, 2011
    0
    Unbearably tedious, pretentious crap. You may 'enjoy' it, or relate to it if you suffer from depression, but otherwise steer well clear. This is 2 hours of sheer nothingness.
  25. Nov 13, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First, the positive things. I thought Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg did wonderfully with their roles. This was a major departure particularly for Ms. Dundst, who truly threw herself into this movie and gave it her all.

    Before I go on, I'm looking at this movie against the framework of how believable the actions portrayed in this movie are compared to how normal folks would react to such severe trials. if someone is going to look at a movie like this, I think my concerns are valid. If you're going for a more allegoric view, my concerns will probably not ring true.

    Call me overly practical, but throughout the movie, I kept questioning the plausibility and realism of the actors actions. To start out with, we have Ms. Dunst's character at her wedding. In a matter of a few hours, she goes from total happiness to abject depression, wandering aimlessly around and throwing the marriage away. How realistic is it that a person would take this severe turn of mood in a course of a few hours? Why would the groom not notice things were going strange, and pull her aside and talk to her privately? Great artistic conceit, but I just thought it was strange.

    Later as the planet Melancholia came closer, the wife (Gainsbourg) was reading on the internet about the coming disaster, and her husband chided her about buying into something what experts said would not happen. Here we have her family and sister sitting on an information island, no TV or Radio news, no newspapers, the help doesn't say anything, these folks are behaving as if they're the only ones who notice this gigantic planet on the horizon. Again, stretches credulity to believe that they would or even could operate in total isolation like this.

    Then, as the disaster gets closer, their butler does not show up - "strange, he never misses work". We have a massive planet coming out of nowhere, no power, the help isn't coming to work (but we're still bathing - let's hear it for cold baths!), and nobody thinks to maybe go to town and see what's happening. Nope, let's just have lots of dark stares, discuss the earth is filled with evil people, etc. Now, before I get flamed by everyone for missing the key "deep messages" of this movie - the isolation of depression, acceptance of fate, how optimism breaks under severe tests of fate - I know that's what the director was aiming for. I just kept thinking to myself, if I saw a planet racing towards me, I'd be spending time with family and friends saying final good byes, reflecting on my life, and staying abreast of current news developments. Not seeing any of these activities, even in passing, undercut the movie for me.
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  26. Nov 13, 2011
    0
    Bland characters, no personality, and PAINFULLY slow and dull. Stylistically, this was beatuiful, but the story moved slower than a snail, it was stagnant. While I loved Take Shelter and it's barely moving pace, in this film it was simply unbearable. I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters, especially the two leads, Kirsten Dunst and Charlette Gainsbourg, both of whomBland characters, no personality, and PAINFULLY slow and dull. Stylistically, this was beatuiful, but the story moved slower than a snail, it was stagnant. While I loved Take Shelter and it's barely moving pace, in this film it was simply unbearable. I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters, especially the two leads, Kirsten Dunst and Charlette Gainsbourg, both of whom ranged from annoying to just wishing they would go away. The story itself could have been so much more, if not for the sleep enducing dialogue and lack of speed in which anything at all happened. The highlight was certainly within the last minute where it was clearly, the end...of everything...no more...these bland and irritating characters will be gone forever. Expand
  27. Nov 12, 2011
    0
    Please please please do not believe these people that there is anything to this movie. Something being stylistic does not make it good or deep. Something with depraved sexuality and the end of the world does not make it interesting. Something that is an art house movie does not make it a worthwhile movie. This movie is an empty hollow shell. Behind the classical music and thePlease please please do not believe these people that there is anything to this movie. Something being stylistic does not make it good or deep. Something with depraved sexuality and the end of the world does not make it interesting. Something that is an art house movie does not make it a worthwhile movie. This movie is an empty hollow shell. Behind the classical music and the stylistic shots is absolutely nothing. Don't waste your time. Expand
  28. Nov 11, 2011
    2
    Just another self-indulgent nihilistic trash from seriously disturbed mind who likes to think about himself as the world's greatest film director-and unfortunately some people believe he really is.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 17, 2012
    40
    This is not a feel-good movie. This is the frigid, hard-to-embrace cinematic opposite of a feel-good movie, in fact -- all wrapped in one long, dark metaphor for depression.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Dec 1, 2011
    75
    The experience of psychological depression has been described with a variety of metaphors. William Styron called it "darkness visible," and Winston Churchill euphemized his bouts as "the black dog." In typically grandiose fashion, though, Lars von Trier tops them all.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 1, 2011
    90
    Melancholia is an intense, exhausting experience. That may not sound appealing, and for some, it won't be. But nor should it be off-putting. Proceed with caution, perhaps. But proceed nevertheless.