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Generally favorable reviews- based on 293 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 293

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  1. Jul 17, 2014
    Melancholia is one of the most unique films I've ever seen. The acting, the emotion, the characters, the depth, the symbolism, the art style, the score, etc. Almost every element of this film is executed to perfection and sucks you into the events taking place. The only real negative was the camera work. The shaky-cam felt unnecessary and at times took away from the viewing experience, breaking the immersion of the movie. Other than that, this was simply a work of art that is tough to explain in words. I am certain that most people won't be able to become absorbed into the film. It's a strange movie and incredibly slow moving. Honestly, 75% of people will probably quit watching before the intro, which was so long it makes James Bond intros feel brief. Nonetheless, if you can sit through the various quirks, especially early on, you'll become intrigued and anxiously await the film's conclusion. Lars von Trier truly does a brilliant job. Expand
  2. Dec 24, 2013
    This movie is not meant to be beautiful, great, entertaining or just even decent. If you are expecting a "spider man" or a "Avatar" then yes, don't waste 2 precious hours of your time! You don't get the movie? That's fine, you probably never had black periods in your life and again, that's fine. But if instead you are open-minded enough to watch it and just take it for what it is not trying to over analyze it but just let be driven by the scenes, you will find this movie inspiring and potentially life changing. Funny how people's perception is different from each others, it was very clear to me since the beginning the metaphor about modern life, yes, depression, darkness, apathy, evocation of "terminal feeling" regarding human's existence, It all felt familiar and annoying.
    Finally, you might get bored at some point but once per all this is not The Lord of the rings, is a humble movie that certainly succeed in what has been made for make you aware.
  3. Aug 18, 2013
    Beautiful and ultimately extremely depressing Melancholia perfectly paints the picture of one sister's depression and ultimate acceptance with the end of the world. The film after it's beautiful and sad musical intro starts of as seemingly happy and at some times with moments of laughter. As the film continues you see the depression of Justine unravel and you have her sister who perfectly contrasts this view of the world. Simply said there isn't another movie that perfectly creates an atmosphere of sadness and depression. Expand
  4. Jul 16, 2013
    Un tipo de pelicula extraña pero algo entendible el planeta Melancholia se acerca habiendose predicho desde el principio algo de depresion,alegria y angustio conforman la pelicula que la hace sobresalir sobre algunas, sin embargo se torna algo aburrida y monotona sin embargo el tema musical va con lo que es un fin del mundo y cosas extrañas que van con el
  5. Jun 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have to say I didn't like this movie the first time I watched it. I missed the first 10 minutes of the movie which turned out to be pretty important. I watched it a second time with my husband it helps to talk about it while it's playing (since it is pretty slow) and it is a very thought provoking movie. It's amazing the different versions of the story I've been reading from this board to me, it deals with Kirsten's character's depression and her sister, Claire, being the one I identified with the most, as being the nurturing sister, caring for her sister while she is debilitated with depression, and wanting to protect her son at all cost. But I now see the beginning as being Kirsten's dream or vision. I'm assuming she has had visions before, so this is why she is reacting with depression at her wedding reception because she saw the same red star that night that she had in her dream and realized this was going to happen. Nothing can shake her because she knows it's going to happen, even when her brother-in-law says it isn't. In the end I realized Kirsten's character actually had more time to deal with it, while her sister wanted to believe her husband and realized on the last day that he was wrong. She was more believable I thought. One thing that bugged me as it did to one other person on this board her sister had an English accent while Kirsten's character did not how could that be? Oh well, details, details. It was definitely a very interesting film. Expand
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    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.
  7. May 14, 2013
    I like that in the movie not the apocalypse is in the foreground, but the events around it.
    the movie is very long and the story takes a long time until it gets interesting, but the movie is worth to be seen.
  8. May 9, 2013
    it's been a year since i first watched MELANCHOLIA. it is still one of the greatest films i've ever seen. kirsten dunst is as beautifully magnificent. the setting and cinematography still astonish. my favorite apocalyptic film of all time.
  9. Apr 1, 2013
    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 has shaken my faith in aggregate sites like metacritic. save yourself the two hours. Expand
  10. Feb 11, 2013
    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, and required 2 sessions to complete the ordeal. It was however *quite* pretty visually, and Kirsten Dunst was good. Expand
  11. Feb 4, 2013
    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 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
  12. Dec 27, 2012
    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 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
  13. Dec 18, 2012
    A powerful indie film, that can be quite difficult to watch, but is really fascinating, spectacularly shot, and very well acted. This isn't a film to sit back and enjoy, but to think about once the credits role up.
  14. Dec 15, 2012
    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 while they stared at each other in gloomy silence. Expand
  15. Dec 7, 2012
    Lars von Trier certainly makes it hard to review films...I have no idea what to give this. I really like it! Elements in this were absolutely brilliant, but it doesn't make the film any less strange. Gainsbourg gives another fantastic performance, but Kirsten Dunst shines.
  16. Oct 8, 2012
    This movie was so bad it made me register at to give my 2 cents. First of all the review by 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
  17. Sep 2, 2012
    This film is not going to be for everyone, but I loved it. From a crazy wedding party where hardly anything goes right, to the potential coming of the end of the world, it hooked and shook me like very few films have in recent years. It deals with the relationship of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, in a career best performance, and Charlotte Gainsbourg who is also terrific. Kiefer Sutherland is also very good as the husband of the latter. It's disturbing, beautiful, and emotionally resonant. It's not slow, but well paced. A Von Trier film will always be a bit polarizing. Personally I really disliked his previous film Antichrist, but I loved this. Expand
  18. Aug 28, 2012
    An insightful psychological study under interesting conditions, the ending blew me away. The soundtrack is a huge part of the experience, and the ending leaves a lasting impression that was incredible from the front rows of a small theater. I got chills just now thinking about it. In a way, the whole study is a build-up to the last minute.
  19. KJJ
    Jun 13, 2012
    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 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
  20. Jun 4, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Didn't know what to expect as I hadn't read much about this, other than that it was "weird". First 20 minutes were hard going - and confusing - but it grew on me and I really enjoyed it at the end. Sutherland's demise didn't sit right with me, though. That seemed a bit of a cop out. Expand
  21. Jun 3, 2012
    I don't know how to not give it a 10, instantly became one of my favorite films. This movie is bleak and beautiful at the same time, made almost entirely of detestable characters. It still buggles me how von Trier made all these elements work - but he did. Dunst is truly amazing on this one.
  22. May 19, 2012
    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 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
  23. May 9, 2012
    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.
  24. Apr 29, 2012
    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.
  25. j30
    Apr 23, 2012
    Great performances all around particularly the two leads Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. I found the movie both thought-provoking and beautiful to look at. If you don't like art-house type film (where the emphasis is on style not story) this is not your kind of movie, but if you do you will be rewarded.
  26. Apr 23, 2012
    Gorgeously shot, with scenes drenched in golds and whites and blues, depending on the scene. Attention to detail was incredible; during the catastrophic wedding reception scene, there is a tiny fleck of wedding cake on Kirsten's bottom lip, and it was left there for several minutes. Kirsten's earring was left on the bed, also for the entire scene. Details like that bring an air of reality and surreality to this sci-fi-premised exploration of depression. One scene with Kirsten's character sitting and around stacks of chairs, alone, dangling her shoes from her feet, is all that superb film-making is about.

    For anyone who has fallen down the dark well of sadness, they should be able to relate without effort.

    Great film.
  27. Apr 22, 2012
    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 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
  28. Apr 22, 2012
    Melancholia will grab your attention via the beautiful opening sequence. It will have you asking questions yet marveling at the beauty of it.
    This remarkable opening sequence is a portrayal of what is to come and unfortunately for me the movie tries to be as beautiful as the opening prologue but fails to convince.
    There was just something missing for me - I didn't feel any connection to
    what is a very realistic subject matter (depression). Funnily this movie left me with a very clear mind without a depressing thought in sight. Visually it has it's moments! The actors give it their best shot and for me is the overall highlight of Lars' film. Sounds and music plays a serious role and is another standout. Meloncholia should be brilliant but it just isn't - it hits the target plenty of times, but fails to hit the bulls eye. Expand
  29. Apr 15, 2012
    beautiful movie. but i understand why people are giving such low rating, because it is just so slow (like glacially slow). but if you look past the tempo you'll see the amazing acting by Kirsten Dunst and the beautiful cinematography. in the end the movie is just a giant metaphor for depression, just when you think it's gone it comes back and hits you harder than before. it's the kind of movie that stays with you long after seeing it, you'll have different theories to why things happened the way they did and each time you think about it you'll come up with different explanations. overall amazing movie, 9.9/10. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.