Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Apr 1, 2014
    90
    Nymphomaniac is a jigsaw opus, an extended and generally exquisitely crafted riff. Story, theme, and character (despite Gainsbourg's captivations) bow to von Trier's gamesmanship, which makes his own promiscuities the film's true subject.
  2. Reviewed by: Boyd van Hoeij
    Dec 17, 2013
    83
    At its best, the film doesn't strain for meaning but instead treats all of its intellectualizing as a lark that can be taken seriously but doesn't need to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 3, 2014
    80
    Volume II builds on emotional foundations from Volume I, even recasting the first film's ironic humor with a darker pall.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 24, 2014
    80
    With thoughtfulness and passion, von Trier strives to give his audience a high, accompanied by the meaning of the high.
  5. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Feb 20, 2014
    80
    The point is that you could watch these films for four hours, then spend 14 arguing about them – about whether sex, for vor Trier, is an eternal human mystery, or a cosmic joke at our expense.
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Feb 18, 2014
    80
    A rich movie, seductive when abandoning people for falling snow or bleak nature and funny, painful and unflinching when it gets physical.
  7. Reviewed by: Kate Stables
    Feb 18, 2014
    80
    Thought-provoking rather than arousing, both films explore the director’s ideas about love, sexuality and loneliness. The organ he seeks to stimulate most is your brain.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 17, 2013
    80
    Volume two gets down in ways the first half doesn't, although anything resembling real sensuality remains MIA.
  9. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Dec 17, 2013
    80
    It is so laden with highly charged set pieces, so dappled with haunting ideas and bold flights of fancy that it finally achieves a kind of slow-burn transcendence.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 17, 2013
    80
    It’s one thing to declare sex a fact of life and insist that audiences confront their unease at seeing it depicted (or, equally constructive, their intense excitation at its mere mention), but quite another to fashion a fictional woman’s life around nothing but sex. As courageously depicted by Gainsbourg, Jo is ultimately a tragic character.
  11. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Dec 17, 2013
    80
    We’re never far from Von Trier, and both Skarsgård and Gainsbourg appear to offer different versions of the author himself.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 10, 2014
    75
    For better or worse, the whole exercise in lurid leg-pulling goes out with a bang.
  13. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Apr 4, 2014
    75
    I wonder how people will feel about the final moment of the film. I thought it was great, albeit extremely cynical.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 3, 2014
    75
    Vol. II is less focused than “Vol. I” — less funny, too, although there are a few dank laughs — and you feel Von Trier’s inspiration and energy start to flag during the final laps.
  15. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Mar 20, 2014
    75
    Taken as a whole, with volumes one and two in concert, Nymphomaniac looks like nothing less than a career overview, touring each era of the director’s development.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 3, 2014
    70
    This is a good movie, but it lacks the visual wonder of the first, along with the sense of play at which von Trier, even at his most controversial, is so good.
  17. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 3, 2014
    67
    A notch more watchable than Volume I, if only because Joe, the self-destructive heroine, is now played front and center by the magnetically dyspeptic Charlotte Gainsbourg instead of the vacuous model Stacy Martin.
  18. Reviewed by: Ben Brock
    Mar 20, 2014
    67
    If you thought Vol. I was a brilliant piece of provocation, then Vol. II might disappoint you with its detour into (relative) conventionality, its attacks on arthouse artificiality, and its apparently very different politics. But if you found Vol. I to be as silly as some did, then Vol. II suggests something interesting: Lars von Trier might agree.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 3, 2014
    63
    Vol. II turns into a battle (like most von Trier films) between the filmmaker's baser instincts and his searching ones.
  20. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 3, 2014
    63
    Much like the first film, Nymphomaniac Vol.2 isn’t remotely erotic or a turn-on — it’s a curiously intellectual experience that doesn’t move you below the neck, including the heart.
  21. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 20, 2014
    63
    Volume 2 picks up the story with an older Joe, now played by Gainsbourg, with her watchful sad face showing the character’s unsatisfied hunger. It seems more von Trier’s script than any great social taboos that cause Joe to go into free fall in a world that becomes more kinky and sinister.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 4, 2014
    60
    It all adds up to weave an engaging story, and not just for its wealth of titillations. Many of the sex scenes, in fact, feel more clinical than anything else.
  23. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 3, 2014
    60
    The problem with Nymphomaniac: Volume II lies not in its display of erect penises and reddened buttocks, but rather in its dull narrative and overworked ideas.
  24. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Apr 7, 2014
    55
    It's darker, stranger and pushes more buttons.
  25. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 16, 2014
    50
    The scenes between Gainsbourg and Skarsgard are fewer and less engaging than in the first volume, and the dichotomy between them is simpler and more obvious. And that doesn't even include an ending that is as impulsive and deranged as anything Joe comes up with during all of her taboo-breaking adventures.
  26. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 3, 2014
    50
    Even at its most depraved, Joe’s journey, and her confession to Seligman, are still compelling enough to propel Volume II until the story becomes hopelessly over-plotted.
  27. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Apr 3, 2014
    50
    Given the scarcity of movies about lust from the female point of view, this is kind of a bummer.
  28. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 3, 2014
    50
    With raw shock and a riveting Uma Thurman absent this time, Nymphomaniac: Volume II is a metaphoric limp dick.
  29. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 2, 2014
    50
    Not an easy film to love and politically incorrect to the hilt, it nevertheless leaves its mark on you – and it’s rarely, if ever, dull.
  30. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 27, 2014
    50
    A clear case of a narrative running out of steam. Exhaustingly repetitive, this movie attempts many of the same things its predecessor did but with less succes.
  31. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 3, 2014
    38
    For all of von Trier’s attempts to go big and go bold, the two Nymphomaniac films ultimately come across as a self-indulgent marathon run on a treadmill.
  32. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Mar 30, 2014
    38
    The sex in Nymphomaniac is inhuman, mechanical, boring, and predictably viewed through the (male) scrim of someone who characterizes women solely as withholders.
  33. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 3, 2014
    25
    There are phony movies made every week, but this is in a different category - a phony movie that seems a distortion of something real, a phony movie offered in place of the real movie von Trier could have made, but it would have cost him something. Some blood, some truth, some soul. What we're left with instead is an empty gesture.
  34. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 3, 2014
    0
    Here we go again. Danish director Lars von Trier has pumped out Nymphomaniac: Vol II just a few weeks after “Vol. I” came out. And the results are the same: zero stars.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Apr 4, 2014
    7
    Vastly superior to the first film, but I really hate the ending. Feels like a cop-out after 4 hours of sitting through this story. The benefit of part II is that you don't have to deal with Slater/Uma, who really sink the first part. And you get more Gainsbourg, who is awesome. Full Review »
  2. Apr 4, 2014
    9
    *NOTE: This is a review for Nymphomaniac as a whole; Volume I and II* Nymphomaniac is more than "sex epic"; it is an intelligent, gripping and a rather intense masterpiece made brilliant by great writing and fantastic acting - blending humour and shocking moments in equal measure, but also being a smart and engaging experience as well. It does have its flaws, albeit minor; Shia LaBeouf's strange "British" accent and some odd casting changes in Volume II. This film is definitely NOT for everyone due to its incredibly raunchily and controversial nature and some jaw-droppingly shocking moments and also its length which some may consider to be overlong. But the film is definitely worth a watch, and is worth to be analysed as well. Full Review »
  3. Jul 7, 2014
    8
    Volume 2 is a lot better then the first. Still there were times, when I was bored with the story. It seemed like to needed to be better edited. But the ending surprised me and it was a good one. Full Review »