The Dance of Reality


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
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  1. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    May 23, 2014
    The result will no doubt polarize viewers, as has been the case with his other major works, but it will certainly go down amongst those who see it as one of the most unforgettable films of this or any other year in recent memory.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 22, 2014
    The Dance of Reality is the work of a highly disciplined anarchist, whose principal weapon against authority is his own imagination.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    May 21, 2014
    As a close look at Jodorowsky’s work reveals, the line between “cult artist” and “cult leader” can be blurry. The line only gets blurrier with The Dance Of Reality, Jodorowsky’s first movie in 23 years, and the best thing he’s done, film-wise, since "The Holy Mountain."
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    May 20, 2014
    The Dance of Reality may be Alejandro Jodorowsky's best film, and certainly, in a filmography top-heavy with freak-show hyperbole and symbology stew, the one most invested in narrative meaning.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    May 29, 2014
    Compared to his previous films, The Dance of Reality offers a nearly coherent narrative and a gentle, reconciliatory tone.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Nicholson
    Aug 27, 2015
    The Dance of Reality is a rich and expressive new offering from a man who has always tried to sculpt something resembling cinematic poetry, whatever that might look like.
  7. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    May 23, 2014
    Jodorowsky’s fondness for the surreal and grotesque is in full evidence here. What makes his films so captivating, however, isn’t their strangeness, but their refusal to divide the world into good and bad, even when it’s easy to do so.
  8. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 21, 2014
    A full-bodied and mischievous autobiography in the spirit of Federico Fellini’s "Amarcord," Alejandro Jodorowsky’s return to filmmaking after 28 years of financial frustration explodes with great ideas.
  9. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 4, 2014
    Crammed to bursting with the director’s trademark magical realism. Occasionally marred by budgetary constraints, this is nevertheless a welcome return for an artist who truly deserves the sobriquet: El Maestro.
  10. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 5, 2014
    The Dance of Reality, which deserves a place along Amarcord as a fantastical take on coming of age, is the work of a wise and experienced old soul with the heart and curiosity of a young man in love with life.
  11. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    May 30, 2014
    The 85-year-old Chilean-born auteur returns this week with his latest directorial attempt, The Dance of Reality, an intensely personal, deeply felt, if at times solipsistic autobiographical work about his childhood in Tocopilla, a seaside town at the edge of the Chilean desert.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    May 29, 2014
    For all the spectacular weirdness, Jodorowsky manages to generate real emotion.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    May 22, 2014
    At times exquisitely attuned to the commingling of the bitterly funny and tragic, and at other times an eye-roll-worthy collection of ready-made fetish videos (Flores is one brave avatar of outré sexuality), The Dance of Reality is nonetheless proof that the legendary provocateur is still a font of out-there invention.
  14. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    May 20, 2014
    It’s more gentle and fanciful in tone, and though it’s as episodic and digressive as Jodorowsky’s best-known work, the various pieces add up to a clear, not-so-odd narrative.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Feb 5, 2014
    At more than two hours, The Dance of Reality unquestionably has its longueurs, but on balance it is alive with enough images and ideas for several movies — as if Jodorowsky were afraid he might have to wait 20 more years before making another.
  16. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 22, 2014
    Jodorowsky throws everything and several kitchen sinks into the film, yet it all has its place, and the overall effect is not of the headachey mess it would be in anyone else’s hands, but of a kind of joyous, absurdist melange of highbrow concepts, personal memoir and potty humor.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 13, 2014
    Even when it is at its most esoteric, The Dance of Reality is always brimming with passion and a daring originality. That helps smooth over the flaws, such as its general staginess and his self-indulgent tendencies.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 22, 2014
    Jodorowsky turns his own youth into an odd, hypnotic mishmash.
  19. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Feb 5, 2014
    The Dance of Reality is a rich pageant of nostalgic narcissism laced with New Age mysticism and fortune-cookie wisdom.
  20. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    May 29, 2014
    The Dance of Reality may not succeed, but it may hold some interest to cinephiles as a relic of a kind of extravagant, overheated personal cinema that doesn't exist anymore.
  21. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    May 19, 2014
    Alejandro Jodorowsky never manages to transcend the sense that he's indulging himself and participating in a hollow introspection unworthy of his prior cinema.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 8, 2014
    The man is an incredible filmmaker through and through. I wouldn't say the film is flawless but I feel like Jodorowsky exploits the filmsThe man is an incredible filmmaker through and through. I wouldn't say the film is flawless but I feel like Jodorowsky exploits the films flaws to a whimsical amount. It's a fantastic and very personal film from a teacher. Jodorowsky remains the most ballsy filmmaker working not only because of his style but also for his powerful statements about religious and societal conditioning. Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2014
    Alejandro Jodorowsky is back! Could there be a better time? Cinema needs daring filmmakers like this who ground the truly absurd in reality.Alejandro Jodorowsky is back! Could there be a better time? Cinema needs daring filmmakers like this who ground the truly absurd in reality. Like EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN, THE DANCE OF REALITY is far from perfect. The film is at least 30 minutes too long with sequences that come out of left field with no impact. But the central statement, an examination of dogma--religious, social, and political--the easy bending of our minds that impact us all, is an important topic to explore and Jodorowsky does it winningly. Yes, the message is clear and loud. We are hit on the head with it. Maybe sometimes we need to be hit? Full Review »