Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: As a Latin American nation nears collapse under a highly organized terrorist movement, idealistic policeman Agustin Rejas (Bardem) faces the greatest challenge of his career: to catch the mysterious guerilla leader Ezequiel. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    90
    Patient and plodding -- but as realized by John Malkovich, in his directorial debut, utterly absorbing.
  2. If the screenwriter and director had followed their cinematic instincts fully, they would have collaborated on one of the more satisfying political thrillers in years; instead, they've managed to create three-quarters of one.
  3. 75
    Elegantly, even languorously, photographed by Jose Luis Alcaine, who doesn't punch into things but regards them, so that we are invited to think about them. That doesn't mean the movie is slow; it moves with a compelling intensity toward its conclusion.
  4. It's not a great film, but in its reckless audacity -- an American director working from a British novel set in Latin America, dealing with the largest themes of Latin American art, politics and history -- it's reassuring. Someone's still willing to take a big chance.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Far from perfect but completely unique, the film could best be described as a paranoid South American metaphysical political thriller -- you heard me -- and whatever its failures, they're not ones of nerve or imagination.
  6. While you can't fault The Dancer Upstairs for lack of ambition, its tantalizing ingredients add up to a less impressive package than I'd hoped for. Malkovich should select a more manageable subject the next time he sits in the director's chair.
  7. Malkovich has done considerable directing in the theater, but nothing in the acting here shows acuteness of choice or subtlety of touch.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4

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