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Beyond The Black Rainbow (2012)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 13
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 4.1/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 2,812


Movie Info

Set in the strange and oppressive emotional landscape of the year 1983, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a Reagan-era fever dream inspired by hazy childhood memories of midnight movies and Saturday morning cartoons. From the producer of "Machotaildrop," Rainbow is the outlandish feature film debut of writer and director Panos Cosmatos. Featuring a hypnotic analog synthesizer score by Jeremy Schmidt of "Sinoia Caves" and "Black Mountain," Rainbow is a film experience for the senses. -- (C) Magnet

R (for some bloody violence, disturbing images, a graphic sexual illustration, language and drug content)
Science Fiction & Fantasy , Horror
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Sep 11, 2012
Box Office:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Beyond The Black Rainbow

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (14) | DVD (1)

There's much to admire about Panos Cosmatos' directorial debut, but the end result is admittedly not for all tastes.

Full Review… | March 21, 2013
MSN Movies
Top Critic

The movie looks like it was lit by lava lamps, scored on Moog synthesizers, written between bong hits and acted underwater. None of this is meant as praise.

Full Review… | July 26, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

"Beyond the Black Rainbow" has a doomy, dreamy, druggy, draggy feel that's impressively sustained - until it becomes oppressive, then pointless, then laughable.

Full Review… | June 7, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Much of the time, watching Beyond the Black Rainbow is accompanied by head scratching, but perhaps that's the point of this trippy outing.

Full Review… | June 7, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Close-ups of a needle penetrating gnarled toes and a mutant slathered in what I choose to believe is bittersweet chocolate make as much sense as the scary drawings of angry vulvas hiding in a drawer.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

This would-be cult classic is the movie equivalent of gazing at a lava lamp for nearly two hours.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

Part Cronenberg, part Bava, and part De Palma ... It's a film that manages to feel both new and long-forgotten at the same time.

Full Review… | August 15, 2014
Under the Radar

The rich and strange debut of Panos Cosmatos throbs with style and portent, which proves a winning combination even if it is somewhat light in the narrative department.

Full Review… | February 6, 2013
Eye for Film

Audiences who appreciate oddball first efforts from talents such as Lynch (Eraserhead), Cronenberg (Shivers) and Jeunet (Delicatessen) will be thankful.

Full Review… | January 20, 2013

If you follow the muddled spacy film's logic throughout, you deserve a merit honor badge for devotion to service beyond the call of duty.

Full Review… | December 15, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Nothing much happens in this experimental-type science fiction horror film. What little does happen is at a slow-motion snail's pace.

Full Review… | December 4, 2012
Laramie Movie Scope

If 2001: A Space Odyssey had an evil twin masquerading as a horror film, this would be it. Beyond the Black Rainbow culls from untold volumes of film history even as it delivers its own uniquely brilliant freak-outs.

November 5, 2012
Projection Booth

a twisted version of 2001: A Space Odyssey which takes place in a psychological torture chamber rather than in the whole of the universe

Full Review… | October 6, 2012
7M Pictures

The product of a fevered mad auteur... May prove to be one of the more rewarding and disturbing film experiences in many a year.

Full Review… | August 25, 2012

While never quite dull, 'Beyond the Black Rainbow' doesn't achieve all the chills it's capable of.

Full Review… | July 16, 2012
KC Active

'Beyond' would be more interesting with limitations.

Full Review… | June 29, 2012
Boxoffice Magazine

Comprehensibility does not appear to be one of this writer/director's goals, but if someone is able to help Cosmatos marshal his raw visual talent, I'll be first in line to see his second film.

Full Review… | June 8, 2012
Austin Chronicle

[VIDEO ESSAY] Yes, this movie is even worse than "Battlefield Earth."

Full Review… | May 28, 2012

It's pretentious and definitely not for all tastes.

Full Review… | May 21, 2012

The feature is extraordinary to watch, offering delirious visions that hypnotize and repulse, with distinct Cronenbergian encouragement that merges the magic of thought with the puzzle of flesh.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012

Audience Reviews for Beyond The Black Rainbow

A mute telepathic woman is kept prisoner in a mysterious pyramid-power institute in the Reagan era in this slow paced, visually trippy pseudo-surreal sci-fi effort. The style over substance aesthetic wears a little thin by the end, but every year should feature a film explicitly designed to accompany an acid trip, and this was 2012s best option.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

There are three movies that I have watched in my lifetime that I can honestly say, I have no clue what it was about, and you really need drugs to understand. "Muholland Drive", "Tree of Life", and now "Beyond the Black Rainbow" make up a trilogy of movies that will scramble your brain, leave you scratching your head, and when it's over say "Why did I watch this?" This is some psychedelic horror/drama about a crazy Dr. with a patient who has mind powers, I think. I don't know really, you just need to watch for yourself. I saw the trailer for this last month on a show called "Nothing but trailers" and thought it was the weirdest/craziest trailer I ever saw, and had to watch it. Well, I watched, and I'm still left with zero answers. The only reason I give this 2 stars is because there are 2 things about this movie I really did like, and fans of horror movies will like(won't understand, but will like). The score is probably the scariest music you will ever hear in a movie, and it's all synthesizer type music that will literally give you chills. The second, the Dr. is the creepiest character I have seen in a long time. People tend to fear what they don't understand, and in that regard, he is one scary mofo. You may not get anything in this movie, but you will be creeped out by him, I promise! If you want a movie that will creep you out, then check this out, just don't expect to know what is going on, or understand any of it. If you do get it, please hit me up and let me know, because I didn't get it at all, and I usually get these types of movies.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


I could not do spoilers on this film if I wanted to - I could barely follow it. I suspect that was the whole idea of it.
There were things I liked about it - I liked the look of the film, it had a very 70's feel (though it is a recent movie), I think it was set in the past, but not even sure on that, quite honestly. I kept thinking all the way through, this would make a good music video!
As a movie, though, excruciatingly slow with no real payback at the end. You will likely have more questions than answers. Movie looks great and liked the soundtrack, but it's a long and frustrating two hours.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


When "Beyond the Black Rainbow" was released last year, I was intrigued because the critics were saying that it was weird. But they could not articulate exactly what kind of weird, so I passed at the time. Now, after seeing the movie for myself, I understand why since even with an abdundance of disturbing imagery, it does not mean anything without any kind of context, putting it in the general neighborhood of amateur hour Cronenberg.

The story such as it is concerns a clinic run by Mercurio Arboria(Scott Hylands) where Barry Nyle(Michael Rogers), a mad scientist, is performing unhealthy looking experiments on Elena(Eva Allan), a patient. Overall, the movie looks like what somebody in 1966 would think 1983 will look like.(The only cultural difference the movie points out is people being able to smoke indoors back then.) And I think I might have gone with that if not for one nightmarish image. That sole image might tie in with the movie's possible theme of the vast potential of the 60's giving way to the abyss of the 80's. Or maybe it's all about evolution. Who knows?

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Beyond The Black Rainbow Quotes

Mercurio Arboria:
Bring home the mother lode, Barry.
– Submitted by Forrest E (23 months ago)
Barry Nyle:
You are doing so good.
– Submitted by Forrest E (23 months ago)
Barry Nyle:
This is always the highlight of my day.
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)

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