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Black Swan (2010)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 273
Fresh: 237 | Rotten: 36

Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction -- and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 6

Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction -- and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 173,077

My Rating

Movie Info

A psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, BLACK SWAN stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a featured dancer who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company (Mila Kunis). A Fox Searchlight Pictures release by visionary director Darren Aronofsky (THE WRESTLER), BLACK SWAN takes a thrilling and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Mar 29, 2011


Fox Searchlight - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Black Swan

October 2, 2012:
Natalie Portman's Schedule Fills Up
While filming Terrence Malick's next untitled project, she's in line for a thriller ("Code Name...
January 5, 2012:
Natalie Portman Rumored for Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending
The sibling duo is reportedly "courting" Portman for their upcoming sci-fi film.


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All Critics (273) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (237) | Rotten (36) | DVD (12)

Portman hasn't been this good since her early performances in The Professional and Heat, and is deservedly attracting intense Oscar buzz. Kunis brings to Lily a savvy sexiness, and Cassel is entertainingly smarmy.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Practice makes perfectly insane in Black Swan, a tale of one ballerina's psychosexual freakout.

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Portman, saddled with the near-impossible role of an impenetrable heroine we must care for without ever coming close to understanding, delivers career-high work here...

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At times, Black Swan verges on laughably old school. Still, what a brazen, bold riff on the cost - physical, emotional - of art.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a delirium that runs through Black Swan, a sense of stress and anguish and mad momentum, that's both exhilarating and terrifying.

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taken in the too-much-is-never-enough vein, "Black Swan" is a fantastic experience...

December 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all his command of adrenalized, propulsive narrative and his dazzling technical facility, Aronofsky's study in female hysteria ultimately favors frenzy over compassion or insight-and remains strictly skin-deep.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Wonderful performances and assured and audacious direction make for one of the best films of the year. Aronofsky is never afraid to take risks with the story and his unflinching direction turns out to be one of the film's greatest assets.

November 3, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Black Swan offers a perfect balance between Aronofsky's more poetic works and his down-to-earth style of The Wrestler.

October 14, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Director Darren Aronofsky builds an incredible atmosphere for an over-the-top story that doesn't deserve it.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Mamas, don't let your daughters grow up to be ballerinas. Let 'em be test pilots, tightrope walkers, human cannonballs and such - any career safer than the business of tutus and tiaras.

May 25, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

An Oscar contender with class, and chills.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Though it touches on a number of genres and encapsulates several themes, Black Swan is best viewed as a horror movie - a slow creep into insanity that's touching and terrifying in equal measure.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

While it wasn't quite as good as it was being out to be, it remains an interesting film with several things to like about it.

September 22, 2012 Full Review Source:

I liked it in the way many folks like B sci-fi flics from the 50s.

July 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinemania

In his eagerness, [Aronofsky] goes for violent energy over poetry, shock over suggestion, emotion over intelligence.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Filmwell | Comment (1)

Darren Aronofsky's most perfect exploration of his own thematic obsession.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source:

Its fixation on mirrors notwithstanding, the film shows us little we don't already know.

November 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)
Film Threat

... The kind of film that stays with you, a moving experience on multiple levels.

November 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Dances its way through multiple genres with varying degrees of success

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Comment (1)
Movie Habit

Aronofsky explores the quest for perfection in what is a near-perfect film.

June 2, 2011 Full Review Source: The Standard
The Standard

Black Swan aspires to be little more than a showy, twisty thriller with no attempt at plausibility. But I still found it less and less appealing as it lurched toward the end.

May 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Akron Beacon Journal | Comments (15)

Some parts are campy, some parts are creepy, but "Black Swan" lives up to its reputation. And Portman earned her Oscar.

April 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Darren Aronofsky is a national movie treasure at this point. His films aren't really art, they're just sort of arthouse by way of funhouse.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

Aronofsky is completely serious about the fever dream that is Black Swan, which is how he's able to pull off material that is inherently unserious.

March 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Sure, it's melodramatic and self-important, but Black swan is still a thing of rare terrifying, heartbreaking, surreal, monstrous and downright orgasmic beauty

March 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Triple J
Triple J

Audience Reviews for Black Swan

Review coming to
April 6, 2014

Super Reviewer

The "Mindf@*ck" film genre has just gotten a solid new entry with "Black Swan" a psychosexual thriller starring Natalie Portman and directed by Darren Aronofsky. But "Swan" despite its excellent execution and master class performances doesn't quite achieve the heights of other classics in this genre like "Mulholland Drive", "Memento" or even Aronofsky's amazing "Requiem of a Dream".

"Black Swan" follows the rise (or dark descent) of a featured ballerina (Portman) who lands the coveted lead role in a new production of "Swan Lake". As she prepares for the part, she finds herself battling with a beautiful new rival who possesses the qualities she lacks (Mila Kunis), her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey), her admiration for the prior and now past her prime featured ballerina (Winona Ryder) and the production's eccentric director (Vincent Cassel. These conflicts begin a fascinating trip into darkness.

Portman is essential to the film's success and her committed performance is a wonder to behold. The young actress is raw in her approach and brings the character alive both physically and mentally. She's surrounded by a solid cast with Kunis demonstrating chops she had little chance to display in her prior roles. Veterans Hershey and Ryder do well with their parts, but are nothing more but stock characters with very little surprise.

"Swan" is painstaking in its portrayal of the brutality of the ballet world - with injuries and psychological torment in full display - and perhaps this painstaking detail is what distracts "Swan" and ultimately makes it feel too laborious to get through. But this does not destroy the film it just blunts the impact the film could have had if it had only been a bit more tightly paced.

With that said, "Swan" is still a definite must watch. Aronofsky again showcases a unique point of view and perspective that is rarely seen in film today and "Swan" while not a masterpiece is still a fascinating film to watch.
March 27, 2014
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Wow! this film had me on edge since the beginning. I don't remember having been so stupefied by a film quite like this. Portman is a revelation here and although I didn't exactly like her character that doesn't matter because that was her intention. The whole movie is a metaphor for what it means to want to reach perfection.
January 23, 2014

Super Reviewer

Swan Lake. The prologue, when Rothbart casts his spell. Cut. A smiley and sweet Natalie Portman wakes up in a pink childish room. Although, her head lays down on a white pillowcase with black curlicues enveloping it. The first of too much other obvious signs we'll see representing duality or multiplicity.

The prologue is this same opening scene, the dream. It's not possible to be sure if the "dream" truly became reality, but we tend to believe it, though not literally.

Black Swan has been compared to Red Shoes and Repulsion among others. Indeed, but once we feel Vicky' s passion for dancing (Red Shoes), we can't feel it in Nina. The ballet seems to be only another neurose, maybe the closest symbol of the perfection she seeks. Once Carole (Repulsion) is really scary and intriguing, Nina is only a scared "little girl" we can only feel for. She's not complex or interesting at all, neither any of the other characters are. Lily, nothing but the tiring free-spirited femme fatale, could only be the alter ego of Nina's lack of depth, personality. All Nina needs to shine is to bring out her bad side that is, of course, mostly represented by sex and "drugs".

Being real or not, Lily and Erica, the mother, are both sides of Nina. Even if they really exist, we only know them by Nina's perspective: the way she sees them represent her own battle against herself. When the mother is pretty much the first against whom we rebel when claiming for liberty, it couldn't have a better choice than the mother figure in opposition to the liberal self, to settle down Nina's bad side. I had the impression that Erica's presence was allegoric in the masturbation scene; Nina would have felt her presence in the room. Instead, she only sees mommy when having pleasure = guilt. Also, Erica changes a bit as Nina's black side tries to come out: from a overprotective and stifling, but yet kind mother (all she does, even if in a wrong way, is to worry and try to protect Nina), a possible incest relationship is suggested what possible only happens in Nina's mind as all other sexual situations (the old guy on the subway, Lily, Thomas, etc). Nina is afraid of her own self and needs to find spoilers everywhere. She returns Beth's things thinking that they could have corrupted her. She battles against her mom (control) and she battles against Lily (chaos) to finally understand what Thomas said: "the only person standing in your way is you".

But don't take me wrong: it's another overrated movie that could have been very good, but that lacks of subtlety and a more consistent persona. Not to mention that all the "scaring" sounds and noises, red eyes and other things alike supposed to fright are boring and even made me laugh sometimes. And what about all the buzz around Natalie Portman has shocked Venice Film Festival with the lesbian scene? Do people really still get shocked and with such a scene? Intentionally or not, just another promotional material... Some tv shows have already showed much better scenes.

I really wanted to like it, but I haven't seen any spectacularity neither in the movie nor in Natalie Portman's performance. I'm sorry, but it's nothing than Natalie Portman being "nice" (in a certain point of Black Swan, the young Portman of Everyone Says I love You, crying because the boy she likes chose her sister, was there) and "bad", what she already did in Closer.
Explain something to me: Mila Kunis getting the Marcello Mastroianni Prize for young performance was supposed to be a joke?
October 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Lilly: I can't believe he calls her that. It's so gross.
    2. Nina: I think it's sweet.
    3. Lilly: Little princess? I mean he probably calls every girl that.
    4. Nina: No way. That's just for Beth.
    5. Lilly: Well, I bet he'll be calling you little princess any day now.
    6. Nina: I don't know about that.
    7. Lilly: Oh, sure he will. Just gotta let him lick your pussy!
    – Submitted by Sarah K (8 months ago)
    1. Erica Sayers/The Queen: Take off your shirt.
    2. Nina: No.
    – Submitted by Sarah K (8 months ago)
    1. Beth MacIntyre/ The Dying Swan: Me? I'm nothing. Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!!!
    – Submitted by Sam S (17 months ago)
    1. Beth MacIntyre/ The Dying Swan: Did you suck his cock?
    – Submitted by Sam S (17 months ago)
    1. Nina: It's my turn.
    – Submitted by Tareq J (18 months ago)
    1. Nina: It's my turn.
    – Submitted by Tareq J (18 months ago)
View all quotes (62)

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