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The Dancer Upstairs Reviews

Page 1 of 7
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little other than the love story subplot to energize the proceedings, many viewers will find that, for all its grace, The Dancer Upstairs moves too slowly.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 29, 2003
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs

Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 30, 2005
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review

Nicholas Shakespeare's script (from his own novel) is limp and cursory, and the plot, being a foregone conclusion, lacks suspense.

Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Original Score: 2/5

May 12, 2003
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Full Review | Original Score: 4/10

May 15, 2003
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Malkovich's take on a world of corruption, intrigue and terrorism is elegantly mysterious, but...leaps in plot and missteps in character trip up The Dancer Upstairs.

December 1, 2003
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

It's a wishy-washy picture; Malkovich should have whole-heartedly embraced either the politics or the pulp.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 2/4

May 11, 2003
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly

The core investigation offers little urgency and a less-than-satisfying payoff.

| Original Score: 2/4

May 6, 2003
Susan Granger
www.susangranger.com

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10

May 7, 2003
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

Malkovich and Shakespeare seem content to linger over minor things, possibly to let the audience absorb them better but to the detriment of the movie's tempo.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 6/10

September 7, 2003
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Initially engrossing, The Dancer Upstairs slackens in its second half.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 29, 2003
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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It's sober, deliberate, self-consciously mysterious and no fun at all.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

May 2, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A slow-burning affair that may seem exotic but mainly crawls from cliche to cliche.

May 9, 2003
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals

Bardem's character, police detective Agustin Rejas, is Malkovich's attempt to place high minded dedication, intelligence and sensitivity into a system sustained by corruption, greed and unfettered power.

Full Review Source: Cinema Signals | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 17, 2003
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Atmospheric but dramatically murky, a mood in search of a story.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: C+

May 8, 2003
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Though Malkovich does a nice job in establishing the look and feel of this country, his lack of restraint in trimming the story's excesses is what ultimately turns the film into an overlong bore.

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 2, 2003
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly

...painstakingly vague even during the rare scenes it isn't teetering on incoherence--I'm not certain the movie isn't awful. Yet I don't think I'd mind seeing it again.

May 7, 2003
Shawn Levy
Oregonian

A murky, turgid work that is no doubt exactly the film Malkovich wished to make but is so indirect and affected as to border on incoherent.

Full Review Source: Oregonian

May 9, 2003
Joshua Tanzer
Offoffoff

Squanders the intensity of its strongest moments by running away from its own political implications, not to mention by being in the wrong damn language.

Full Review Source: Offoffoff | Original Score: 2/4

May 2, 2003
Chuck Rudolph
Slant Magazine

Feels less tantalizingly ambiguous than it does like a prologue that has somehow taken the place of the story that was meant to succeed it.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine

January 18, 2003
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather

I could feel that this movie was almost a smashing success, that it could have been terrific with just a few tweaks here and there.

Full Review Source: Film Blather | Original Score: C+

May 8, 2003
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
November 14, 2002
Jennie Kermode
Movie Gurus
November 9, 2011
Kim Linekin
eye WEEKLY
July 8, 2003
Alexander Walker
This is London
December 7, 2002
Cynthia Fuchs
Nitrate Online
May 16, 2003
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]
December 15, 2003
Kenneth Turan
NPR's Morning Edition
December 30, 2006
David Rooney
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic
June 9, 2008

FilmFour.com
December 10, 2002

Guardian [UK]
December 10, 2002

Baltimore Sun
May 16, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
May 16, 2003

Orlando Weekly
May 29, 2003

Boston Phoenix

July 2, 2003

Sydney Morning Herald
July 16, 2003

Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

September 17, 2003

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
January 26, 2006
Page 1 of 7
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