• Unrated, 1 hr. 24 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:    Todd Solondz
  • In Theaters:    Jun 8, 2012 Limited
  • On DVD:    Nov 13, 2012
  • Vitagraph Films

Dark Horse Reviews

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
August 17, 2012

It would be unfair and patronizing to say that Solondz needs to grow up, but "Dark Horse" suggests that it's time for the bard of bourgeois hypocrisy to consider moving on.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Solondz has made a career out of specializing in highly aberrant views of middle-class life.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

That Gelber can make Abe appealing in any way is a triumph. That Solondz can orchestrate such a feat is an even bigger one.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Solondz will never be much for happy endings, but the film is strangely optimistic and at times borders ever-so-slightly on the whimsical.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
August 2, 2012

With champion bloodlines from Walken and Farrow, "Dark Horse" could have been a contender, but it gets so skittish about trodding a familiar path that it pulls up lame.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Stephanie Zacharek
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
July 26, 2012

For once, Solondz seems less interested in scoring points off his characters than in creeping into their shy, sad interior worlds.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
July 26, 2012

Todd Solondz, the dean of depressive comedy, is back with another funny, shocking, emotionally probing original.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
July 19, 2012

[Solondz] pulls one too many narrative stunts, with one too many dream sequences, calling into question the reality of everything that's happened - including that soap-operatic finale.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tirdad Derakhshani
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
July 12, 2012

[A] wonderfully realized and surprisingly understated dark satire...

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
June 29, 2012

You have to admire the filmmaker for what he has achieved thus far in Dark Horse, and mourn Abe's premature departure from the action.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
June 28, 2012

As awful as Abe is, you can't help rooting for him as he struggles to get his life in order, all while his vivid fantasy world seems to be closing in on him.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
Top Critic
June 26, 2012

Solondz's latest, 'Dark Horse', is similar to his first film, 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' (1995), in the way it piles cruelties on one misguided character.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
June 22, 2012

Even though Todd Solondz' latest journey into suburban dysfunction may seem dark (and is), it's also about joy, and how easily it's wasted.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
June 21, 2012

Abe may deserve all that comes to him, but the question of how he got this way sustains the picture, against all odds.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
June 21, 2012

There are times when it is dark humor, and then times when it is simply dark. But there is something more going on here, something deeper and more ... hopeful?

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
June 20, 2012

The most squirm-inducing aspect of Dark Horse is the way that Solondz is still stuck in his outdated loser tropes.

Full Review | Original Score: C
David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
June 18, 2012

Solondz is a minor master of black comedy-the flattened emotional responses, the grotesque non sequiturs, the perverse desires lurking under a bland surface.

David Edelstein
NPR
Top Critic
June 8, 2012

It's tough to get on Todd Solondz's wavelength, but boy is it worth the emotional gyrations.

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
June 8, 2012

Characters turn out to have improbable secret lives, or pop in and out like hallucinations. Plotlines that start to satisfy, attitudes that start to make sense, are ruthlessly upended.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sara Stewart
New York Post
Top Critic
June 8, 2012

It's a typical Solondz sad-sack tale, but this film seems to be disgusted by its own characters, which isn't true of the director's best work.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
June 7, 2012

Its departures from realism have the effect of enlarging the narrow, unremarkable lives that are its focus, and by extension the audience's sense of what those lives might mean.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ian Buckwalter
NPR
Top Critic
June 7, 2012

Despite its flaws, Dark Horse largely succeeds as yet another installment in Todd Solondz's career-long examination of the lust for love and security among the deeply damaged.

Full Review | Original Score: 6.5/10
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
June 7, 2012

"Dark Horse" joins "Dollhouse" and "Happiness" as a kind of trilogy of personality terror. It ultimately wanders too far out there, but before that it's quirky and curious enough to be happening in any house next door.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
June 7, 2012

To a small extent, the concept puts enough of a shine on the material to make it seem new again.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
June 5, 2012

Even with Dark Horse's brief running time, staying in Abe's company is a serious test of negative entertainment.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
Top Critic
June 5, 2012

Dark Horse is neither incisively black-comic nor particularly attuned to human behavior-proof that some directors, at least, do end up the way they started out.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
September 9, 2011

Solondz's most waywardly endearing film, his gentlest triumph.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
September 7, 2011

Never less than watchable and loaded with trademark negativity so extreme it's sometimes funny, the new film is nonetheless saddled with a protagonist so narrowly and unlikably presented that, in the end, he doesn't seem worth the time devoted to him.