| Original Score: 2/5
| Original Score: 3/5
The film does a fine job of displaying the contrasts between these tense, formalized Chinese students and the faux populist American academics.
| Original Score: 3/4
There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from actual events, but it's a tricky business, and Dark Matter does no one right by sticking to the shocking conclusion.
| Original Score: 1/4
It is easy to see the film as two movies crammed together, neither of them being very good.
Liu Ye is too inexpressive for his role's demands, and the movie doesn't build to his downfall: It just zaps itself there.
| Original Score: C-
There's little in Billy Shebar's script, the rambling direction by theater and opera helmer Chen Shi-Zheng - or Liu Ye's impassive performance as the student.
| Original Score: 2/4
Director Chen Shi-Zheng's film has a graceful energy, and three strong performances help make this serene drama - and its shocking conclusion - quietly moving.
Don't be fooled by the presence of Meryl Streep in the cast. This glum, inert psychological drama features little of her presence - and could have used much more.
An unsuccessful mix of drama and social warning. Post-Virginia Tech, Dark Matter seems merely naïve.
Dark Matter, with its view of cutthroat politics and competing egos inside a university, is also laudable in its refusal to soft-pedal the viciously petty side of the academic fishbowl.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's an inelegant experiment that captures many intriguing moments as they pass, but ends up utterly baffled by the question of how its delightful central character becomes a tabloid-ready monster.
It concludes in a way that will have you asking whether the ending was misguided, or maybe it was just the rest of the movie.
he tensions of intellectual pride demand a quieter address; Dark Matter might have played like Shattered Glass in more capable hands.
| Original Score: 3/6
First-time director Chen Shi-Zheng shows great sensitivity to the pressure and isolation felt by Chinese brains at American universities, and the relationship between Liu and Quinn provides a rare look at the intellectual serfdom of graduate study.
Dark Matter's insights go no deeper than 'chickens coming home to roost' banality.
Director Chen Shi-Zheng is inconsistent from one scene to the next, alternating clichés with convincing, specific details. The film never quite earns its whopper of a finale.
Challenging subject matter best suited to discerning audiences.
A middling academic drama that passes pleasantly enough for roughly an hour before detouring into a tacked-on tragic climax.