Dogville Reviews

Page 1 of 175
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2013
The tiny township of Dogville (population 20) reluctantly takes in a woman fleeing from gangsters, but their generosity turns into abuse as they gradually maker her into their slave. It's de Sade's "Justine" played out on the set of "Our Town." Masterful but misanthropic.
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2007
This films stands as criticism to these horrible times we are living in and a clear picture that everything we do is never really good enough. This film will make viewers feel uncomfortable and many may very well disagree with the message it tries to bring forth... but whether they agree or not is not important because it is inevitably an undeniable truth about humanity and the evil we are capable of doing.

The lack of scenery and theater-like view of the film is strange at first but by the time Kidman is in the picture you're no longer aware of this... and if you are you will simply see that it is all for your better enjoyment of the film. This film is not to be missed and to be watched more than once as well!!!
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2012
The first time I tried to watch this I saw ART spray painted over everything by dint of the stripped down sets and, w/o knowing more or wanting to, immediately turned it off. Finally deciding to listen to whatever the raving lunatic might have to say (that's what I think when I see ART), regretting it as I did, and lo, von Trier does have something to say in this reworking of the Christ tale when an innocent stranger comes to a small town. Its intelligent, thought provoking, brave, hey, and loaded with plum talent altho, make no mistake, this is Kidman's and von Trier's show.
Super Reviewer
March 9, 2012
If Lars von Trier is anything, he's challenging as a filmmaker. His films are beyond different, and like Terrence Malick, they cause a polarizing to audiences watching them. I happen to appreciate any filmmaker trying to do something different and not make what I call "cookie cutter movies". Dogville is just such an example of a movie than is completely unorthodox. I'm not going to comment on this film's meaning, or whether or not I agree with it. It's certainly thought-provoking, and people far more interested in it than I have said a great deal of things about it. My main concern with the film is its length. The film is just a little over three hours, but it felt more like four hours long. There's a lot of repetition in the dialogue and some scenes that seem to go nowhere. If this were a book, I would have cut a couple of chapters out of it. The drama in the film is very effective, but it all goes on a little too long, making it feel disparaging to a viewer. Was that the intention of Lars von Trier? I don't know, maybe, but it didn't work that well for me and made me want the film to end sooner than it actually did. I liked the performances, the look and the style of the film, but if it had been about a half hour or nearly an hour shorter, it would have benefitted greatly.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2011
A mysterious woman arrives at a small mountain town and falls in love with a writer as she helps the town's citizens with their daily lives, but slowly, the town's darker side comes out.
Is it possible that I've found a film that is too pessimistic even for me? No, not really. But Lars von Trier's post-modern opus certainly comes close. His direction and story are remarkably grim, revealing human beings' seemingly natural penchant for destruction and selfishness. The story unfolds slowly, but it's captivating, and the three hours goes quickly.
I also liked von Trier's concept. The action takes place on a large sound stage, and chalk lines denote residences and even one family's dog; doors and gooseberry bushes are pantomimed. Toward the beginning I wondered if the concept would get in the way of the story, but when "Dogville's teeth are bared" (one of the Narrator's lines), the concept added to the film's effect: essentially, everything is out in the open in Dogville, but people still don't have the self-reflective awareness needed for self-condemnation.
However, I did think some of the Narrator's lines were too diegetic, and the second and third acts are more demonstrative than believable.
Overall, though, Dogville is a fascinating and grim condemnation of the darker parts of America with an inventive style all its own.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2011
Although the movie belongs to one of my favorite genres and had high ratings, I'd been avoiding it because of its length. Knowing not whether it was wise or otherwise, I finally decided to watch it. Of course, implementation of the decision took some more time. Wonderfully cast and performed, the movie would have only benefited from a tighter editing. Told in nine chapters and a prologue, it was quite a task to get through to the end. The first eight chapters, a bit tedious, were about average on the whole. And while I'm satisfied with what the ending was, the way it was executed was terrible. Most of the conversations in the last chapter, while significant, got unnecessarily repetitious and irritably stretched the movie. Except for its execution, the movie is good enough. Despite of my rating, I'd be at a loss if one asks me right now whether I'd recommend it or not, given my overall experience. The movie would have been far much better had it been in better hands, but looking at the ratings by others, I guess I'm once again in the minority.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2010
Like nothing you've ever seen before (although you could say the same thing about any Lars Von Trier film). The mise-en-scène is fresh, original and challenging, but it ultimately doesn't work well on the screen. More drama and character development (and less philosophical mumbo jumbo) would've worked wonders. Dogville raises a question: can a film be too experimental? If so, this would be the perfect example. The cast is a dream, though, particularly Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgård and eljko Ivanek.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2009
Von Trier is nothing if he's not courageous. His high-risk transparent stage style is at first off-putting but it soon works its magic. What a director. What a cast. What a film.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2007
A simple story concerning a beautiful young woman (Nicole Kidman) on the run from gangsters, and how the town that provides her safe haven exploits her mentally and physically in various ways. An incredibly unique, bravely shot, powerfully acted piece of art that deserves to be seen. While I don't necessarily agree with everything director Lars von Trier tries to prove, I respect the balls he had putting this thing on-screen. I especially admire the end of the film, which is extremely unsettling but surprisingly fitting. Nicole Kidman's mesmerizing performance goes yards here - her character is a one of a kind.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
Now im all up for being differnt and experimenting with making films but i couldnt help but think this film was a bunch of rubbish its weird and boring and worse its narrated its sort of set in a town but the whole layout of the film is like on a stag with props so this film was weird boring and shit and pretty poorly acted as well!
Super Reviewer
August 20, 2008
What a freakin' weird-ass movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
One of my favorite movies. I interpret it to be sort of a story about Mercy and Justice. Humans need understanding and compassion, but they will never learn and become corrupt unless there is justice also. This is told through a sort of allegory like Jesus and God, and how Jesus has compassion but her father insists on justice. I read that it's supposed to have something to do with anti-americanism, which I can also see.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2008
Dogville is a highly original, disturbing but extremely slow-paced film from Lars Von Trier. I found it extremely difficult to get into at first, I felt like turning it off a couple of times, due to the movies lack of scenery and set, I kept thinking, where could this possibly go? It soon grabbed my attention after about 30 minutes.
Nicole Kidman was perfect for the role of Grace, she gave a mesmerizing performance. The rest of the cast do brilliant also and create some very intriguing characters. This film is fantastic drama which is very well written.
I must emphasize that this film is not for people with short attention spans but turns out to be a very rewarding watch nevertheless.
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2007
Directed by: Lars Von Trier.
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany.

I love it when a film experiments, when it steers away from hollywood traits and formula's and tries something new, something a little different....Dogville, as a film, is one of those films.

But I honestly still feel two ways about the film, I love the fact that its experiments and takes many risks that many viewers will find hard to watch....but also the film does get repetitive. I am saying 'experiment' alot.....and I mean that because the film consists of 16 characters and 1 stage. It is set up like a play where we are not given any physical walls or sets....on one half I loved the fact that there is nothing to focus on but these characters and the outstanding human study of them....and we are shown what actors can do without anything around them, but on the other hand, it got annoying and repetitive that everything was the same for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The film is very intriguing and is an excellent character study. I would recommend that if that is not what you look for when you watch a film that you stay clear of this film, but even if you love it when a film does finally study its characters, then you might find this film a little repetitive and slow paced due to the fact that the film does experiment by removing all physical walls and sets and plays out like a play. Take that as you will.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2007
Originally staged, phenomenal performances, but horrible! Beats every horror movie I've seen in the past years. Lars von Trier is raw, and not just raw, he really wants to hurt us. I felt I was being tied up and forced to watch something, I don't know, a la Alex in A Clockwork Orange... this is not to say that it's a bad movie, not at all! It's a very aggressive social commentary, although I felt at some point that its target was not clearly stated. Nicole Kidman was great after the movie's second half, the first half she merely acted the same way as in, I don't know, Bewitched -this isn't criticism directed towards her, she's a great actress, but more towards the tag that has been put on her; fortunately, she believably plays the transition between her old positivist self and the fruit of being asphixiated by her own arrogant ideals. It's a very strong movie that drew me in right away. The problem is von Trier! He's about as arrogant as the characters he himself criticizes, which really isn't as ironic as it is sad. If we could, perhaps, cut some of the unnecessary philosophical dissertations and some overly pretentious narration, this would be an excellent movie. I would sitll watch it for the novelty and for its incredible emotional power, but I wouldn't watch it again.
Super Reviewer
½ April 22, 2007
If a movie can be judged by how long you ponder exactly what effect the movie had on you far after you walk out of the theatre... well, then this must be among the best examples of it. It focuses all of its effort on its ending, and the true thinking really starts once the climax is over and the lights come back on... that is, if you can survive the cinematic bombardment which Lars Von Trier subjects you to during the course of the movie. To some, the medium will be inexcusable despite the complex handling of the message.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2007
Lars Von Trier is a very brave man. Here he get's rid of all sets and basically plays it out in a warehouse, with chalk lines to dictate roads and houses. This could have been an experimental pretentious piece of crap. However the content of the script and amazing performances blast this film nto the 5 star bracket. The lack of sets actually keeps you focussed. Also at three hours it comes as a huge surprise that this film never drags. Splendid.
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2007
An absolutely superb movie.

The chalk-drawn buildings and sparse settings will be distracting at first, but chances are that you'll start to fill it in mentally after 10 minutes and it won't bother you in the slightest. It's almost like reading a book. The plot, characters and performances are so immersive that the device actually helps even more to accentuate the movie.

I wish it was a little shorter. I bet there was half an hours' worth of material they could have cut to keep this from being so intimidating. Regardless, in its current form, it's still an excellent film from Lars von Trier.
Page 1 of 175