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Drawing Restraint 9 (2005)


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 20

Critics Consensus: Some of the images are striking, if confusing, but the film is unbearably slow and tedious.

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: Some of the images are striking, if confusing, but the film is unbearably slow and tedious.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 2,664


Movie Info

Shot in Nagasaki Bay on board the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru. The relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity, a theme that symbolically tracks through the construction and transformation of a vast sculpture of liquid vaseline, called 'The Field', which is molded, poured, bisected and reformed on the deck of the ship over the course of the film. Barriers hold form in place, and when they are removed, the film tracks the descent of form into states of sensual surrender and … More

Science Fiction & Fantasy , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
IFC Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Drawing Restraint 9

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (20)

Drawing Restraint 9 belongs to an endangered species of experimental film that walks the line between challenging and alienating its audience.

Full Review… | September 8, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Sitting through the film's tedious unfolding can be an interesting mental exercise.

Full Review… | June 1, 2006
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Like John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy, a surreal, vaguely plausible explanation of why two people are crazy about each other.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Doesn't advance the Barney oeuvre an inch past where he left it with his massive, megalomaniacal opus known as the Cremaster series.

Full Review… | May 25, 2006
Washington Post
Top Critic

Moby ick.

Full Review… | May 18, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Allegedly all these incidents connect symbolically in Barney's mind, but in the viewer's, they thud, inert and separate as stones.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A work as vast, monstrous, and mysteriously graceful as a whale.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007

Conventional storytelling may not be Barney's thing, but he has a superb cinematic eye, an incredible imagination and the wherewithal to make his visions happen.

Full Review… | March 9, 2007
Kansas City Star

However enigmatic this all might be, there is no denying that Barney has assembled some rivetingly beautiful images.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

Offers no restraint on the writer/director's penchant for weird esoterica.

Full Review… | August 25, 2006

A refreshing break from mind-numbing Hollywood movies, but it may fail to win you over

Full Review… | August 12, 2006
Movie Habit

What is undeniable is that this, even more than Barney's previous work, is a film of outrageous, startling ingenuity and beauty.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

It is a series of lyrical ambiguities filtered through the prism of Japanese religious and whaling cultures that defy literal interpretation even as they are sculpted into physical significance.

August 4, 2006
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Throughout, Barney drowns the screen in arresting images ... that nail your eyes to the screen.

Full Review… | July 8, 2006
Austin Chronicle

Hugely tedious...this turgid, opaque, whale-obsessed fiasco might be described as one big, festering hunk of blubber.

Full Review… | June 13, 2006
One Guy's Opinion

Drawing Restraint 9 is Barney again creating something tenaciously abstract, but this time the result is more serene and approachable.

Full Review… | June 6, 2006

You're either on the boat or off the boat with something like this. But for those willing to brave the open water, it's an awe-inspiring ride.

Full Review… | June 2, 2006

...suffers from the loss of experiencing Barney's visual imagination for the first time.

Full Review… | May 27, 2006
Reeling Reviews

Barney and Björk certainly deserve each other; theirs is a match made purgatorial.

Full Review… | May 25, 2006

Bjork appears to have been a good influence on Barney: The soundtrack, which she supervised and participates in, is well worth the time for fans of experimental music.

Full Review… | May 19, 2006
New Times

Not since the collaborations of Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi), have music and visuals been so satisfyingly combined.

Full Review… | May 18, 2006
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

You could think of admission to Drawing Restraint 9 as an $8.25 nap.

Full Review… | May 18, 2006
St. Paul Pioneer Press

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