Inland Empire Reviews

Page 1 of 225
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2012
A nightmare from the mind of David Lynch. Inland Empire is his most disjointed and fragmented which also makes it the most dreamlike. His startling images instantly strike different emotions in viewers. At 3 hours long, this surreal masterwork is not an easy watch and can be a frustrating one but can be a rewarding one if in the right mindset. Laura Dern puts in a brave performance in the leading role.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2012
I am sad to say i could not make it through 'Inland Empire'. I don't understand David Lynch's use of dream-like imagery. I was lost in the story, an found the film way too creepy and unentertaining. Typical Lynch fans may find plenty to love, but everyone else should stay as far away from this one as possible.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2011
I simply can't stand this movie. David Lynch has his moments for me (namely "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Dr") but "Inland Empire" is his most self indulgent and utterly meaningless film to date. Laura Dern is shockingly committed to this material, turning in one truly bizarre performance. No matter what Lynch says (or does not say) about the picture, "Inland Empire" is meaningless and the exact definition of artistic masturbation. (And believe me, I have given this film more chances that it deserves. I sat through it 3 times.)
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2011
I think everything that made Mulholland Drive challenging is tripled here. Literally the entire movie is just a series of highly fantastical and subjective scenes. It's like watching someone's dreams on a videotape recording. A lot of the images make no sense because they're so personal to the character that we are looking in on. This is probably the most demented and creepy movie that David Lynch has ever made, but most people would probably go with Eraserhead in that respect. This is an extremely difficult movie to take in, mainly because it's just so unique and uncommon. It's hard to not just sit back and enjoy, but I feel that this is completely worth the time and effort.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2007
An arresting, hypnotic viewing experience concerning a promising actress (Laura Dern) who loses herself in the part of her biggest role ever, as she begins to fall in love with her co-star (Justin Theroux) while failing to discern as to what is the "performance" and what is her actual life. It sounds very confusing, and it is, and you can tell director David Lynch is having a field-day with his out-there weirdness, but somehow this movie is a near-masterpiece. Although there are instances where Lynch goes over-the-top just for kicks, there are several scenes in which you sense brilliance. Like "Mulholland Dr.", this is yet another cynical take on the film industry, as well as a worst case scenario of someone getting to emotionally attached to the role and losing one's grip on reality. A lot of the movie does not make much sense, but this is supposed to be the case. I for one had fun being lost and attempting to figure out just what the heck I walked into, just like Dern's character in the film - and I have to think this is what Lynch wants the viewer to experience. So for this reason, the film is indeed very, very well done.
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2010
Dear David Lynch:
I'm writing to let you know that I get it. I got it after Lost Highway, and you made Mullholland Drive just in case I didn't get it, but I assure you I did.
I get that truth is not immutable. I get that you're a post-modernist. I get you blur the line between imagination and reality. More to the point, I get that you see little difference between imagination and reality - that the lives we lead are as much in our heads as they are in objective reality, which you don't believe in. I get that epistemological explorations are interesting to you. I even get that female sexuality is a mystery to you, and even though this may be true for most men, you deserve credit for presenting it so starkly in your films.
You see that everything you're doing in your films finds an understanding audience. But when I watch Inland Empire, the only new thing I see is a statement that our lives are over-determined by media. It seems like all you're doing is re-hashing old post-modern theory ... or simply fucking with us.
Either way, I think you should move on. A filmmaker of your talents can show us what's post post-modernism. What comes next? Instead you're simply trying to tell us again that the traditional narrative is flawed, and it all makes me wonder if film is the best medium for your ideas. Why not write an essay? I think your ideas would be clearer and find a more receptive purchase, and I wouldn't feel like my brain had just been fucked into cookie batter, as it did after Inland Empire.
Don't get me wrong: I liked it, but I couldn't help feeling that at this point your post-modernist views were more effective when they were more subtle, as in Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart. At this point, I'm thinking you made The Straight Story just to prove that you were sane. At this point, you really need to stop jacking off to a picture of Jacques Derrida.
Please, Mr. Lynch, return to subtle post-modernism and don't beat us over the head with the mutability of truth. If you're really searching for something to do, I'd love to know what happens in Twin Peaks after Agent Cooper turns evil. Does he kill Audrey? Please let him kill Audrey. It would make a great movie, and it would give Kyle MacLaughlin a reason to fix his hair.
I don't normally make threats, but I feel I must in this case: if you don't stop it, I don't care if you do get Patricia Arquette to take her clothes off again (thank you, by the way), I will one-star the shit out of your next movie.
Your faithful fan,
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2007
An actress gets a part in a new movie which is said to be "cursed" and finds the walls between fact and fiction start to blur to the point where she doesn't know whose life she is living any more. Trying to describe Inland Empire is like trying to describe a dream. You know you'll never be able to put it into words, and your feeble attempts to do so will be greeted with indifferent boredom. It makes Lynch's previous offerings Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway seem as inaccessible and incomprehensible as your average episode of Scooby Doo in comparison, and as such anyone unhappy with those films should do themselves a favour and steer well clear. I've never been a fan of Laura Dern, but the fact she appears in nearly every scene of this relentless 3 hour mindf**k is testament to her (previously unappreciated) talent. She is simply amazing. It also has probably THE best use of sound I have ever come across. I won't even try to pretend I understood it, but Lynch's endlessly inventive cine-nightmare had me transfixed from beginning to end. I must admit, I found the ending a little disappointing, but I don't really know what I was expecting from it. It's one of those films you experience with your gut rather than your head, and by the end my gut was telling me I'd just witnessed something special. Dark, complex, nerve jangling, spine tingling, startling, visually arresting, uncompromising, and above all, indescribable.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2008
This wandering nightmare from David Lunch, with Laura Dern playing multiple roles, drifts around between half a dozen levels of surreality---including one with three giant bunnies who may be acting in a sitcom---but what appears to be the base level of reality involves an actress taking a role in a remake of a cursed Polish film that ended in tragedy. At 3 hours, Lynch really could have used the advice of a "no-man" to cut out the fat and convince him to include only his best ideas, not just anything that happened to cross his mind as he free-associated the script. It's Lynch at his weirdest, most bombastic and self-indulgent, but that's not entirely a bad thing: a timid Lynch would be worse.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2009
ok, I knew coming in that, being a Lynch film, this wasn't going to be a "normal" film. What I witnessed was a film in which the boundaries of time and place were blurred past all relevence (perhaps the concept?).
There are vignettes of brilliance - a simple scene from the "movie" where the two main charactors "act" a scene that parellells their suspected romance - but then the film isn't really about that at all and veers into a series of totally non-connected (though they were, perhaps, supposed to) overlapping set pieces involving other people and other places that I guess were all supposed to be happening simultaneously - I had a brief thought that perhaps this was, in its own way, paying homage to "The Eternal Champion" series of Michael Moorcock; where different aspects of the same hero existed in several universes.

And yet Laura Dern's charactor doesn't really seem to be connected to the Russian charactors at all, except that they too seem to be "caught" in something and have vague recollections of deja vu.

There are some interesting camera shots and the use of lighting to kind of smear the screen, but I swear if I see one more long, drawn out scene of a maze of hallways (Ok, ok, I get it - rats in a maze!) I'm going to cut my eyeballs out.

As usual with a Lynch production, you get absurd charactors and some really weird ones that seem to be walk-ons. As you wonder about what each is saying, or if there is any point to them at all (perhaps another message - there is no point to art, other than art itself).

In the end the film circles back on itself as if nothing happened at all; a very existential view and perhaps the point after all in a film that was disturbing and too long by at least an hour.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2009
OK, so two days ago a lady comes to my door explaining that she's my new neighbor, having just moved in down the way. I invite her in and over a cup of coffee she tells me that she heard I was going to write a review for Inland Empire. "Oh no, you're mistaken" I said, "I haven't even seen the film yet. Apparently it's pretty popular and Netflix says that there is a 'long wait' just to get it." She shook her head and said that she had it on good authority that I would be writing the review soon. She even said that "if today were tomorrow I'd be sitting right there" (she pointed straight at my sofa). I don't have to tell you that I wasted no time in ushering her out the door.

So that's not even the strange part, yesterday I was sitting on the couch watching my favorite sitcom (you know, the one about the family of giant rabbits who live in a human house and wear human clothes) when I hear the postman on the porch. I get up and meet him at the door and guess what he hands me? Yes, my Netflix copy of Inland Empire! The mailman noticed my excitement and asked me what was up. When I showed him which film it was he got a worried look in his eyes. "What's wrong?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me that he'd heard that Inland Empire was cursed. "What?" I exclaimed, "What do you mean by cursed?" He said that it was actually a remake of a film made a long time ago in Germany. He knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who was there when it happened. It seems that this other film was being reviewed by a gentleman in Germany when, suddenly, the guy writing the review was brutally murdered.

Can you imagine the stress that put on me? Just thinking about such odd occurrences made me spill ketchup all over my brand new t-shirt. Well sir, you'll never guess what I found when I came upstairs to change. In my room there were SIX prostitutes! Confirmed, I counted them twice, six prostitutes in my house, every single one pantomiming Little Eva tunes and doing Busby Berkeley dance routines. I was fit to be tied. I said, "Ladies, I have here in my hand a DVD of David Lynch's Inland Empire which is pretty darn near three hours long. I have neither the time nor the inclination to affiliate with all of you at present so four of you are going to have to leave."

That's when the phone rang. It was that rabbit in the business suit. He told me that there were some men on the way to take me to a place where I could get better. He said that my insurance wouldn't cover private amenities so I would likely have to share a room with someone. He said not to worry though because he was pretty sure that the bed next to Mr. Lynch was empty and the two of us could share a Dell laptop. That way David could get started on his next screenplay and I could post my review of Inland Empire.

To be continued...
Super Reviewer
½ April 18, 2009
Inland Empire is about a woman in trouble. That's how David Lynch described it at first and that's how I will describe it, because... really... is there another way to do it? Is it worth it to try and recount the argument?! Nooo

Because if you're going to watch Inland Empire you're not going to do it because you thought the story was real interesting. You're going to watch it because you love/ are quite curious/ are somewhat curious about David Lynch's most "ambitious" project. If you didn't like any of his previous films this is a waste of time.

Universally, Inland Empire is a walk through David Lynch's personal Southern mythologies, Eastern European mob nightmares, feminine ideals, demons, gods, fears, archtypes. Self-indulgent and grandieuse. Product, it seems, of a desire exorcize his perceptions about filmmaking and how it connects, reflects, or involves suffering and love and lust and fear.

Lynch relies on his performers producing empathy and on creating horror, erotic, or dreamlike moods. And he knows how to do that.

In the midst of this wonderful chaos are Justin Theroux, Laura Dern, and Jeremy Irons. The "rational" part of the film, or so we are led to think. Their efforts to stay visible between the mirrors and smoke of Inland Empire are admirable. Dern and Theroux repeat and distort their character(s) and it's fascinating to watch them.

Sorry if I'm not being very illuminating. I have to acknowledge my shortcomings. I have no fucking idea of what happens here. Perhaps it's a woman's schyzophrenia. I didn't mind, I just lost myself in the images and the atmospheres. Lynchian at that. Which is why it's important that a) this isn't the first of his films you'll watch because you may hate him b) you like and appreciate Lynch and will gladly put up with him at his most capricious.

What can I say? Divine uncertainty.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2007
Expect one weird movie. Think Mulholland Drive on drugs.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2008
Don't have any idea what it's about, but there's a number of really good scenes and sequences here, so that's cool. Overlong, and in need of some serious trimming, but it works well in terms of establishing a haunting mood and atmosphere...flaws or not.

I give it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars out of 5.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2008
Hard to follow, even by Lynch's standards. The basic premise is clear and the plot seems to be lying there somewhere, but a lot of things thrown in just confuse the hell out of you. Dern did a hell of a job surrounded by the usual Lynch cast including Stanton and Theroux and Jeremy Irons thrown in the mix for good measure. Look for a cameo early on by William H. Macy.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2007
lynch dispenses with narrative structure and creates a claustrophobic nightmare. i admit i need to watch it again.... it's sorta like a cubist painting; don't think about it too much or you'll get a migraine. with a fantastic performance from laura dern, who well deserved at least a nomination from the academy. it'll be interesting to see where lynch goes from here...
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2007
Hands up! This film went completely over my head. If I had a film list for 'the weird and made no sense' this would be at the top of the list and at 3 hours long, it's hard to keep your concentration.

I think this film is a little like modern art, you either think it's a work of genius or you just don't get the appeal.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2007
Inland Empire is David Lynch's most recent weirdo opus. And after seeing it for the second time yesterday, I feel confident enough to write something about it (not really review it so much). In many ways, Inland Empire is one of the more linear films among Lynch's more Lynch-y "art" films, but it is still one of the more difficult ones to decipher at times. But this is a non-issue because I don't believe Lynch has made any film intending that it has to be deciphered, leaving it to the viewer to either appreciate it at face value or come up with their own interpretation. IE stars Lynch-darling Laura Dern as an actress preparing for the biggest role of her life. She begins to fall for her co-star, and things get complicated and deliciously Lynch-y. This film very much differs visually from his other films because it was shot on DV; which is one of the reasons the film got made, because it made scenes much easier to set-up and shoot than they would be using film. Indeed, Inland Empire is, in many ways, a pastiche film. It uses segments from some of Lynch's short-films, especially "Rabbits", and utilizes a variety of different looks and settings and images. Essentially, Lynch began shooting scenes that were never intended to become a feature, but then he began to see the bigger picture it was developing into, and his vision became focused and the scenes already shot consolidated until we got Inland Empire. One thing that can definitely be said is that Laura Dern gives her best yet performance here. She would have deserved several Oscars for her wonderful performance, but unfortunately Inland Empire is nowhere near mainstream enough to be have been considered. It took this second viewing to realize I loved this film, it is indeed some of Lynch's best, most accomplished work. It does things that I've never seen before, and leaves an indelible impact at its finish. Typical of a Lynch film, it features a beautiful, haunting score (which, oddly, was not done by Angelo Badalementi) that will stay with you afterwards. Lynch fans, DO NOT miss Inland Empire.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
David Lynch's most ambitious movie yet. It was shot on digital video, which looks a bit muddy. Laura Dern plays many roles, and we go with her on a journey through nightmarish times and places. The events surrounding a possible murder are presented in a scattered series of scenes, but each is done with its unique tone and colors, so we have clues to which series of events we are currently viewing. But the reality shifts were not always apparent, so is often disorienting. There were overlapping symbols and locations to connect each continuum; for example, there were often time references, approaching midnight, and the same graffiti scrawled on different walls. I was creeped out by several of the lurking figures and screaming faces. The series of shadowy rooms and hallways was a constant; few sunny exteriors were used. I liked the bizarre room with the rabbit-people in it. The movie was a bit too long at 3-hours; pacing could've been improved. I'll need to re-watch many times to understand what occurred, but watching once gave me a slight headache.
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2008
Another Lynch masterpiece.
Totally different feel from his other work, but with all the Lynchisms that we know and love.

Each film is truly a work of art.

You really have to look at all of the layers, in order to appreciate the finished product.

They mean different things to different people.

You usually either love then or you hate them, seldom do you find people 'indifferent' to them.

Laura Dern really proves herself as an actress in this film.

Yet another underated Lynch film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2008
I like most of his films, but I couldn't stop looking at my watch during this one. Shit man what a long movie.
That last scene on the street is awesome though :)
Page 1 of 225