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Lilya 4-Ever (Lilja 4-ever)

Lilya 4-Ever (Lilja 4-ever) (2003)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 9

A tragic, hard-hitting story about a teenager trapped in a life of prostitution.

96

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 1

A tragic, hard-hitting story about a teenager trapped in a life of prostitution.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 13,118

My Rating

Movie Info

A teenager abandoned by her family slips into a downward spiral of sex and degradation in this frank drama from Sweden. Lilya (Oksana Akinshina) is a 16-year-old girl growing up in poverty in the former Soviet Union. Lilya's mother (Lyubov Agapova) is moving to the United States with her new boyfriend, and Lilya has been told she'll be coming with them. However, at the last minute Lilya is informed she'll be staying behind with her aunt Anna (Liliya Shinkaryova), and she'll be joining her mother

R,

Art House & International, Drama

Lukas Moodysson

May 17, 2005

Newmarket Films

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All Critics (79) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (9) | DVD (5)

[Moodysson] dives into the soul of a 16-year-old Estonian girl and tears you apart.

July 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Worth every uncomfortable minute.

July 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A wrenching feel-bad movie graced by a luminous central performance.

June 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It tells a heartbreaking story, one of those tales that need to be told and about which only pain can be felt.

June 20, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is Akinshina's presence and performance that make the pedestrian story heart-wrenching.

May 28, 2003
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... a fantastic movie.

May 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lilya 4-Ever gives us a glorious, heart-wrenching debut performance in the lead, as auspicious as any in the history of cinema."

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

A harsh dramatic brew, Lilya 4-Ever is a monumental, abrasive document of a young life flushed down the drain; it's an exceptional, deafening humanitarian alarm that will continue to overwhelm and outrage for years to come.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

So seamless and relentlessly powerful that the social-realism of not just this film, but the genre itself, is pushed to its limit. Acting and action that rips so deeply, you'll feel you've got to do more than simply watch.

February 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

It is undeniable that Moodysson's work has a raw emotional power that transcends most of the film's flaws.

February 24, 2005 Full Review Source: european-films.net
european-films.net

You'll see superb acting by two teens.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Absorbing without being particularly illuminating.

November 11, 2003
Creative Loafing

The film cuts like a knife as a critique of a disordered planet, with ever more twisted notions of consumerism and flesh as commodity

September 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Long Island Press
Long Island Press

Why pay eight bucks to see this horrifying and sad film about the sort of girl you'd pass on the street without giving her a thought? Because, improbably, it says that life is worth living.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Maybe the movie sounds like a drab and worthy slog through misery, but it's alive, it feels true, and it got to me.

July 6, 2003

It's Moodysson's dark sense of humour to make [Lilya's] heaven the hell of merely poverty and insurmountable ennui.

June 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Goes too far in depicting the humiliation and cruelty heaped on Lilja

June 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Comment (1)
Movie Habit

I usually hate when movies pity its characters, but I wish Swedish director Lucas Moodysson had shown at least pity; instead, he goes about destroying this young Russian girl with the grim, dispassionate determination of a medieval executioner.

June 13, 2003 | Comment (1)
Film Blather

A rather unsettling mix of light and dark, which robs it of power and causes it to become muddled.

June 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Seldom have the movies given us a young actress as appealing as Oksana Akinshina, or presented a character as real as the one she plays in Lilya 4-Ever.

June 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

After your heart has been beaten, bludgeoned, anally raped and stomped upon, there's still another hour left to go...

June 4, 2003
Philadelphia Weekly

Audience Reviews for Lilya 4-Ever (Lilja 4-ever)

This is a disturbing and quite depressive film that should make us all conscious of such a tragic real subject. An immensely sad story that reaches pure poetry in a heart-wrenching final scene.
July 29, 2010
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Astonishing, depressing, bleak, disturbing, Mind blowing, Breathtaking, an absolute masterpiece! What more could you ask for from one of the world?s best directors?
September 22, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Kicking off with some Rammstein, Lilya 4-Ever demands your attention before settling down. It doesn't rain, it pisses it down in Lilya 4-Ever. A dark and depressing drama set in Eastern Europe. Lilya is a young girl with dreams of escaping her impoverished lifestyle. She believes that she is moving to America with her mother and her new boyfriend. Instead she is abandoned and soon finds life to be dark and cruel. Everybody takes advantage of her, from her best friend to her own auntie. Lilya becomes life's punching bag. It soon makes her bitter and prefers hope over logic. She ignores the warnings of the only other decent character in the story. A young boy who tries to make her question the promises others make. Certainly not empowering, nor is it enjoyable. What Lilya 4-Ever does offer, is an unsentimental portrayal of betrayal. A beautiful look at some very ugly truths.
April 5, 2009
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

A masterpiece made by a talented swedish director. If this movie doesn't get some emotions from you, you probably have a heart of stone... An amateur cast provides nothing less than an all-star performance.
June 13, 2008
TheMachinist

Super Reviewer

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