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Manderlay (2006)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 49

Manderlay may work better as a political statement than as a film, making its points at the expense of telling a compelling story.


Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 20

Manderlay may work better as a political statement than as a film, making its points at the expense of telling a compelling story.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 16,379

My Rating

Movie Info

The politics of slavery and the follies of nation-building highlight Danish director Lars von Trier's thought-provoking follow-up to the director's 2003 drama Dogville, featuring The Village's Bryce Dallas Howard in the role originally played by Nicole Kidman, and shot in the same stage-bound style as its predecessor. Shortly after leaving Dogville, Grace (Howard) and her father (Willem Dafoe) wander into a gated Alabama community still operating under the tenets of slavery. Appalled to stumble


Drama, Special Interest

Lars von Trier

Aug 8, 2006

IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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January 6, 2006:
Trailer Bulletin: Manderlay
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All Critics (106) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (49) | DVD (13)

Manderlay loses in power what it lacks in novelty, even though it's more relevant than anything the year is likely to bring.

November 27, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching this film is an edifying but frustrating experience; dull in parts, amusing and illuminating in others. You'd still struggle to call it entertainment.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Dig that freaky symbolism!

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
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If von Trier can't be bothered to get out more, he should at least consider picking up a book or just using some real imagination.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Comment (1)
Detroit Free Press
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Manderlay is both more coherent and more obvious than Dogville, which lacked the clean narrative drive of the new film.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Manderlay comes off as little more than a droning, embittered curiosity.

February 24, 2006
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The second installment in Lars von Trier's trilogy, USA: Land of Opprtunity, is a maor disappointment

April 19, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A superior entry to "Dogville."

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

"Manderlay" shows von Trier learning from that film's stylistic mistakes to make an ambitious and thought-provoking allegory about the ways in which "slavery" in America was never truly abolished, but rather converted to a different condition of capitalis

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It doesn't offer much insight into America's race issues, which might seem at first to be its target, but it works very well as a metaphor for America's intervention in Iraq.

June 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

If this trilogy finishes up strong, this middle portion may come to be seen as the weakest, though it's still forceful and intimate in the von Trier manner.

September 27, 2007 Full Review Source:

[It] raises interesting questions about what can happen in a democracy when its people are deeply corrupt. ... But likely to be more disheartened than enlightened.

September 12, 2007
Looking Closer

this Great Dane backs up his satiric bark with a vicious bite.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

A slightly more ponderous - if less dramatically satisfying - example of a Von Trier puppet show.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Manderlay is an intellectually invigorating analysis of race, class, power and democracy, all while remaining a thoroughly enjoyable (if harrowing) film.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Relying on a daring script as executed by A-list actors, offers a potentially transformational experience for any inclined to contemplate an introspective, gut-wrenching meditation on the intractability of the legacy of slavery.

May 20, 2007 Full Review Source:

Manderlay is shorter but just as dull, pretentious and condescending as Dogville.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

I was intrigued by the intensity and audaciousness of Dogville, but Manderlay feels stagey, earnest, long and pretentious. Its grainy, shaky hand-held camera-work only adds to the monotony.

November 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The audience's familiarity with the stylistic devices of Manderlay should allow the film's more reflective screenplay to shine through.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

... an anti-American rant that tediously plays out as a misplaced lecture by the pretentious filmmaker.

August 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Unstintingly raw and cynical.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Picks at the painful sores of America's racial legacy while withholding the brotherhood-of-man epiphanies that made the Oscar-validated 'Crash' a healing experience for many moviegoers...

March 31, 2006
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Audience Reviews for Manderlay

I really didn't think he'd top Dogville but I think Lars von Trier has here with Manderlay. The sound-stage concept still feels fresh and the change of actors almost adds to the next chapter of the American trilogy (At least what was meant to be a trilogy, it's a terrible shame another film will now not be made). Everything about this film is first rate, I'm astonished by this film's low rating on flixster. I guess if you hold a mirror up to the world, the world doesn't always like what it sees.
February 15, 2011

Super Reviewer

Lars Von Trier repeats his famous and tedious Dogville formula. nevertheless, an interesting and thought-provoking microcosm.
June 30, 2007

Super Reviewer

The mid-point of Lars von Trier's 'American trilogy', Manderlay follows up Dogville in it's presentation of the hypocrisy of a fictional-but-it-most-certainly-could-be-real town in the good ol' US of A.
Rather than another case of snide back-stabbing in such backwater towns, Manderlay takes us (and Grace) to a small village in which slavery is still going ahead. Grace is quick to point out the error of everyone's ways here, even arguing her father's gangsters have more humanity, and her trust and optimism later prove to be here downfall.
The sets are once again less than minimal, mostly rooms are defined by chalk outlinesm with occiasonal 'real pieces', such as a donkey powering a well. Though still powerful cinema, by its very nature lacks the innovation of the first, and thus the impact.
Other flaws occur, such as Grace's recasting as Bryce Dallas Howard. Not that she gives a bad performance; she simply doesn't look like Kidman, nor does she have her screen prescence. Another issue is her sudden precociousness (at nights she lusts for a local 'black buck'), which seems implausible after her sexual torment in Dogville.
The third act is a belter, though, ably illustrating von Trier's true colours with some pitch-perfect, arguably por-slavery humanistic drama.
Imperfect, but powerful.
December 12, 2006

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Manderlay" takes place after the events in "Dogville". Grace(Bryce Dallas Howard, a vast improvement over Nicole Kidman), her mobster father(Willem Dafoe) and their gangster retinue make their way east to Alabama where they discover a plantation, Manderlay, where the slaves have not yet been freed, even though it is 1933. Freeing them is the easy part; ensuring their former masters do not take advantage of them is another matter completely. So, Grace takes half of her father's men including his legal advisor and sets to occupy Manderlay until full liberation has occurred.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Manderlay" is a better movie than "Dogville" and I found the plot very plausible. The film best serves as an allegory of the Second Gulf War and the ensuing occupation. Even the artifice of the sparse stage works better this time around. Lars von Trier again makes another critique of democracy but leaves his obsession of female martyrdom to Niki Caro.[/font]
February 12, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Grace's Father: When push comes to shove, you've made everything worse, like you did with Tweety.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
    1. Grace: We have done them a great wrong. It's our abuses have made them what they are.
    – Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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