Opening

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Melancholia Reviews

Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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"Melancholia" is a hauntingly beautiful meditation on depression that is as likely to exasperate as many people as it moves.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 1, 2011
Christine Champ
Film.com
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Melancholia floats in an air of supernatural malaise and tension, a melancholy mirrored in everything and everyone.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: A

November 29, 2011
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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Melancholia will haunt you for days, maybe weeks.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 23, 2011
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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A severe and ecstatic work of art.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

November 23, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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No moviemaker I know creates psychodramas so hard to watch and difficult to forget. If we esteem Sylvia Plath, Vincent van Gogh and Samuel Beckett, Von Trier deserves our attention, too.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 22, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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It's a credit to the director's persistence of vision that he finds such eerie images to adorn this wispy tree of death. Like a newborn planet, "Melancholia" is magnetically beautiful, but it's also an unformed mass of hot air.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 21, 2011
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Where did Melancholia come from? It's best not to ask. The explanation for the planet's origins is so preposterous that veteran science-fiction writers everywhere must be rolling their eyes.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 17, 2011
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Von Trier has thought his conceit through, and his vision was thorough enough to attract a superb cast to join him on his one-way joyride to hell.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 4/4

November 17, 2011
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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Bizarre, sometimes tedious, occasionally amazing.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 12, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Dunst gives a strong, hard-bitten performance even though she is playing an attitude rather than a character.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B-

November 11, 2011
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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The end of the world, von Trier-style, is a middling thing as a film.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

November 11, 2011
Bob Mondello
NPR
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It's a planet that can't come soon enough for her, but one that I kept willing away. Not, I'm a little embarrassed to say, to save humanity from Melancholia, but simply to stay in this remarkable movie's presence just a little longer.

Full Review Source: NPR

November 11, 2011
Dana Stevens
Slate
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There's something about the solemn, gloomy, often overwhelmingly powerful experience of watching Melancholia. I'll give it this much: This is a hard movie to forget.

Full Review Source: Slate

November 11, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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The most composed and beautiful and conspicuously adult film of [von Trier's] career...

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 11, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Pain isn't the path to sainthood but, often, only more misery. There's nothing beautiful about it at all. Except, perhaps, to von Trier, who continues to find it inspiring -- particularly when it's being visited upon pale, pretty, naked young women.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 11, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The apocalypse has never looked better.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

November 11, 2011
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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A masterwork of grandeur, millennial angst and high romantic style, "Melancholia" takes themes that have marked the best films of 2011 and spins them into a blast of cosmic sparkle dust.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 11, 2011
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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One of the year's most emotionally resonant art movies.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 11, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Von Trier remains a potent writer/director and master manipulator of images and moods.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

November 11, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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If only Lars von Trier took into account that audiences might actually want to enjoy "Melancholia," rather than endure it, or sift through it, or submit to the director's will, he might have made something extraordinary.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

November 10, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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It's about depression, but it isn't depressing at all. In the hands of Mr. von Trier, himself no stranger to emotional distress, bedazzlement is depression's surprising byproduct.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

November 10, 2011
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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For stretches of the film, von Trieria is as welcome as Siberia. You must stay to the end for a potent payoff, when the tragic magic of the opening scenes is reasserted.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

November 10, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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No one creates richer overtures on screen than von Trier. As "Melancholia" begins, music from Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" floods a series of discrete, striking images.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 10, 2011
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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It is a lighter Von Trier, a lovely Von Trier, a seriously romantic Von Trier that emerges from "Melancholia," and I quite hope he stays around.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

November 10, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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It is unsettling and confounding but also beautiful and damned.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

November 10, 2011
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Watching "Melancholia'' is like being stuck next to a brilliant depressive at a dinner party. The food is exquisite, the conversation scintillating, and the longer you sit there the more trapped you feel in another man's all-encompassing gloom.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

November 10, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Melancholia is a potent beauty of a film, and Kirsten Dunst gives an incomparable performance.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 10, 2011
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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It's the Lars von Trier movie for people who hate Lars von Trier movies. (Or for this person, at any rate.)

Full Review Source: TheWrap

November 10, 2011
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Apocalyptic visions are nothing new in cinema, but they're almost always epic in scale; Von Trier's innovation is to peer down the large end of the telescope, observing the end of the world in painfully intimate terms.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 10, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Nearly everyone in this film is unlikeable, their actions inexplicable. And the pace is so lugubrious that it's hard not to succumb to Justine's glum mood.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

November 10, 2011
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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"Melancholia" is emphatically not what anyone would call a feel-good movie, and yet it nonetheless leaves behind a glow of aesthetic satisfaction.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

November 10, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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With a nod to Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, von Trier uses the proximity of a mysterious planet more as the basis for existential drama than science fiction.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

November 10, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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If I were choosing a director to make a film about the end of the world, von Trier the gloomy Dane might be my first choice.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 10, 2011
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Depression finally seems to have brought out the best in Lars von Trier: "Melancholia" is his strongest work in a while, a devastatingly beautiful, operatic mixture of all his signature themes and visual schemes.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 9, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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What, exactly, is the point? Only the director of a pile of crap that includes Dogma, Dancer in the Dark and Antichrist knows for sure, and even that is severely doubtful.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 0/4

November 8, 2011
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Unfortunately, in his pursuit of an artistic vision, von Trier has thrown logic, physics, and coherence out the window.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 8, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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...even when I was getting a little fed up with the film I was still almost entirely engaged by it. Your own reaction will depend on your own indulgence, I suspect.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 7, 2011
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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The vision is as hateful as it is hate-filled, but the fusion of form and content is so perfect that it borders on the sublime.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

November 6, 2011
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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Von Trier's latest fable is nothing without its blaze of majesty -- or, as his detractors would say, its bombast.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

October 31, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Melancholia is a remarkable mood piece with visuals to die for (excuse the pun), and a performance from Dunst that runs the color spectrum of emotions.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 20, 2011
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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We are alone, and yet Melancholia dares to imagine (and insist we do as well) the one event that might bring us all together.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 6, 2011
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The drama is clunky, but the visual experience paradoxically uplifting.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

September 8, 2011
Peter Debruge
Variety
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[The] mind-blowing Melancholia offers perhaps the gentlest depiction of annihilation one could imagine from any director, much less the Danish provocateur.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 19, 2011
David Fear
Time Out New York
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It's truly Von Trier's film, from the baroque style he employs to the personal aspects of the protagonist's straight-outta-DSM-V symptoms.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

May 19, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Although Melancholia, by its very title, declares a mournful state of mind, the movie is, in fact, the work of a man whose slow emergence from personal crisis has resulted in a moving masterpiece, marked by an astonishing profundity of vision.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly

May 18, 2011
Mike D'Angelo
AV Club
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There's a disconnect here between concept and execution -- a sort of desultory, moment-to-moment clumsiness -- that makes Melancholia feel like therapy poorly disguised as drama.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C-

May 18, 2011
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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Von Trier takes his title at face value and infuses his film with a laidback, removed air, too free of real ideas, in contrast to the careful working of his imagery.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

May 18, 2011
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