Melancholia Reviews

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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 1, 2011
"Melancholia" is a hauntingly beautiful meditation on depression that is as likely to exasperate as many people as it moves.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Christine Champ
Film.com
November 29, 2011
Melancholia floats in an air of supernatural malaise and tension, a melancholy mirrored in everything and everyone.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 23, 2011
Melancholia will haunt you for days, maybe weeks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 23, 2011
A severe and ecstatic work of art.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 22, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 21, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
November 17, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 17, 2011
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 | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
November 12, 2011
Bizarre, sometimes tedious, occasionally amazing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 11, 2011
Dunst gives a strong, hard-bitten performance even though she is playing an attitude rather than a character.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
November 11, 2011
The end of the world, von Trier-style, is a middling thing as a film.
Top Critic
November 11, 2011
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.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
November 11, 2011
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.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 11, 2011
The most composed and beautiful and conspicuously adult film of [von Trier's] career...
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 11, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 11, 2011
The apocalypse has never looked better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 11, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 11, 2011
One of the year's most emotionally resonant art movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 11, 2011
Von Trier remains a potent writer/director and master manipulator of images and moods.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 10, 2011
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.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 10, 2011
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.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
November 10, 2011
It is unsettling and confounding but also beautiful and damned.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 10, 2011
Melancholia is a potent beauty of a film, and Kirsten Dunst gives an incomparable performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
November 10, 2011
It's the Lars von Trier movie for people who hate Lars von Trier movies. (Or for this person, at any rate.)
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 10, 2011
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.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 10, 2011
"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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: B+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 10, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
November 9, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 8, 2011
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 | Original Score: 0/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 8, 2011
Unfortunately, in his pursuit of an artistic vision, von Trier has thrown logic, physics, and coherence out the window.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
November 7, 2011
...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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 6, 2011
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.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
October 31, 2011
Von Trier's latest fable is nothing without its blaze of majesty -- or, as his detractors would say, its bombast.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 20, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
October 6, 2011
We are alone, and yet Melancholia dares to imagine (and insist we do as well) the one event that might bring us all together.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 8, 2011
The drama is clunky, but the visual experience paradoxically uplifting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Debruge
Variety
May 19, 2011
[The] mind-blowing Melancholia offers perhaps the gentlest depiction of annihilation one could imagine from any director, much less the Danish provocateur.
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David Fear
Time Out
May 19, 2011
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.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 18, 2011
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.
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Mike D'Angelo
AV Club
May 18, 2011
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 | Original Score: C-
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
May 18, 2011
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 | Original Score: 2/5