De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Misfortunates) Reviews

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Corey Hall
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
August 2, 2010
A debauched clan of Belgian mullet-heads backdrop a heatfelt comedy
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
June 14, 2010
If Ken Loach and Roberto Benigni went into a bar, drank themselves into a stupor and emerged the next morning with a screenplay, it might look a lot like The Misfortunates.
Top Critic
Douglas Pratt
Hollywood Reporter
June 14, 2010
A bawdy, heartfelt glimpse into a proudly dysfunctional Belgium family.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 3, 2010
There's whimsy and raunchy humor here, but also an underlying sense of darkness and despair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
April 30, 2010
An appalling childhood may risk making you an unhappy person when you grow up, but it almost guarantees a great yarn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 9, 2010
Comedy doesn't get any more tragic than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 9, 2010
Mr. Groeningen wrings a lot of queasy comedy out of the Strobbes for a long stretch, immersing you in their mess, bringing you uncomfortably close to their muck.
| Original Score: 3/5
Christian Blauvelt
Slant Magazine
April 9, 2010
One thing's for certain though: The director's vision of this story allows for more uncertainty than Gunther's ever would.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jason Anderson
Toronto Star
April 9, 2010
The ultimate lesson of van Groeningen's boisterous and surprisingly moving film is that even a family as damaged as this one has a legacy worth heeding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Aaron Hillis
Time Out
April 7, 2010
Felix Van Groeningen's highly entertaining tale is full of hilarity, horror and heartbreak (sometimes within the same scene).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
March 30, 2010
The white-trash Strobbe family is investigated with both ribaldry and poignance.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 19, 2010
It's a Miserable Life
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
December 14, 2009
A word of advice: Do not invite the Strobbe family over for Christmas dinner, as they're likely to leave the house strewn with beer bottles and broken furniture.
Top Critic
Boyd van Hoeij
Variety
August 26, 2009
Calling the Strobbe clan a working-class family would imply that some of its members worked (or had class), but none of the lowlife protags do in the visually robust and often hilarious Flemish tragicomedy The Misfortunates.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
June 10, 2010
The Misfortunates is a bleak comedy that's not as funny or grim as it needs to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
June 10, 2010
The Misfortunates moves from intentionally depressing to, in the end, mildly uplifting -- but that likely comes too late to win over an audience that's been strapped to such a vulgar, offputting ensemble.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
April 11, 2010
It's perfectly plausible that you might never want to visit Belgium after seeing Felix van Groeningen's offensive '80s tale of familial dysfunction.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
April 9, 2010
The acting is super -- these guys know how to be sweet and disgusting -- and the story provides its share of laughs. But after a while, the one-note movie, directed by Felix van Groeningen, grows tiresome.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

National Post
May 16, 2009
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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