The Dancer Upstairs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dancer Upstairs Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
April 29, 2003
Little other than the love story subplot to energize the proceedings, many viewers will find that, for all its grace, The Dancer Upstairs moves too slowly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
September 30, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
May 12, 2003
Nicholas Shakespeare's script (from his own novel) is limp and cursory, and the plot, being a foregone conclusion, lacks suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mark R. Leeper
May 15, 2003
Full Review| Original Score: 4/10
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
December 1, 2003
Malkovich's take on a world of corruption, intrigue and terrorism is elegantly mysterious, but...leaps in plot and missteps in character trip up The Dancer Upstairs.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 11, 2003
It's a wishy-washy picture; Malkovich should have whole-heartedly embraced either the politics or the pulp.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
May 6, 2003
The core investigation offers little urgency and a less-than-satisfying payoff.
| Original Score: 2/4
Susan Granger
May 7, 2003
Full Review| Original Score: 6/10
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
September 7, 2003
Malkovich and Shakespeare seem content to linger over minor things, possibly to let the audience absorb them better but to the detriment of the movie's tempo.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 29, 2003
Initially engrossing, The Dancer Upstairs slackens in its second half.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
May 2, 2003
It's sober, deliberate, self-consciously mysterious and no fun at all.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 9, 2003
A slow-burning affair that may seem exotic but mainly crawls from cliche to cliche.
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
May 17, 2003
Bardem's character, police detective Agustin Rejas, is Malkovich's attempt to place high minded dedication, intelligence and sensitivity into a system sustained by corruption, greed and unfettered power.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 8, 2003
Atmospheric but dramatically murky, a mood in search of a story.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
May 2, 2003
Though Malkovich does a nice job in establishing the look and feel of this country, his lack of restraint in trimming the story's excesses is what ultimately turns the film into an overlong bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
May 7, 2003
...painstakingly vague even during the rare scenes it isn't teetering on incoherence--I'm not certain the movie isn't awful. Yet I don't think I'd mind seeing it again.
Shawn Levy
May 9, 2003
A murky, turgid work that is no doubt exactly the film Malkovich wished to make but is so indirect and affected as to border on incoherent.
Joshua Tanzer
May 2, 2003
Squanders the intensity of its strongest moments by running away from its own political implications, not to mention by being in the wrong damn language.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Chuck Rudolph
Slant Magazine
January 18, 2003
Feels less tantalizingly ambiguous than it does like a prologue that has somehow taken the place of the story that was meant to succeed it.
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
May 8, 2003
I could feel that this movie was almost a smashing success, that it could have been terrific with just a few tweaks here and there.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
November 14, 2002
Jennie Kermode
Movie Gurus
November 9, 2011
Kim Linekin
July 8, 2003
Alexander Walker
London Evening Standard
December 7, 2002
Cynthia Fuchs
Nitrate Online
May 16, 2003
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail (UK)
December 15, 2003
Kenneth Turan
NPR's Morning Edition
December 30, 2006
Top Critic
David Rooney
June 9, 2008
December 10, 2002

December 10, 2002

Baltimore Sun
May 16, 2003
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 16, 2003

Orlando Weekly
May 29, 2003

Boston Phoenix
July 2, 2003

Sydney Morning Herald
July 16, 2003
Top Critic

Hollywood Reporter
September 17, 2003
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
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