Dark Horse


Dark Horse

Critics Consensus

Typically misanthropic yet curiously satisfying and incisive, Dark Horse is a movie that preaches to the cynical converted.



Total Count: 78


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,493
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Movie Info

Thirty-something guy with arrested development falls for thirty-something girl with arrested development, but moving out of his junior high school bedroom proves too much. Tragedy ensues. Writer and director Todd Solondz examines the irretrievability of youth and the mercilessness of time passing in Dark Horse, a melancholy and idiosyncratic comedy starring Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow, Jordan Gelber, Donna Murphy, Christopher Walken, Zachary Booth and Aasif Mandvi. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Dark Horse

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (31)

  • It would be unfair and patronizing to say that Solondz needs to grow up, but "Dark Horse" suggests that it's time for the bard of bourgeois hypocrisy to consider moving on.

    Aug 17, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Solondz has made a career out of specializing in highly aberrant views of middle-class life.

    Aug 9, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • That Gelber can make Abe appealing in any way is a triumph. That Solondz can orchestrate such a feat is an even bigger one.

    Aug 9, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Solondz will never be much for happy endings, but the film is strangely optimistic and at times borders ever-so-slightly on the whimsical.

    Aug 9, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • With champion bloodlines from Walken and Farrow, "Dark Horse" could have been a contender, but it gets so skittish about trodding a familiar path that it pulls up lame.

    Aug 2, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • For once, Solondz seems less interested in scoring points off his characters than in creeping into their shy, sad interior worlds.

    Jul 26, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dark Horse

  • Mar 02, 2014
    In "Dark Horse," Abe(Jordan Gelber) is a 35-year old man who still lives at home with his parents(Christopher Walken & Mia Farrow). He also works at his father's real estate office where he keeps some of the toys he collects and has problems completing the simplest of tasks such as spreadsheets without the help of Marie(Donna Murphy), his father's secretary. At a wedding, Abe meets Miranda(Selma Blair, who is very good) who is also the only other person not participating in a dance number. So, he asks her out. And on their first date, he asks her to marry him. At first, we all know people like Abe in real life who have nothing original to say and without anything to truly call their own, despite living a life of relative affluence. That's not to mention his being overweight and prematurely balding.(But he does have a model toy Dalek. And hey I have that Doctor Who poster!) No matter how much any of that may be true, it does not make "Dark Horse" any easier to watch. However, the movie eventually moves from bad weird to good weird, as Abe's interior thoughts and dreams take on a surreal life of their own with a yellow color pattern to match.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 09, 2013
    Kinda like a tragic dark twisted fantasy. My favorite Solondz film in a while. Much better than I thought, but not for everyone.
    Wu C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2013
    "Dark Horse" doesn't have the bite it thinks it does, but it makes its point (quite unsubtly) before ending abruptly. It's flawed, almost to the point of being unacceptable, but it's got just enough going for it to end with a strange satisfaction that made me think about the purpose of and intentions behind movie characters.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    A thirty-year-old brat convinces a hapless woman to marry him. Todd Solondz specializes in characters stuck on the edges of society, and there is no Solondz character more on the edge than Abe. His whiny narcissism is foundationally unattractive, and while I find myself agreeing with his Holden-Caulfield-esque denunciations of society and cruelty, I wish Abe weren't the one voicing these objections. Jordan Gelber plays the part without any care for what the audience thinks of him, and for this he should be lauded; it's Solondz, on the other hand, who fails to give us some small redeemable quality that makes us sympathize with his protagonist until the end. My comments about Gelber extend to Selma Blair, who also shines in a difficult acting challenge. What is Solondz saying with this film? I think Solondz is presenting an anti-inspirational story, an antidote to Nicholas Sparks. He gives us the most annoying hero anyone could ask for, makes us think we should root for him, and then finishes the story honestly. Solondz is dark, and this film may be his darkest yet. The problem is that what works as a conceptual response to a genre of film doesn't necessarily work as a compelling story in itself. Overall, I like the idea behind this film, but I couldn't stay with the execution for very long.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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