The Five Obstructions - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Five Obstructions Reviews

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Noel Murray
The Dissolve
April 21, 2014
[...]The reason The Five Obstructions lingers as an essential part of von Trier's filmography [...] is because it reveals so much about why von Trier has worked the way he has in the past [...]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 23, 2011
Von Trier is rejuvenating his mentor's imagination. He's also reminding him that art can 'catch the conscience' of the audience and the artist.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 5, 2008
[Leth's] strength against adversity elevates the movie above the one-sided whipping of a genial man to a more interesting duel of filmmakers. He parries when von Trier thrusts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
May 3, 2005
Fascinating (and oft-times infuriating).
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Boyd van Hoeij
April 14, 2005
This unique work does humanise the two directors, but also shows that these two fallible humans are capable of making wonderful if not perfect cinematic works.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 19, 2005
Somehow the humor and purpose of this project escaped me.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Martin Scribbs
Mixed Reviews
November 25, 2004
Despite his own pessimism, I think Von Trier does change Leth as an artist, a little, through these chastisements.
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 18, 2004
A hugely entertaining chess game between equally matched opponents.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine
October 19, 2004
By challenging Leth, pushing him out of his comfort zone, von Trier releases in his idol a creative brilliance that would have otherwise remained buried.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
October 19, 2004
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
October 15, 2004
Stands as a testament to the elasticity of human imagination and to a friendship that can survive even the devious deconstructionist schemes of Lars von Trier.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 10, 2004
It's amusing only if you agree not to think very much about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 10, 2004
A film like this has a limited audience, I suppose, but for that audience it offers a rare fascination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 9, 2004
For those who treasure not only watching the intricate challenges of filmmaking but also feeling the thrill of tomfoolery and sharing the demonic joy of psychological twists, Obstructions is enthralling.
Read More | Original Score: A-
David N. Butterworth
Movie Boeuf
September 7, 2004
A vain and vapid intellectual exercise that only serves to illustrate Lars von Trier's unswerving arrogance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
September 2, 2004
The movie does almost all it can to refuse to appeal to the viewer, then gradually evolves into something profound and limit-busting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marc Mohan
August 27, 2004
Rest assured that the film is as playful as it is thoughtful.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
August 8, 2004
Contrived and weighed down by testosterone.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
July 29, 2004
Reveals how huge is the impact of a director on a film and how impossible it is for an artist to escape his own nature.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
July 16, 2004
The relationship between the two filmmakers raises it above the category of academic experiment. Von Trier brings a diabolical glee to his role, and Leth matches it with an older, wiser brand of mischief.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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