In the Realms of the Unreal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Realms of the Unreal Reviews

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Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
December 16, 2004
The corny animated sequences represent merely the most questionable formal tactic of a deeply cagey and secretive film.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
May 13, 2005
Alternately enlightening and frustrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Chris Barsanti
December 21, 2004
deserves something much stranger, far more unreal
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
June 3, 2008
The camera is too eager to swim in the artist's sea, but it might've revealed more if it had paused to let our imaginations provide the movement, as Darger's presumably did.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
May 6, 2005
Suggests only that Darger's inner life was rich but came out in simple and unfocused art. . . . What Darger needs isn't fan fiction, but insightful analysis and criticism.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 28, 2005
A film that strives mightily to make an interesting subject out of a pathetic and possibly dangerous figure.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
January 30, 2005
The animations, as neat as they are, changed Darger's work, and it became about the technique of animation instead of about the art itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
January 30, 2005
Sporadically intriguing but mostly interminable...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Lexi Feinberg
March 9, 2005
A quality picture that would have been better off as a short film than a full length feature.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jay Antani
Cinema Writer
August 17, 2010
could've been riveting stuff if only its subject was half as interesting as its approach
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
January 28, 2005
The movie's central gimmick, animating the novel's illustrations while actors like Larry Pine and Dakota Fanning read the text dramatically in voiceover, grows cumulatively irritating and alienating.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jurgen Fauth
December 26, 2004
Usatisfactory and airless. The unreal stays out of the film's reach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Timothy Knight
March 4, 2005
A fascinating and quite moving documentary.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 10, 2005
Yu's decision to bypass the literature about Darger is unfortunate, because it contains so many fascinating details about his source materials, methods, creative problems, and aesthetic development.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
December 21, 2004
This documentary is admirable in refusing to force conclusions, but aside from a pleasing presentation of Darger's repetitious art, is it worth the effort?
Top Critic
Alan G. Artner
Chicago Tribune
January 20, 2005
The best way for a film to acknowledge the specialness of painting is to get out of its way and present it unaltered, whereas Yu uses it as raw material to be moved around, sometimes so crudely as to resemble the credits for Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeffrey Bruner
Des Moines Register
April 15, 2005
Fails to shed much light on this odd, reclusive man or his art.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
January 27, 2005
In the Realms of the Unreal is Darger's worst nightmare, a work of spectacular invasiveness
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
It was Yu's mistaken belief that experts would detract from her intimate approach that gives the film its tenuity, the lingering sense that far too little has been explored.
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine
November 14, 2004
One leaves the film with a sense of awe and hope at what can be accomplished with determination and focus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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