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critics consensus

From its brilliant cinematography to its compassionate characters, Lights in the Dusk is another successful exercise in deadpan minimalist comedy from Aki Kaurismäki. Read critic reviews

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Lights in the Dusk Photos

Movie Info

Koistinen is a security guard at a shopping center whose dreams of a better life are continually crushed. Things seem to be looking up when Mirja shows an amorous interest in him but what he doesn't realize is that he's being set up as the fall guy by a gang of jewel thieves. Observing his plight is Aila, who runs a fast food stall and carries a torch for him but is overlooked in favor of Mirja.

Cast & Crew

Kati Outinen
Cash Keeper in Supermarket
Aki Kaurismäki
Director
Aki Kaurismäki
Writer
Aki Kaurismäki
Producer
Aki Kaurismäki
Film Editor
Timo Salminen
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Lights in the Dusk

Critic Reviews for Lights in the Dusk

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (13)

  • Quote not available.

    November 18, 2011 | Rating: 2/5
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Kaurismaki creates some beautiful frames, carefully composing his affectless characters against the rooms' colors, but there's something wrong with your story when people are upstaged by the decor.

    October 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • It's a deceptively satisfying, almost magical achievement, like being stranded in a desert yet never going thirsty.

    September 21, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Kaurismäki's spare style and economical storytelling are well-suited to this particular story about loneliness, as the director never muddies the frame with sentimental dross or lugubrious inclinations.

    August 25, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Kaurismäki is self-consciously tapping into the raw pathos of an earlier time in cinema (the pain and loss that often accompanied Charles Chaplin's Little Tramp, for example). The idea works, though it is finally wearing.

    August 3, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Lights in the Dusk

  • Dec 06, 2011
    Aki Kaurismaki has a unique style that mixed dry humor and tragedy. The non-acting is often confusing but always used effectively. This one is no exception. Not everyone will enjoy it, but it's really pretty good.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2010
    An ironic, existential portrait of loneliness. From the start, Koistinen is painfully out of sync with his environment and ostracized by almost every person he encounters. The tight, lingering frame compositions, remarkably open and suggestive, emphasize this discordant, askew vision. Amidst this bleakness, hope triumphs in the final, life-affirming shot. A positive end to Kaurismaki's Loser Trilogy.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki in a deadpan style, "Lights in the Dusk" is about lonely Koistinen(Janne Hyytiainen), who has worked as a security guard for the past three years. Despite having neither experience or money, he wants to open his own security firm. One day, into his life walks blonde Mirja(Maria Jarvenhelmi) and they go out on a date. He falls for her but has no idea of her ulterior motive. Nor does he question the possibility that she is quite frankly out of his league.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Considering "Lights in the Dusk" is centered around a heist, it should come as no surprise that none of the characters see working for a living as anything remotely honorable. Mirja is employed by Lindholm(Ilkka Koivula), a gangster, who looks down his nose at Koistenen while using him to get the security codes for a shopping mall that he regularly patrols. Mirja is torn but fears having to actually work in a regular job too much to stop.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2007
    A night-watchman with a simple, lonely life is framed by mobsters.
    Ross C Super Reviewer

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