Lights in the Dusk


Lights in the Dusk

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.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,426
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Movie Info

"Lights in the Dusk" concludes the trilogy began by "Drifting Clouds" and "The Man Without a Past". Where the trilogy`s first film was about unemployment and the second about homelessness, this final installment is about loneliness. Koistinen searches the hard world for a small crack to crawl in through, but both his fellow beings and the faceless apparatus of the society conspire to crush his modest hopes, one after another. Criminal elements exploit his longing for love and his position as a night watchman in a robbery they pull off, leaving Koistinen to face the consequences. Thus Koistinen is deprived of his job, his freedom, and his dreams. A poignant reminder of the lot of the emotional `have-nots` in our world, this dark jewel of a film glows with genuine warmth and a small but enriching glimmer of hope.


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Critic Reviews for Lights in the Dusk

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (19)

  • 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.

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

    Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | 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.

    Aug 3, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • The director's existential sarcasm is muted here.

    Jul 23, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The distance Kaurismki creates belies his deeply humanistic streak. He engages characters in the direst of situations not to see them suffer but to search for hope.

    Jul 12, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Lights In The Dusk plays out in the expected Kaurismäki style, with flavorful musical interludes, great affection for the city's outcasts, and lots of bleakness chased by the faintest sliver of hope.

    Jun 16, 2007 | Rating: B-

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic

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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