Lilja 4-ever

Critics Consensus

A tragic, hard-hitting story about a teenager trapped in a life of prostitution.



Total Count: 69


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,387
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Movie Info

A teenager abandoned by her family slips into a downward spiral of sex and degradation in this frank drama from Sweden. Lilya (Oksana Akinshina) is a 16-year-old girl growing up in poverty in the former Soviet Union. Lilya's mother (Lyubov Agapova) is moving to the United States with her new boyfriend, and Lilya has been told she'll be coming with them. However, at the last minute Lilya is informed she'll be staying behind with her aunt Anna (Liliya Shinkaryova), and she'll be joining her mother later on. Anna immediately takes over the apartment Lilya shared with her mother, and moves her niece into a much smaller (and dirtier) flat several blocks away. For the most part left on her own, Lilya spends much of her time with her best friend, Natasha (Elina Benenson), and comes to the rescue of Volodya (Artiom Bogucharski), a suicidal 14-year-old boy who has been thrown out of his home and has a serious problem with alcohol and drugs. One night at a nightclub, Natasha meets a man who is willing to pay her for sex; when her father finds the money, Natasha claims it belongs to Lilya, and the story soon spreads that Lilya is a prostitute. When Lilya learns that her mother has no intention of bringing her to the United States, she becomes despondent and begins sleeping with men for money. Not long after taking up the sex trade she meets Andrei (Pavel Ponomaryov), who promises her a better and easier life if she'll come to Sweden with him. However, Lilya learns the hard way that there's no truth in Andrei's words as she is subjected to the lowest and most degrading levels of the sex-for-hire business.


Critic Reviews for Lilja 4-ever

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Lilja 4-ever

  • Jul 13, 2011
    The new millennium hits but Moodysson is aware these kind of topics have not ceased to exist. Lilya 4-Ever is a heartbreaking dedication to those young hearts whose innocence have been stolen through brutal means. Some may find it uncomfortable to watch as you literally have to stare to several men in a way some dudes would not want to see in a movie. But that's reality, and the intentions of Lukas are obvious: it takes you literally to Lilya's place regardless of the viewer's sex. Note: Keep in mind that Moodysson has always put a lot of effort and attention to express vividly youngsters' inner feelings and thoughts. That is exactly why you have to pardon the overtly dramatic departure of the mother: my theory is that such scene may have happened only in her head, and that reality was slightly different. 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2010
    Was awesome. I can't believe Oksana Akinshine was only 14/15! Amazing performance. I rarely actually sympathize with, you know, anyone, so she must've been good. I also rarely praise female performances, or 'kids' performances. With the exception of Rammstein, I was pretty impressed with the music too (the Rammstein song didn't seem to fit).
    Lauren D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2010
    In short, one of the most thourughly upsetting movies I've ever seen. Every time you think it can't get any worse it does. Definently not for everyone but if you like films that are sad and gritty this is where it's at.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2010
    Devastating drama about a 16 year old Russian girl who turns to prostitution after her mother abandons her to go live in America. Things begin looking up for her as she makes friends with a young street boy, and finds a handsome new boyfriend, but her path into darkness has only just begun. A gutwrenching story, powerfully told through compelling performances.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer

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