Lorna's Silence


Lorna's Silence

Critics Consensus

Subtle and emotionally bleak, this gripping thriller features the Dardenne brothers' recognizable penchant for realism and very strong performances.



Reviews Counted: 96

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,692


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

An Albanian woman living in Belgium finds her dreams of opening a snack bar with her boyfriend leading to tragedy after she agrees to marry a Russian Mafioso in order to gain citizenship. All Lorna wanted was to start a small business with her loving boyfriend, but in order to make that happen she would first have to gain citizenship. Local mobster Fabio claims that he can make that happen if Lorna agrees to a sham marriage with a man named Claudy. After gaining Belgian citizenship, Lorna discovers that a high-profile Russian Mafioso is also seeking legal entry into Belgium, and soon. He's willing to pay a hearty sum in order to marry Lorna, but in order for that second marriage to be possible Fabio will have to have Claudy killed. Will Lorna be able to remain silent as Fabio's deadly plot unfolds, and what will become of her if Fabio finds out that she has warned Claudy of the impending danger he faces? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Jérémie Renier
as Claudy Moreau
Olivier Gourmet
as inspector
Mireille Bailly
as Monique Sobel
Stephanie Gob
as mental health nurse
Laurent Caron
as detective
Baptiste Sornin
as morgue employee
Cédric Lenoir
as Male Bank Clerk
Cécile Boland
as Female Doctor
Serge Larivière
as Pharmacist
Sophia Leboutte
as Claudy's Mother
François Sauveur
as Claudy's Brother
Stéphane Marsin
as Drug Dealer
Laurence Cordonnier
as Female Bank Clerk
Anne Gérard
as Woman at the Burial
Annette Closset
as Obstetrician Nurse
Isabelle Dumont
as Dry Cleaner Owner
Patrizia Berti
as Policewoman
Léon Michaux
as Plainclothes Policeman
Alao Kasongo
as ER Receptionist
Faruk Ahmed
as Phone House Cashier
Marie-Ange Pougin
as Dry Cleaner Employee
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News & Interviews for Lorna's Silence

Critic Reviews for Lorna's Silence

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (30)

  • A soul-crushing weight rests upon Lorna (Dobroshi), the Albanian-immigrant heroine of the Dardenne brothers' stunning proletarian character study.

    Nov 17, 2011 | Rating: 5/5

    Keith Uhlich

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Lorna's Silence doesn't work, but it's a beautiful misfire.

    Sep 3, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • As filmmakers, the Dardennes are more concerned with probing the causes of crime than in glamorizing it.

    Sep 3, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • In casting the previously unknown Dobroshi, the brothers approach greatness with their lean portrait of simple humanity tested by desire and driven desperate by circumstances.

    Aug 28, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The story within Lorna's Silence is built on tiny increments of tantalizing details, meted out in penurious droplets and with chest-tightening tension that suggests that what the brothers wanted to be when they grew up were boa constrictors.

    Aug 28, 2009
  • The Dardennes are masters of their brand of realist cinema. Over the years, the brothers' move from documentaries to narrative features has been handsomely rewarded.

    Aug 28, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Lorna's Silence

A cold, bleak Belgian film that gives equal importance both to what is not seen and heard and what is. "Lorna's Silence" is a rigid character study by the Dardenne brothers that will be challenging to many. The goal here was seemingly to reflect on the power of absence and silence, and while this focus makes it feel weightless and even pointless at times, these are intentional design choices that offer up food for thought with varying degrees of success.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

I haven't seen a movie quite like Lorna's Silence for a long time. I really do love these films that are just so pretentious, exadurated, and melodramatic, yet strangly plausible. For the most part the audience has to figure out what is going on for themselves. This really works well, especially since the plot is relatively simple. At the same time it is thoroughly engrossing to watch. I have no idea if the whole citizenship underground/espionage actually exists, but it is fasinating on-screen. Lorna's Silence does absolutely everything you would expect from a film of its prestige and style; and to top it off, its really rather good.

Jake ....
Jake ....

Super Reviewer


"Lorna's Silence," the new film from Belgium's Dardenne brothers, effectively creates a frightening vision of a world filled with people almost completely lacking empathy. But the story drags in the second half, and the film has an almost polemical edge that weakens its power. The characters start to seem like artificial fabrications meant to drive home the Dardennes' socio-political critiques. The protagonists are Albanians who have built an elaborate scam to benefit Russians and other Easterners trying to get citizenship in the European Union. Deeply disturbing is the cold, matter-of-fact way they put value on the lives of others. Lorna, the main character, is the only woman in the group. I don't want to reveal all the details, so let's just say that Lorna sees this lack of empathy for others most vividly. Her central dilemma is whether to continue in this life or make some changes. Her struggle is profound, and the lives of several others hang in the balance. My problem is that the Albanians' complete amorality starts to seem phony. European filmmakers frequently try to fit life into their theories, rather than trying to build theories that match life. Here I felt the Dardennes were driven to convey a message about contemporary society, and they developed arch caricatures of people to drive that message home. But I wouldn't push this criticism too far. "Lorna's Silence" is still an important and very good film and should be seen by anyone who appreciates serious cinema. Just don't watch it when you're feeling fragile. The film does have the power to be deeply disturbing despite the fact that there's not one iota of on-screen violence. Its power to disturb is far more subtle.

William Dunmyer
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer


Moving portrayal of a woman's struggle for financial security in a shady world of unscrupulous men. Dobroshi gives a wonderfully understated but nuanced performance as Lorna's detached facade cracks and her emotions win through.

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

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