Melancholia (2011)


Critic Consensus: Melancholia's dramatic tricks are more obvious than they should be, but this is otherwise a showcase for Kirsten Dunst's acting and for Lars von Trier's profound, visceral vision of depression and destruction.


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Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth... Melancholia is a psychological disaster movie from director Lars von Trier. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Melancholia

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (49)

In Melancholia, von Trier has created a mission statement of a masterpiece, one that reminds us that nihilism itself can serve as a legitimate form of creation, a means as well as The End.

Nov 7, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

"Melancholia" is a hauntingly beautiful meditation on depression that is as likely to exasperate as many people as it moves.

Dec 1, 2011 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Melancholia floats in an air of supernatural malaise and tension, a melancholy mirrored in everything and everyone.

Nov 29, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Melancholia will haunt you for days, maybe weeks.

Nov 23, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A severe and ecstatic work of art.

Nov 23, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

It's a credit to the director's persistence of vision that he finds such eerie images to adorn this wispy tree of death. Like a newborn planet, "Melancholia" is magnetically beautiful, but it's also an unformed mass of hot air.

Nov 21, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Melancholia



Daniel J DeMersseman
Daniel J DeMersseman

Super Reviewer

Lars von Trier continues to move through the realm of desolation after Antichrist with this profoundly sad film that shows how different people react in the face of depression and the impending doom. The cast is fantastic, especially Dunst and Gainsbourg, who are both exceptional.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


A sprawling, if flawed, story concerning a woman (Kirsten Dunst) and her self-destruction at her own wedding, coupled with the seemingly imminent threat that a planet off in the distance, named Melancholia, will collide with earth in the near-future. There is a lot going on here despite the onslaught of depression, notably a lot of subtlety and careful reflection of one's life-span. In one sense, it is a frustrating film because it is so detached, but in another way, it keeps the ambiguity and curiosity at an all-time high. Some will find it boring and pretentious, and that's understandable, but I found it to be engrossing and a fascinating, character study on depression. As said, there are a few problems with it, but it is ambitious and thought-provoking, so for that, it gets a recommendation.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

The second instalment in Von Trier's Depression Trilogy is a real highpoint as the provocative director presents audiences with one of his true masterpieces. Kirsten Dunst pulls of her career defining performance as she flawlessly presents a central character who struggles with depression, which ultimately ruins the most important day in her life: the wedding day. To make matters worse, a planet called Melancholia heads towards the planet and doom is inevitably going to fall upon mankind. Forget about any ideas of cities full of panicking people or over destructive natural hazards for which one person or family amazingly survives despite all odds. Here we focus on the emotional struggle Dunst has with her depression. Then there's Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose character attempts to both handle supporting her sister and the stress of knowing Earth will be destroyed. 'Melancholia' is a beautifully made film which left me both amazed and emotionally moved throughout every moment. Despite a few factors which may affect the attention of some viewers, they shouldn't get in the way with how much Von Trier does right.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

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