Requiem for a Dream

Critics Consensus

Though the movie may be too intense for some to stomach, the wonderful performances and the bleak imagery are hard to forget.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 136

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 328,065
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Movie Info

Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., this gritty drama concerns four people trapped by their addictions. Harry (Jared Leto), and his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) are impoverished heroin addicts living in Coney Island, NY, while Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) is a fellow addict trying to distance herself from her wealthy father. Harry dreams of scoring a pound of smack, from which he could make enough money to open a clothing boutique with Marion, but so far he and his friends can barely scrape by supporting their own habits. Meanwhile, Harry's mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn), who spends her days watching television, is told she has the opportunity to appear on her favorite game show; wanting to lose enough weight to fit into her favorite red dress, she visits a sleazy doctor who gives her a prescription for amphetamines. Soon Sara has a drug habit of her own that is spiraling out of control. Requiem for a Dream was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Selby; it was Aronofsky's second feature, following his acclaimed independent film Pi. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Ellen Burstyn
as Sara Goldfarb
Jared Leto
as Harry Goldfarb
Jennifer Connelly
as Marion Silver
Marlon Wayans
as Tyrone C. Love
Christopher McDonald
as Tappy tibbons
Janet Sarno
as Mrs. Pearlman
Suzanne Shepherd
as Mrs. Scarlini
Joanne Gordon
as Mrs. Ovadia
Chas Mastin
as Lyle Russel
Ajay Naidu
as Mailman
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Critic Reviews for Requiem for a Dream

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (37)

  • A staccato narrative parallels the experiences and hallucinations of a woman on drugs with those of her son and his friends.

    Sep 20, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Burnished camerawork and ex-Pop Will Eat Itself head Mansell's part-punchy, part-elegiac score reinforce and counterpoint the increasingly nightmarish visuals.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • With spareness and unremitting cruelty, Aronofsky shows his characters' accelerated slide to destruction. It's an almost unbearably bleak view and its lack of any obvious redemptive moral message will revolt some.

    Aug 27, 2001 | Full Review…
  • [It] may be a bummer to some audiences, so harsh is its view of the drug culture. But no one interested in the power and magic of movies should miss it.

    May 8, 2001 | Rating: 5/5
  • This is, without a doubt, cutting-edge film-making.

    Apr 16, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Ben Falk

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • If this is the future of cinema, I'd rather be home watching television.

    Jan 19, 2001

Audience Reviews for Requiem for a Dream

  • Mar 26, 2016
    Requiem for a Dream is dark and grim, yes. But it's an important film that will linger in your memory for years to come. It's frenetic editing and pace is sublime, and has some of the best performances of each actor's career. A true masterpiece.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Requiem for a Dream is excellent in terms of acting, directing, score. It is the type of film I'd like to rate as five stars but too many mistakes were made. There were many useless scenes (e.g. ice cream stand with the cop) and the end was far overwrought. Instead the time would have been better spent developing the Tyrone character more. Overall, the work is very talented but also amateurish. Like the culture it portrays, Requiem for a Dream is a mixture of flaws and flashes of brilliance.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2015
    Aronofsky works his Midas touch.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2014
    WOW!! What a "don't do drugs" ad! Great acting and the cinematography is GREAT as well as the acting! Even a bigger Jared Leto fan now!
    Thomas J Super Reviewer

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