Requiem for a Dream - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Requiem for a Dream Reviews

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July 24, 2016
If displaying the consequences of a life of drugs was the agenda, this was accomplished. If making an entertaining movie was the agenda not so much.
July 17, 2016
Every high schooler should be forced to watch this movie, which is more than just a movie - it's a brutal, soul-scarring intervention.
½ July 11, 2016
What a trip. What a fucked up, disturbing, ugly, colourless, gritty, painful, numbing experience. But it was worth it. There is nothing, there is no movie that feels like an experience more than this one, and it's so goddamn real. And the fact that it's sixteen fucking years old... It's heartbreaking, it's painful, it's depressing, it's real. It's real. It feels so real. The movie really depressed me. It really brought me to just thinking low and sad. It's not a movie for the faint of the heart, if you're not ready (I wasn't ready for this movie when I watched it), yeah, don't watch it. But it's incredible. I hated myself for watching it but I don't regret watching it at all. How Ellen Burstyn got robbed of an Oscar is beyond me.
July 7, 2016
This movie conveys the feelings of anxiety and paranoia so incredibly well that it's hard to say that this movie is enjoyable. However, the imagery is powerful and quite successful in achieving its purpose of exposing the horrors of addiction. So while I wouldn't say I enjoyed watching this movie, I'm glad that I did.
June 30, 2016
It kills you on the inside
½ June 18, 2016
Probably one of the darkest movies I've seen in my life.
June 12, 2016
This movie is fabulous and lovely to me. Great movie to me ever
½ June 3, 2016
Masterful filmmaking. Every scene just has such a good rhythm. Requiem For a Dream is full of creative and original ideas. Its extremely uncomfortable but this film has purpose and artistry. Thank God for Darren Aronofsky
May 29, 2016
Certainly not a Sunday afternoon film!
May 19, 2016
This is why I don't do drugs.
½ May 14, 2016
One of the most devastating and visually impactful films ever made. Sticks with you forever. Cried my eyes out after barely blinking through the end credits.
May 11, 2016
Never before have I seen a film (or anything for that matter) that has shown the harsh realities of the drug world. If you don't want your kids to do drugs, then you should show them this movie.
May 2, 2016
A brutal look at the harsh reality of the toll drug abuse takes on human beings.
½ April 21, 2016
So amazingly depressing. Makes the viewer feel like they are high
April 19, 2016
Whilst it borders on becoming a little too 'MTV' (what that means makes sense to me, at least), 'Requiem For A Dream' has more than enough gusto and originality to get away with its endlessly dark and moody storytelling.

The performances are strong, though no one really stood out- likely because of the majority of the film's subdued nature. However, when it does build up Burstyn delivers something memorable and fascinating.

Really, it was Sara Goldfarb's story that kept me engaged and interested here and I think it easily made up for some of the film's weaker points. It would be very easy for a film taking itself this seriously to be nothing but a complete joke and whilst, this possibly comes somewhat close at times, it never actually ends up there and I think that's a credit to Aronofsky's direction- this isn't a film trying to be cool, it's just legitimately cool at times. The way he captures frantic addictive tendencies is a real technical achievement and it makes up for some of the script's, quite generic, interpretations of these same concepts.

Deserving of its cult status but still just a little too nineties if we're being honest (though I believe it's technically a film of the noughties but, facts are irrelevant).
½ April 18, 2016
Parallel experiences of both extremes of the life spectrum. drug abuse is devastating no matter how old or responsible you are.
April 5, 2016
3-19-2016. 2nd viewing: 11-26-2014 (9/10).

Original rating: 3-9-2008. "Powerful..." 9/10
March 27, 2016
Requiem for a Dream is the movie that made me decide once and for all I would not do drugs. Surrounded by many movies like it such as Trainspotting and The Basketball Diaries, this is the only one that genuinely both moved and disturbed me. It is a tough watch but definitely a movie that all people (with strong stomachs) should check out.

This movie shows drug addiction through stories about a widowed woman, played to perfection by Ellen Burstyn, her son Harry, a great Jared Leto, his girlfriend Marion, a good Jennifer Connelly, and his best friend Tyrone, a spectacular Marlon Wayans at his best. All of these characters have a view of happiness that they are all trying to reach but addiction is getting in the way of them reaching it.
All of the performances are off the charts. Every one in this movie gives it their all and it shows. The writing is great the dialogue is spot on. The direction is perfect from Darren Aronofsky, he really know how to make the audience feel like they are on drugs, and the cinematography is chilling, bleak, and perfect. And the score, oh my god the score, is so perfect and disturbing and fitting for this film. The sound track alone will give you chills. It really is one if the best soundtracks of all time in my opinion.
Requiem for a Dream is a dark disturbing tale that is not for people who are bothered by strong depictions of addiction. It makes drugs not look fun for a change. It makes you not want to do them, which it was meant to do. This movie is great, and I have no flaws with it.
March 27, 2016
Watching Requiem For a Dream was an experience with lasting effects. It's the most hopeless film I've seen to date with a completely ruthless portrayal of drug addiction and the horrors associated. This is not as much due to the subject matter, but more so to how the characters' struggles are so sympathetic, and these struggles being presented with such scrutiny by Darren Aronofsky and the cast that is devastatingly painful to watch.

There is an unwavering sense of disgust from the opening scene, and it never lets up from there, making it the only film that I can confidently say I wanted to squirm in my seat while watching. It is an upsetting film in every sense of the word, made apparent by the emotional performances, the characters' goals in life slowly slipping through their fingers (hence the title) due to their use of drugs, and the uncomfortably close camera angles that give the viewer a cringe-inducing sense of entrapment.

It's easy to think of this film before seeing it and assume it is purely dependent on the significance of the subject matter with no substance from a filmmaking standpoint. However, if the film lacked in filmmaking, it would not be nearly as upsetting. Darren Aronofsky knows how to trap the viewers into the horrible events with a stellar cast, Clint Mansell's haunting score, and an unwavering sense of dread. This dread is made possible by how the characters are crafted. Watching them abandon dignity, hold onto false hope, and stomach such disturbing situations made me almost struggle to stay seated, a feat no other film has accomplished.

One cannot talk about this film without mentioning Ellen Burstyn's performance. She is tied with Essie Davis in The Babadook for my favorite performance by an actress. What they do so well is make the viewers feel such pity for their miserable lives with performances so convincing that it's easy to forget that they are actors. Although Burstyn outshines everyone else, Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, and Jennifer Connelly are fantastic in their roles, doing what Aronofsky most definitely expected them to do: Make the audience feel their characters' pain.

As well as the performances, what Aronofsky does technically is equally astounding. Whether a director can add more layers to the story than what is on paper is what separates a mediocre director from a great one, and Aronofsky proves himself to be the latter. Aronofsky uses the same editing technique each time a specific character takes a specific drug, for instance. As the viewer counts the times the technique is used, they feel more and more despair as the characters addictions become gradually stronger.

*****SPOILERS FOLLOW*****

Where his technical skills really shined for me was the final scene where he wraps up the film perfectly. He shows a montage of our characters laying down, and provides so much with this one directorial choice. All characters except that of Jared Leto assume the fetal position. My interpretation of this is that it's a gesture of despair, conveying a similarity between them.

The position also indicates that they are clutching the one thing that helps them take their mind off their new unbearable lives. The reason Harry (Jared Leto) does not assume the position is that he has nothing to hold on to. Every other character does, but the thing that gives them hope is what makes each character arc distinct from the others.

Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) clutches the thought of his mother, making him the most hopeful character since he is being forcefully held from his drugs and still has thoughts of a peaceful life. Although the movie shared a theme with Trainspotting in conveying the frightful easiness of slipping into addiction with the story of Sara (Ellen Burstyn), Darren Aronofsky himself said that Tyrone is the only character with hope of escape.

Marion (Jennifer Connelly) is similar in that she has something that gives her hope, but different in that she has completely abandoned her life. She curls herself around the heroin she went to such desperate measures to get her hands on, showing how drugs are her salvation from her new life even though they are the cause.

The film concludes with perhaps the most depressing character arc in the movie, which is that of Sara Goldfarb. Solidifying the heart-breaking monologue she gives earlier, the thing she holds on to is the fantasy of appearing on television. She knows this will never happen, but the thought of it comforts her. Within this fantasy, her son Harry is implied to have married his girlfriend Marion and appears well-dressed and happy. Him and his mother tell each other they love each other, and the film fades to its end credits. What makes this character arc the most depressing out of all of the others is that her son's life and their relationship being healthy is within the fantasy of her appearing on television. This suggests that her son loving her and vice versa is just as outlandish as her television fantasy. That notion is emphasized further by Sara smiling, but tears running down her eyes can be seen.

The way Aronofsky presented the film's wrap-up is the major highlight of his directorial talents within this movie. He knew to convey more ideas visually than what is shown through dialogue and the actors' performances, making this movie's presentation of the subject matter all the more complex. Although it is a film that had me emotionally drained long after seeing it, I cannot deny that it is excellently crafted.
Super Reviewer
March 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.
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