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The Idiots (1998)
"Idioterne" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 July 1998 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 22,625 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 139 user | 84 critic | 15 from

The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bodil Jørgensen ...
Anne Louise Hassing ...
Henrik Prip ...
Luis Mesonero ...
Knud Romer Jørgensen ...
Trine Michelsen ...
Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis ...
High Class Lady
Erik Wedersøe ...
Stoffer's Uncle
Michael Moritzen ...
Man From Municipality
Josephine's Father


A group of perfectly intelligent young people decide to react to society's cult of an aimless, non-creative and non-responsible form of intelligence by living together in a community of "idiots". Their main activity becomes going out into the world of "normal" people and pretending to be mentally retarded. They take advantage of this situation to create anarchy everywhere they go and try by every possible means to make people annoyed, disturbed, miserable, ridiculous, angered, and shocked. The films start as they recruit a new lost soul and introduced her to their megalomaniac leader. Written by Matthieu Navarro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You're a whole lot dumber than you think See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


Release Date:

17 July 1998 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Dogma 95 - Idioterne  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,235 (USA) (28 April 2000)


$339,768 (Sweden) (3 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was banned in UK Blockbuster stores because of a very short hardcore sex scene.. See more »


This is a film that adheres to the 'Dogme 95' manifesto, so the usual goof rules do not necessarily apply. This includes shots of the crew, microphones and other equipment, as well as continuity errors. See more »


[at Stoffer's birthday party]
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Stoffer: Gang bang.
Nana: Count me in. Gang bang! Gang bang!
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Referenced in The History of Hardcore (2002) See more »


The Swan
by Camille Saint-Saëns (as Camille Saint-Saens)
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User Reviews

30 June 2000 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

While not quite at the same level as _Breaking the Waves_, the only other Lars von Trier I have seen (his films are quite hard to come by in Midwestern American video stores, you understand), _The Idiots_ is still a great film, and, in some ways, is just as important.

I have to comment on a lot of the reviews I've seen for this movie. A lot of viewers judge the film by the theories and views about the group's existence (particularly the view spoken by the most outspoken of the Idiots, Stoffer). This is surely not the way von Trier meant his audience to take the film. If you paid any attention to the film, you'll notice that the Idiots' lifestyle is never glamorized. Everyone's experience in the group ends in embarrassment and despair. You should also note that none of the Idiots has the same opinion of why they like to act the idiot. Stoffer might say that they do it to upset the bourgeosie (I don't pretend to know how to spell that word), but the next person might be doing it just to play around. The artist (whose name escapes me at the moment) is doing it to become a better artist, and the doctor is doing it almost for experiment. There is never a reason for the groups' existence that the entire group agrees upon. This is extremely important for understanding this film.

The way _The Idiots_ particularly hit me was in the characterizations. The actors are so great in this film that they hit the level of: "Is this really acting, or is it just being?" von Trier hit the same level in _Breaking the Waves_. These actors were so good, their characters just jumped out of the script. There are many characters, and only a few of them are characterized in the script extensively. Stoffer, although not the main character, is the most prominent character in the script. Many of the characters don't have all that many lines or screen time, but I felt I knew them all well.

I also appreciated that it actually entertained me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it so much. It is often very, very funny (if offensive). It also gripped me emotionally. I did not particularly comprehend the ending's meaning, but it left me with a powerful emotion. I did have tears in my eyes when I left the theater, and a lot of thoughts in my head. When a man outside the theater stopped me to ask me how I liked it, my lips and my brain were too dry to actually answer anything but, "I liked it. I liked it a lot." 9/10

71 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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