(2003)

Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
San Francisco Chronicle
Mischievous, singular and profound.
100
Von Trier sets the action on a theatrical stage, spotlighting the existential isolation that weighs on people who don't seek larger visions of life, individuality, and community. Challenging, dramatic, provocative.
100
Miami Herald
Intentionally designed to rile as much as entertain.
100
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
If nothing else can be said of Dogville, it's a film that is like nothing else.
100
It really is a masterpiece--von Trier's first, as it happens.
100
Argue that von Trier's latest is theatre and not cinema. But at least acknowledge that Dogville, in a didactic and politicised stage tradition, is a great play that shows a deep understanding of human beings as they really are.
100
Village Voice
For passion, originality, and sustained chutzpah, this austere allegory of failed Christian charity and Old Testament payback is von Trier's strongest movie--a masterpiece, in fact.
91
Entertainment Weekly
This galvanizing cinematic work is also gorgeous, experimental, alive with a Scandinavian strain of chutzpah, and artistically elegant.
88
Kidman gives the most emotionally bruising performance of her career in Dogville, a movie that never met a cliche it didn't stomp on.
80
The A.V. Club
The incendiary Dogville confirms the director's sadistic knack for locating his characters' (and his audience's) soft spots and prodding them for a singular emotional experience.
80
A postmodern morality play stripped nearly bare by its precocious creator, until only its boldness, cutting insight, intermittent hilarity and bracing violence remain.
75
Not for everyone. It is darkly funny, intellectually challenging and obliquely didactic. It also grows bleaker over the course of its nearly three-hour running time.
75
New York Daily News
Surprises, repulses and provokes. It's also brilliant and infuriating, wise and naïve, outrageous yet unforgettable.
50
Philadelphia Inquirer
Either an airless allegory about opportunistic Americans or another one of the director's parables of female persecution. OK, maybe it's both. But life is too short for three hours of misanthropy and misogyny.
50
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The film centers almost entirely on the faces of the townspeople, which Von Trier frames vividly. There's nothing static about his technique, but everything else about the movie is dreary and closed off.
40
A provocation, a coup de théâtre and three hours of tedious experimentation.
40
An artistically experimental, ideologically apocalyptic blast at American values that is as obvious in intent as it is murky in aesthetic achievement.
30
Film Threat
If Dogville has a reason for importance, it is the astonishing all-star ensemble who try very hard to put life into their cardboard characters and make this silly film work.
10
Wall Street Journal
A symphony for tin ears, a sniggering assessment of human nature delivered with the faux-lofty tone of a Lexus commercial.
10
The New Yorker
What Lars von Trier has achieved is avant-gardism for idiots. From beginning to end, Dogville is obtuse and dislikable, a whimsical joke wearing cement shoes. [29 March 2004, p. 103]

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