Critic Reviews



Based on 12 critic reviews provided by
It's a handsome production, and a pleasure to watch. With a shadowy palette and a set design reminiscent of Edward Hopper's nocturnes, a soundtrack hearkening back to the sounds of vintage rock 'n' roll, and a cast of characters straight out of a James M. Cain novel.
New York Post
If you're new to Kaurismaki, the film will make you a fan. If you've seen everything else he's ever done, the comedy will confirm your commitment.
There's great music, an excellent dog, and that indescribable Kaurismäki tension between misery and a cosmic joke.
Kaurismaki's characteristically minimalist humor and wry empathy make brief appearances, but be warned: His Helsinki is a cold, dark place unfit for all but the hardiest visitors.
The A.V. Club
Without Kaurismäki to introduce these lonely, forgotten souls to audiences, who's going to be his friend?
Lights in the Dusk finds veteran Finnish helmer Aki Kaurismaki treading water with an amiable but very undercooked noirish fable about a security guard done wrong by a femme fatale.
So stylized and slow-moving (even at a spare 75 minutes) that you may have trouble adapting to its hypnotic rhythms -- but if you can, there are sumptuous visual rewards to be found, plus the faintest emotional uptick right at the end.
The Hollywood Reporter
Lights will put in more appearances at festivals before achieving a brief theatrical window for Kaurismaki devotees to gaze through. Most will do so with discouragement.
This spare, minimalist film is not realistic. It has the simplicity of a silent movie, and the blocking of the actors, especially in the scenes with Koistinen and Mirja, emphasizes the distances between them.
Village Voice
Lights in the Dusk derives scant excitement from its melodramatic plot, which satisfies a dismal, ineluctable formula with stultifying efficiency. Nor is it enlivened by the airless performances.

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