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Black Swan (2010)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  17 December 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 510,037 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 1,100 user | 652 critic | 42 from

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Andrés Heinz) , 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 104 wins & 211 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Leroy / The Gentleman
Veronica / Little Swan
Galina / Little Swan
Madeline / Little Swan
Andrew / Suitor
Tom / Suitor
Sergio Torrado ...
Sergio / Rothbart
Mr. Fithian / Patron
Mrs. Fithian / Patron
Abraham Aronofsky ...
Mr. Stein / Patron (as Abe Aronofsky)


Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



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Release Date:

17 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cisne negro  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,443,809 (USA) (3 December 2010)


$106,952,327 (USA) (29 April 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Natalie Portman met her future husband, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, on the set of this film. See more »


When Nina returns home after being assigned a role, she stands at her front door to go in. She is wearing her white scarf around her neck. She then puts her key in the lock and other hand on the door knob as she walks through the door to the other side, her hands are still on the door but her scarf is now over her arm. See more »


[first lines]
Nina Sayers: I had the craziest dream last night. I was dancing the White Swan.
See more »


Referenced in Happyland: Price of Admission (2014) See more »


Written and Performed by Peter Min (as Pete Min)
Contains "Swan Lake" written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Portman is great, but this movie is one of worst I've ever seen
16 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Worse than Zardoz, worse than Ishtar, anything.

Zero understanding of ballet leads to ridiculous major premise: "ooh, to do zee black swan you need to be The sexeee!" This is utter nonsense. Anyone who knows anything about ballet and in particular, Swan Lake, knows this. But the writer tries to get away with this huge, vulgar misunderstanding--and he doesn't get away with it.

Uses every cliché in the book, and every vile sexist cliché, too: baad mommy (the cake! the cake!,ooh!, the horror, the horror!), classic controlling abusive artiste dom male who uh feels that masturbation is the answer to everything; pseudo-ballerina actresses who look, speak, and act like leftovers from teen slash movies. Feh.

A waste of time from start to finish, and a tragic waste of fine actors. I don't know how or why this movie got made. I had been looking forward to seeing it; having seen it, I'm so sorry I went.

It could have/should have been great; instead, it's an embarrassment.

97 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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