(2011)

Critic Reviews

66

Metascore

Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
Mr. Solondz brilliantly - triumphantly - turns this impression on its head, transforming what might have been an exercise in easy satirical cruelty into a tremendously moving argument for the necessity of compassion.
85
While skipping the more shocking turns of something like "Happiness," Dark Horse does feel like a return to the fearless darkness of those earlier films, a tale of a loser who's fully drawn but never allowed to be lovable.
75
The scenes between Gelber and Blair are the strongest in Dark Horse, because they form a bond not out of shared interests or passion, but a weary kind of compromise.
60
The movie strays too far into fantasy - Abe suffers mightily - but Solondz still has an ear and an eye for a specific hell in the real world.
60
Abe's day-to-day trials may eventually seem like cheap daytime TV, but Gelber and Solondz know how to nail the uncomfortably funny optimism shadowing American desperation.
60
Boxoffice Magazine
He's either daring you not to laugh or daring you not to care, but either way, you'll laugh, care and worry about the consequences in Dark Horse.
50
Never less than watchable and loaded with trademark negativity so extreme it's sometimes funny, the new film is nonetheless saddled with a protagonist so narrowly and unlikably presented that, in the end, he doesn't seem worth the time devoted to him.
50
Village Voice
With Solondz's old-hat funeral deadpan and his efforts to pass off Abe's adolescent rage as elevated insight, Dark Horse is neither incisively black-comic nor particularly attuned to human behavior - proof that some directors, at least, do end up the way they started out.
40
There is little in the film's pitch-black interior that wasn't tackled better – with more bite, wit and abandon – in "Happiness," "Welcome to the Dollhouse," or "Storytelling."
38
Slant Magazine
Yesterday, Solondz blocking the screen meant something, even if it was just his own petulance. Today, a blurred sign only signifies his capitulation to peer pressure.

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