Vox Lux (2018) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
36 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Yikes - starts really well - a narcisstic mess by the end
peedur12 December 2018
This film suffers from the same kind of poor choices which would cause someone to, say, make a 9/11 disco musical. It wields an enormous subject and chooses to focus on the most irrelevant aspects of any reaction to that subject.

It doesn't really matter what you want to say - the bizarre, unresolved context for the setup feels faintly obscene and eventually bankrupt. If the point of the film is to illustrate the shallowness of reactions to terror and violence, then it failed to say that. Instead, it looks more like a statement about the parallels between self-expression, terrorism, self-obsession, or losing your identity to celebrity, or something... By the end of the film I was deeply annoyed.

Hats-off the all of the professionals who clearly know how to make an impressive film here. But this story however, is a mess of intensity looking for a point. I believe that it fails eventually because of the indigestible premise.
27 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Edgy, allegorical depiction of social decadence
PotassiumMan11 December 2018
Natalie Portman stars in this very unusual, intriguing but flawed film that explores several different genres in tackling pop culture and its sordid grip on the national consciousness at the dawn of the new millennium. Is this a satirical bombardment? One could argue. Is it a tragic indictment? Definite possibility. One thing it is not is straightforward.

This film gets by on the strength of its performances and its committed portrayal of the poisonous celebrity lifestyle and the emotional toll it exacts. Portman is explosive as the grown-up pop star who came from humble beginnings and found her survival of a horrific school shooting catapulting her into national prominence when she performed a song at a televised vigil. Jude Law is sharp as her gruff, street-smart manager who early on helps transform her from a victim of tragedy into a gaudy, commercialized monstrosity. Raffey Cassidy shines in dual roles as the pop starlet in her younger days, and as her teenage daughter in the film's second half.

There are drawbacks. A dry, detached voiceover narration by Willem Dafoe is more often a glaring distraction than an enhancement. And the film's simplistic juxtaposition of acts of terrorism and concert tours only tentatively conveys the theme of the intertwining of tragedy and pop culture. The film is obviously trying to echo its plot thread that takes hold in the beginning but it seems so faint by contrast.

Thought-provoking but more for the thesis that it tackles than for its actual achievement, this film is worth watching. How well it succeeds depends on how you view Portman's performance. Does she eviscerate the entertainment industry as immoral with a lightning-rod portrayal of wasted youth? Or does she dilute the film's impact by giving a performance that is too much of a caricature to constitute an allegory? Decide for yourself.

I freely admit that this film is not for everyone while acknowledging that I myself found it quite compelling. Finally, a splendid array of well-performed songs and a sterling soundtrack add to the film's favor. Recommended.
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A modern classic
KarenAM8 October 2018
Young writer and director Brady Corbet, delivers a magnificent and terrifying craft with Vox Lux, as it follows a dramatic rise to a stardom of a teenage girl who is a survivor of a school shooting. The unusual circumstances that can turn a victim into a cultural phenomenon with millions of followers. The film is so brutally honest in its portrayal of the modern pop trash culture that its painful to admit but so hard not to follow. Overall weirdness and art-housey approach of the film may scare general audience off and derail from wider recognition by shutting down any chances for the film's commercial success. Natalie Portman, who plays the superstar Celeste in the movie, is deserving of her second Oscar more than ever.

Director knows exactly what he is aiming for with his skillful directing and insightful writing, unafraid to take risks. Having Willem Defoe to gradually narrate your story into a Sia song is a guaranteed classic alone. Brady Corbet never puts a foot wrong with either the visuals or the music, making Celeste's story feel like the story of modern America. Truly one of the highlights of the recent years.
82 out of 115 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Vox Lux (2018)
rockman1829 December 2018
Didn't know a whole lot about this film, so this was basically a film that benefited from the AMC stub list membership. Decided to go in completely blind; no trailers, no reviews, just that poster of Natalie Portman in blue glitter. From that, i was expecting some type of sci-fi futuristic musical. That's not what the film is, as you will find out within the resounding first five minutes or so. I found this film to be a bizarre mess that doesn't exactly know what its doing.

The film is about a teenager who is a victim of a school shooting. From that event he and her sister gain popularity from a musical performance at a memorial service which eventually molds into a music career. Soon, Celeste (the adult lead played by Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy in her youth) falls into the pitfalls of super stardom which includes promiscuous behavior, drugs, and mass interaction with an unrelenting media. The film also stars Stacy Martin (who I loved in Nymphomaniac), and narrated by Willem Defoe.

The film starts off with a bang and the first twenty minutes or so are rather incredible in its build because of its mix of shock and intense drama. However, when Celeste starts her rise as a pop star the film starts losing its soul much like Celeste in her career. Oddly, enough as soon as Celeste the star grows up and Natalie Portman enters the fray, the film starts losing its plot and derides itself into a messy piece that doesn't connect with its viewers. The acting is great all around, especially from Portman but she is let down by a script that doesn't know what its trying to be or what its trying to prove.

I left the theater kind of bewildered by the end product. I may have preferred a futuristic musical space opera then what we got. I think there will be a crowd out there that will go to bat for this work but it doesn't resonate with me unfortunately. The positive that comes from this film is that now I can use the term Vox Lux as a word the way I want. i have truly been luxed by this experience.

16 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
one of the best movies of the year if you pay attention to the director's vision.
kingsgrl201018 November 2018
Vox Lux has a daring + clear vision by Brady Corbet, it doesn't sugar coat real tragedies that effect our society. and with Natalie Portman's performance you feel the weight of the choices and circumstances of where a person can end up. It's has pretty dark moments, that if you pay attention to Brady's vision, it should create a bigger discussion. Raffey Cassidy stands out giving an even more memorable performance than in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, you feel for her as a young Celeste, trying to figure out her next journey in life with very little guidance. A woman's journey through tragedy told in a stylistic dark approach. Vox Lux has become one of my favorites of the year.
34 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Interesting, Artsy Drama Headlined by Natalie Portman
bastille-852-7315477 December 2018
The reviews and trailer for this film promised a strong performance by Natalie Portman as a troubled pop star. While some of the praise for her role in "Vox Lux" may be somewhat overhyped, she does give a generally good performance in this drama directed by Brady Corbet. She plays Celeste, a now-famous pop star who survived a school shooting in 1999. The film gives viewers a grip on how those who get too all-consumed in the superficiality of pop music culture can lose control over their lives, although sometimes the dialogue and writing during these scenes can sometimes feel almost too on-the-nose to be truly impactful on the viewer.

The film is stunningly shot, and its score is often stirring and potent. Jude Law's supporting performance is outstanding, providing a powerfully subdued complement to the main narrative as Celeste's manager. With the exception of the memorial song sung by a young Celeste at a vigil for the shooting victims about ten minutes after film's commencement, the rest of the film's songs (which are pop-based) are generally not too appealing. However, this is likely intentional, as Corbet's direction is intended to make the viewer critique popular culture and its effects on music and society, as well as the possibility that our social obsessions may breed tragic and wretched acts. Despite such potentially-thoughtful commentary, it's not clear by the end of the film what Corbet really wants to say or offer as a message to the narrative besides simply saying that excess tackiness is bad. While superficiality is an important topic, for a film that poses far deeper, existential and angst-filled questions, the film's attempts to thread loose ends of its messaging before the film's finale (a pop concert) feel somewhat skimpy. The film's stronger elements would make it worth of recommending to those who like Natalie Portman and can appreciate sometimes-audacious and challenging films. 7/10
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I want my hour back
cshaath7 December 2018
One of the few movies I walked out of. It was like an expensive student film trying too hard to be inventive. It went from one inane scene to the other with no cohesiveness just one attempt to be shocking after the other . Maybe the end was the payoff but I doubt it and just did not think it was worth anymore of my time
30 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An uncompromising finish
JustinDavis363613 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Vox Lux is bold, thought provoking, and objective; everything that you would expect from a great film. Corbet was able to take defining events from the past 30 years and show how our defining moments as a nation have been illustrated through tragedy.

Although there were some moments of confusion and what seems to be superficial conversations, Corbet delivers a powerful message that will cause you to think about his film more than you will with any other one.

This film is worth a watch.
26 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
sycre815 December 2018
Disjointed mess. Would have walked out but was stuck there.
13 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of my favorites this year.
noahbeanslice-223-26233211 November 2018
Natalie Portman transcends in the most challenging and unshakable film I've seen this year.


Brady Corbet's Vox Lux has an "angle" unlike the other post-Columbine, post-911 films that simply objectify traumatic events (think Gus Van Sant's Elephant (2003)).

Corbet gives terrorism an origin story.

obviously, his aspirations are doomed from the get-go. No one can present some catch-all to explain how terrorists develop their thinking.

the only thing we can be sure of is that our news-media platforms will scrape every variable together in one place, inevitably dissolving the barrier between infamy and fame.

I was discouraged seeing dozens of people walking out of the 41st-Annual Denver Film Festival premiere but I understood their decision.

Vox Lux's subject matter is difficult, and I don't think I'll watch it again soon, but it provides an indescribable feeling of media-saturated hysteria that's uncomfortable for most people to try and process, myself included.

this film captures the existential dread you sometimes feel when every image in your Instagram/Apple News feed feels like it's not only connected, but also reinforcing the worst aspects of society. You open up your phone: another mass shooting, Kanye West hugs Trump, California wildfire burns, etc. This movie proposes that these things are all closely related, and directly influencing one another.

in Celeste's "21st-Century Portrait", space and time are rendered meaningless, as her geography (physical distance) does nothing to separate her from the emotional repercussions of her work, and 17 years (tangential distance) has failed to separate her from the trauma of her childhood. She feels like she's been travelling on a straight highway road, but history/media indicate that she's only moving in cycles.

the way events/subjects blend and juxtapose, having Celeste's private thoughts manifest themselves in public arenas, and vice-versa, is a very unique, very 21-century type of disorienting angst. Kudos to Corbet.

wasn't a good date night flick, however.
28 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Uncomfortable + disturbing
kathryngosik2 December 2018
I went into this film and felt blindsided by the subject matter. There were so many aspects to the film I didn't enjoy; the narration over sped up clips, the use of the same actors for different characters, the many in resolved story lines. I left this screening feeling extremely uneasy and disturbed.
28 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A BUMBLE BEE MESS .Don't waste your time
michaelgreermd-6264920 December 2018
One of the worst movies of the year.. Natalie Portland is a overacting performer. Casting is really confusing.. Way too much stupid and unnecessary scenes.. A real garbage truck production. They love themselves with massive credits before and after the film..A waste. Wish I read the reviews before..Oh well !!
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
markmarkzablan8 December 2018
I gave it a chance but it's really just a mess. A total mess.
19 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Do not fall for the hype, completely worthless film
kregmcm11 December 2018
Brady is a handsome fellow, he is no sort of director, and this movie proves it, how he got any of these actors involved with such drivel is beyond me, not everything that glitters is gold, and here all you get is fools gold, sloppy, irregular and not an enjoyable film, not because of the subject matter but the film itself, one gigantic mess.

wait to rent it if you must pay to see it, otherwise do yourself a favor and skip this one, you're not missing out.
12 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Exactly as You said Brady: Not entertaining!
olle-hogrell17 November 2018
I saw this movie at the Swedish Premiere, during the Stockholm Film Festival in November 2018. Director Brady Corbert introduced his work, prior to the viewing. More memorable than the movie itself was the discussion with audience and director afterwards. Brady Corbert is a young, talented man with a sombre approach to the world, to people and to humanity. He is also, on top of that, rather self-important. During the Question Time, he received courteous but constructive criticism. An answer I will remember is this: "If there's any shortage in my movie at all, it might be that it can be seen as in some parts slightly entertaining." That statement says a lot about the director's view of life, people, art and the audience, paying to be entertained. Sorry Brady, but this is just not good enough, in fact it's not even worth the price of a Cinema ticket.
33 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
superwarriorprincess15 December 2018
It's written in a really weird way. There are two parts to it, a past and a present and it is just such a train wreck. It was very boring and a hard plot to follow. Stereotypical portrayal of the hard life of an artist. There were so many musical performances that were so long that it felt like a musical. No real/good story line here. Only sat through it because we paid for it else it was torture to sit through. Not sure how Natalie Portman could do such an awful movie with no real storyline or clear path. It just did not make any sense.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Awful movie
HIfilm888823 November 2018
This film was at the Hawaii International Film Festival and it was awful - possibly the worst for Natalie Portman and Jude Law. We were especially disappointed as fans of Portman. This film came across like it was a high school film project. The narration did not fit the movie nor did the scene introductions which were harsh and the editing was bad.
32 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Garbage Movie for Morons
whitneymannies19 December 2018
A script that is equal parts pretentious and superficial. Repeatedly explicit about its obvious allegorical critique of America even while also decrying the dumbing down of Americans. Lazy and self-congratulatory cultural critique. The very best example of why voice over is often just a sign of inept character and plot development. Characters have indiscernible motivations and incoherent personalities, not because they are played by bad actors, but because they are played by good actors who cannot save a script that only manages to communicate a director's sense of self-importance. I would not trust anyone who likes this movie.

Vox Lux made me so angry that I created this IMDB account just to dump on it. People deserve better than this pseudo-intellectual trash.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
can't stop thinking about it
rcrosby112923 December 2018
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can't remember the last time a movie made me feel the ways this movie did. There was such a mix of emotions this movie created that keeps you connected to the characters. This movie may not be for everyone, especially if you go in expecting something it is not. There were amazing perfirmances through out. I would rate 11 out of 10 if possible.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Haunting Version of A Star is Born
ThomasDrufke19 December 2018
I waited nearly 4 days to write this review/reaction because I genuinely wasn't sure how I felt after seeing Vox Lux. I'm not the first one to say this but it's quite the pairing with A Star is Born for what could be the best double feature of 2018, with both portraying such a vastly different take on rise to stardom. Much like other 2018 films Hereditary and 22 July, there are a few scenes in Vox Lux that I will never forget in that they are some of the most haunting and terrifying sequences I have ever seen on film. However, a film like 22 July had an easier plot to follow and a much more direct narrative, whereas Vox Lux is a dark interpretation of fame, and an interpretation that doesn't give the clearest clues as to how your supposed to feel after viewing. The performances are extraordinary, including yet another star-making turn from Raffey Cassidy and expectedly great turns from Jude Law and of course, Natalie Portman. Even if I'm not totally sure on how I feel about this film, I know that I want more films to be this bold and daring.

3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Worst movie I have seen - bar none!
redrockwriters16 December 2018
I see many, many movies. I am also a punished author and aspiring screenwriter. This movie is just awful...a real trainwreck! Allen Kelley
7 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brady Corbet: guaranteed to challenge his audience's expectations
Stay_away_from_the_Metropol20 December 2018
One thing is certain about director Brady Corbet: he's always up for challenging his viewer's expectations. When a movie doesn't deliver in the most typical of senses, it begets a plentiful amount of confused people which then translates to "it sucks" because they don't know what else to do with their confusion. His debut Childhood of a Leader followed the same suit.

Vox Lux is certainly not a perfect film, but I liked it quite a lot. It's a real freakshow of a movie - the fact that it even got made and released in 2018 is wild. It's a very ambitious feat. Structurally, it's far from typical. It will certainly leave you asking a few questions, and I think it will leave a lot of...specific types of people...bored, but I enjoyed how singular it's focus was. The first half is incredibly strong, the second half will likely make you question your own feelings. Scott Walker's score was great (not as powerful as the Childhood of a Leader score, but that's okay..."Druggie" is still a new gem of a jam). Though young Rafey Cassidy fumbled a bit at times in A TRADITIONAL SENSE (like covering up her accent for example), she managed to deliver the most captivating performance in the movie by quite a stretch. Stacy Martin's acting was focused, tasteful, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she's breathtakingly gorgeous. Jude Law and Natalie Portman come off as wanking about in a lot of the scenes but somehow it fits and almost adds to their characters and this bizarre film as a whole. Portman is mostly annoying but she's supposed to be - but it's progressive, it does blossom into something piercing and you feel it when it hits full bloom.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to the average person but I find it to be quite one-of-a-kind, quite daring, and due to that, a bit of a special gem. I enjoyed the concert. I am excited to observe Brady Corbet's full career as a filmmaker thoroughly.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I didn't want it to end
brookewy130 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It's nihilistic parallels between the main character Celeste and the horrors around mass shootings were intriguing, and made for an interesting storyline. At first I was irritated by the abrupt ending, but I realized I was continuously returning to it in my thoughts, which was probably the point. Worth seeing.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Natalie Portman Always pushes foward and the Film is no Different.
stefanelectric21 December 2018
I honestly went in with no expectations and came out extremely amazed . The Directors cinematography and the weird speed ups and the ending credits at the beginning were very creative. The film basically shows just how someone with everything can be so miserable and why . There is also a underlined message in the film that redeems why everything was happening and the way it was. All the way through you honestly don't understand her lack of empathy and why she had such a odd point a view on the shootings . But when the final act hits it all makes plenty of sense . I really cannot tell the ending because it will completely ruin the beginning of the film. Go see this film Natalie Portman once again shines in character as a very aggressive urban musician with a flamboyant style. The movie has some demonic overtones throughout and a extremely interesting narration by William Dafoe. Go into this movie knowing there isn't much light in the film and the story isn't about a artist that has a drug problem and is self destructive this is on a whole different level.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Emotion within music
deanharley-5443120 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Vox Lux, the story of a young women's rode to achieving something of a greater proportion. The story begins with a childhood trauma in the circumstances of a devastating school shooting that is shaking to the core. Along the way she performs a song at the wake of a fallen classmate, and the world is changed. From this she receives attention that is an outstanding foreshadowing of what is to come.

It is not soon after before the main character is diccovered after her initial impact. She is soon caught inside the industry of music and is changed forever. This truly represents the tale of a fictional pop star being led from a tragic existence to absolute stardom.

Vox Lux, is a masterpiece for many reasons. The director, Brady Corbet masterfully states the sensitive topics and many messages that are conveyed through the powerful use of song in Vox Lux and encourages us to love the main character as we realize that she is flawed as we too are flawed. One of the most impactuful films I have seen all year and one that I hope is understood. Vox Lux truly captures what it is intending and does so with something that hits you with something you rarely see.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed