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Black Bear (2020)

2:34 | Trailer
A filmmaker at a creative impasse seeks solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, only to find that the woods summon her inner demons in intense and surprising ways.
1,684 ( 147)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Aubrey Plaza ... Allison
Christopher Abbott ... Gabe
Sarah Gadon ... Blair
Paola Lázaro ... Cahya
Grantham Coleman ... Baako
Lindsay Burdge ... Maude
Lou Gonzalez ... Chris
Shannon O'Neill ... Simone
Alexander Koch ... Mike (as Alex Koch)
Jennifer Kim ... Nora
Kevin Barker Kevin Barker ... John the Gaffer
Mary Borrello Mary Borrello ... 1st AC
Rob Turbovsky ... 2nd AC
Haitao Zeng Haitao Zeng ... PA


At a remote lake house in the Adirondack Mountains, a couple entertains an out-of-town guest looking for inspiration in her filmmaking. The group quickly falls into a calculated game of desire, manipulation, and jealousy, unaware of how dangerously convoluted their lives will soon become in the filmmaker's pursuit of a work of art, which blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention. Written by kanaan-02150

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The movie is loosely based from Lawrence Michael Levine's dreams. He wanted to capture some parts of his dreams into the screenplay. See more »


In the second half of the film, that is, in the second film, Aubrey's character completely downs a clear glass of whisky/scotch liquor. The camera cuts to the male in the scene and he says something, then back to Aubrey's character who again completely downs the same glass. See more »

User Reviews

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art In This Anxiety-Inducing Meta Thriller.
9 December 2020 | by CinemaClownSee all my reviews

An intricately layered, fiendishly plotted & anxiety-inducing thriller that's further bolstered by Aubrey Plaza's powerfully captivating performance, Black Bear is an emotionally charged & increasingly unnerving ride that's clever & confounding in equal measure and offers an interesting insight into the behind-the-scenes chaos of art creation.

Written & directed by Lawrence Michael Levine, the film only gets more n more intense & uncomfortable as it progresses, and sustains its uneasy aura from the first frame to the last. Levine's enigmatic treatment keeps the viewers guessing and although he doesn't provide any answer, he does manage to create just the right kind of intrigue for us to continue looking for it.

Assisting the psychologically scarring drama is the haunting sound design that never allows us to settle. And then there are fabulous performances that make this journey even more worthwhile. Christopher Abbott & Sarah Gadon deliver strong inputs while Aubrey Plaza steals the show with a phenomenal rendition that's impressive enough to qualify as arguably her career-best work.

Overall, Black Bear is a dark, delirious & disturbing delight that's as subversive as it is solipsistic and while far from an easy film to decipher in one sitting, it is able to keep our interest & involvement alive throughout its runtime. One of the most challenging & stimulating films of the year, this meta-thriller paints a fascinating portrait of art imitating life imitating art, and is worth viewing for Aubrey Plaza's commanding showcase alone.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

4 December 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Bear See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Lake, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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