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Dogville

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Netherlands, Denmark, United Kingdom
·
2003

Rated R · 2h 58m

Director Lars von Trier
Starring Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
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A barren soundstage is stylishly utilized to create a minimalist small-town setting in which a mysterious woman named Grace hides from the criminals who pursue her. The town is two-faced and offers to harbor Grace as long as she can make it worth their effort, so Grace works hard under the employ of various townspeople to win their favor. Tensions flare, however, and Grace's status as a helpless outsider provokes vicious contempt and abuse from the citizens of Dogville.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

Empire by Alan Morrison

Argue that von Trier's latest is theatre and not cinema. But at least acknowledge that Dogville, in a didactic and politicised stage tradition, is a great play that shows a deep understanding of human beings as they really are.
10

The New Yorker by David Denby

What Lars von Trier has achieved is avant-gardism for idiots. From beginning to end, Dogville is obtuse and dislikable, a whimsical joke wearing cement shoes. [29 March 2004, p. 103]
100

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

For passion, originality, and sustained chutzpah, this austere allegory of failed Christian charity and Old Testament payback is von Trier's strongest movie--a masterpiece, in fact.
50

New York Magazine (Vulture) by Peter Rainer

The film centers almost entirely on the faces of the townspeople, which Von Trier frames vividly. There’s nothing static about his technique, but everything else about the movie is dreary and closed off.
88

Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Kidman gives the most emotionally bruising performance of her career in Dogville, a movie that never met a cliche it didn't stomp on.
30

Film Threat by Phil Hall

If Dogville has a reason for importance, it is the astonishing all-star ensemble who try very hard to put life into their cardboard characters and make this silly film work.
80

L.A. Weekly by Scott Foundas

A postmodern morality play stripped nearly bare by its precocious creator, until only its boldness, cutting insight, intermittent hilarity and bracing violence remain.
80

The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

The incendiary Dogville confirms the director's sadistic knack for locating his characters' (and his audience's) soft spots and prodding them for a singular emotional experience.
40

Variety by Todd McCarthy

An artistically experimental, ideologically apocalyptic blast at American values that is as obvious in intent as it is murky in aesthetic achievement.

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