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Ratings & Reviews

The Dancer Upstairs

Rated R for strong violence, and for language.

R In Theaters 05/2/2003 , 133min.
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Viewer Score
Viewer score based on 5 ratings
Critic score based on 40 reviews

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Critic Reviews powered by Metacritic ™

A.O. Scott
The New York Times
Echoes its director's own deportment as a performer, alternating silky smoothness with burlap coarseness. Though Mr. Malkovich stays entirely behind the scenes, he creates a languorous but gripping story of people fighting to stay a step ahead of hopelessness. Full Review
David Edelstein
The film has a foggy cast to it--flat and insinuatingly creepy, like the actor. But then it can be lit, in an instant, by searing flash-pots of cruelty and wit. Even when it's slightly opaque, it's transfixing. Full Review
David Rooney
The film is powered by a superbly controlled performance from Javier Bardem. While it lacks economy and could have used a firmer hand in shaping the key central relationship, this intelligent, arrestingly sober drama packs a cumulative punch. Full Review
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
The only reason this dilemma has any import is thanks to Bardem, who almost single-handedly drags the film along. Full Review
James Berardinelli
Ambitious material for a first-time directorial outing, but, even with a huge assist from his lead actor, Malkovich doesn't nail it. Full Review

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