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Melancholia Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

Death to everybody! Read full review

4.5

Grae Drake Profile

Woeful and wonderful. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    80

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A movie masterpiece...is Lars von Trier's ecstatic magnum opus on the themes of depression, cataclysm, and the way the world might end.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Nearly everyone in this film is unlikeable, their actions inexplicable. And the pace is so lugubrious that it's hard not to succumb to Justine's glum mood.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Its true subject is melancholia as a spiritual state, a destroyer of happiness that emerges from its hiding place behind the sun, just like the menacing planet, then holds the heroine, Justine, in its unyielding grip and gives Ms. Dunst the unlikely occasion for a dazzling performance.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Melancholia reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Emotionally brutal end-of-the-world drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama about the end of the world from controversial Danish director Lars von Trier is emotionally overwhelming and very depressing, with a strong sense of mortal terror. Most of the movie's conflicts consist of arguing and yelling, but the impending destruction of the entire world is very intense. The other big issue is sexuality, with the main character (played by Kirsten Dunst) appearing fully naked in more than one scene and having sex with a younger man (not her husband) on her wedding day. Language includes infrequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," and characters occasionally drink alcohol, mostly at a wedding.

  • Families can talk about how the movie addresses the idea of the end of the world. How does the movie evoke terror and dread? How does it compare to other movies' take on the topic?
  • What makes the main character so depressed? How does she deal with her problem? What are some other ways she could deal with it?
  • Why does Justine use sex and nudity to deal with her depression?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: In a very grim movie in which nothing matters and nothing can be done, family is shown to be an important source of comfort.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The main character is very depressed, somewhat destructive, and seemingly incapable of functioning in her everyday life, but when the end of the Earth is imminent, she's the one who stays the calmest and most logical, selflessly providing comfort to a young boy.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The movie is all about the impending destruction of the Earth; there's an overall sense of terror, and a young boy is involved. Characters also yell and argue a great deal.

  • sex false5

    Sex: The main character is seen fully naked in more than one scene. She passionately kisses her husband on their wedding day (almost foreplay). But at one point she also drags a younger man off to a golf course for some rough and unexpected (perhaps forced?) sex (they remain clothed, and she climbs on top of him).

  • language false4

    Language: Language is infrequent, but occasional strong words include "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "damn," and "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink heavily at a wedding. One character drinks champagne while awaiting the end of the world.

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