Antichrist 2009

Critics score:
50 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: I'm inclined to agree with a colleague who told me he could swing with Antichrist when it was simply unstable but couldn't go with it when it turned insane. It's a useful distinction. And yet the first pretty stunning. Read more

Scott Von Doviak, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ On a narrative level, it's gobbledygook, as if von Trier has dredged up the details of a nightmare and filmed them in an attempt to get at some primal truths. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: It's one good-looking, publicity-grabbing provocation, with an overlay of pseudo-Christian allegory thrown in to deflect a reasonable person's accusations of misogyny. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Von Trier has said he wanted to make a genre horror picture, but he couldn't even come up with a decent metaphor: The climax is out of a Grade C hack-'em-up with people chasing each other through the woods with axes and knives. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: By turns repellent, powerful and ludicrous, Antichrist piles horror on horror with pitiless passion. Read more

Noel Murray, AV Club: Antichrist is a boldly personal film, tossing all von Trier's ideas about faith, fear, and human nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria, full of repulsive visions and fierce scorn. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Of course, von Trier wants us to react, to be repulsed, shocked, offended. Mission accomplished. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: For better and for worse, it is exactly the movie von Trier wanted to make and a piece of staggeringly pure cinema. On at least one level, it's also hateful. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: To say that Antichrist is shocking would suggest that it's effective. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: I can't deny this is filled with powerfully primal images. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Allegorical in the worst ways, Antichrist is about as profound as a slasher movie. Read more

Christopher Kelly, Dallas Morning News: Antichrist is a unique form of cruel and unusual punishment: an unrelenting orgy of graphic sex, violence and cynicism that also manages to be wildly pretentious. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Von Trier and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle use sumptuous black-and-white photography and saturated color. Few movies are as beautifully wrought as this. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Self-loathing, mean, ugly and perfectly made, Antichrist is probably the best film ever that you'd recommend to absolutely no one. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The impotent folly of Antichrist is that von Trier has made it his mission to shock the bourgeoisie in an era when they can no longer be shocked. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Von Trier, never exactly an optimist, has never been this gloomy and pessimistic. Antichrist is the feel-bad movie of the year. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Though it's hard to deny the fierce purity of Gainsbourg's performance, Antichrist plays like an incoherent mix of Gothic horror claptrap and Bergmanesque power struggle. I was more bored and puzzled than shattered and provoked. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: A word to the squeamish: there is no shame in leaving as the tools-and I use the word advisedly-come out. In a way, you will be getting the best of Antichrist, which until now has been a film of awkwardness, confusion, and great beauty. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Artfully horrific but artificial and soulless. Read more

V.A. Musetto, New York Post: Please don't take anything I've said to indicate that Antichrist isn't difficult to watch. It most certainly is, but as somebody (the Marquis de Sade, perhaps) once said: No pain, no gain. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: What is Von Trier trying to say? Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: This is a classic case of a filmmaker believing he has found a greater truth and attempting with only middling success to regurgitate it in a film. And, like all vomit, you can kind-of see what it's composed of but the smell drives you away. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Von Trier, who has always been a provocateur, is driven to confront and shake his audience more than any other serious filmmaker -- even Bunuel and Herzog. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Von Trier says he was suffering from severe bouts of depression when he shot the movie. See Antichrist, and you'll know the feeling. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It offers more proof, if we need any, that von Trier is one of the most accomplished cinema artists of our time, and also perhaps the most deeply trapped in his own head. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The movie's story and meaning are not mysterious but deliberately impenetrable, faint gestures in all directions, absent of artistic integrity, intellectual rigor or emotional significance. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: After the infantile bludgeoning that is Antichrist), I feel no need to keep accompanying von Trier's career at all. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: To watch the Danish provocateur's new film is to experience unrelenting pain, shading into revulsion, while being inspired by his virtuoso command of the medium and sharp intelligence. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: No doubt some people will find Antichrist repellent. The question is whether you're open to films that are as flawed as they are ambitious. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Antichrist ends up being more unnerving than it is terrifying, and a lot funnier than it's supposed to be. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: A troubling but refreshing sense of an artist uncloaked. A violent conflict of ideas and images. Any satisfaction from loose ends tied and questions answered? Forget it. It's just not that sort of film. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The movie immerses itself in the darkest despair imaginable, blending dystopian porn with ghastly horror and graphic violence. But it's all done in a mundane, almost clinical way. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Lars von Trier cuts a big fat art-film fart with "Antichrist." As if deliberately courting critical abuse, the Danish bad boy densely packs this theological-psychological horror opus with grotesque, self-consciously provocative images. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Antichrist, which, above all, wants to make pain visceral, is less successful at projecting authentic experience -- the shock tactics are ultimately numbing. Read more