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Quotes about Dogville quotes

A marvel — but the film's stylized technique makes great demands on cast and audience alike. Donald J. Levit in Reeltalk Movie Reviews

A masterpiece. Joe Utichi in FilmFocus

A punishing film to sit through, and its rewards may well depend on how much credit you wish to give von Trier for doing something different. Because, for better or worse, Dogville is unlike anything else you'll see on screens this year. Moira MacDonald in The Seattle Times

A satanic Our Town. Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette

A simple tale, told so well while being so revealing. There are many reasons why it shouldn't work, but because it does, it feels magical. Jeffrey Chen in Window to the Movies

A stunning display of a filmmaker adventuring on the far side of what's possible. Megan Lehmann in The New York Post

A tenacious, brutal drama that dares you to turn your back. Glenn Lovell in The San Jose Mercury News

Aesthetically sparse and thematically audacious, the searing work of a genuine provocateur James Kendrick, at the Q Network Film Desk

An experience that's both grueling and, in its way, glorious. Lance Goldenberg in the Weekly Planet

Dogville is as deeply insightful as it is deeply disturbing, a movie that will challenge you intellectually and punish you emotionally. Put as succinctly as possible, Dogville is a "holy ****!" movie going experience... The first great film of '04. Dan Jardine in Cinemania

Brilliant and infuriating, wise and naïve, outrageous yet unforgettable. Jami Bernard in The New York Daily News

Brutally masterful allegory. Peter Howell in The Toronto Star

Challenging, dramatic, provocative. David Sterritt in The Christian Science Monitor

Continuing his stubborn, aesthetically pathbreaking ways, Lars von Trier has produced, in Dogville, a masterpiece that is nearly unwatchable. Peter Brunette at indieWIRE

Controversial, intelligent and daring, Dogville features a career-best performance from Nicole Kidman... At three hours it certainly stretches the patience, and any movie inspired by German playwright Berthold Brecht isn't likely to have mass audience appeal. But for all the ideas being examined, it works as a compelling drama too, and the acting is excellent... Dogville is a shock to the system. Nev Pierce at the BBC

Damn if I didn't completely forget to hate Dogville, and if I wasn't, three hours later, completely blown out of my little mind and right into the screening room next door.... You wanna see what our town is like? Here it is, in all its mean, petty, horrible smallness. It's not particularly about American meanness or pettiness or smallness, though some have accused von Trier of being anti-American — it's about human meanness, etc. The only thing "anti" about Dogville is that it might be called an anti-epic — an ambitious movie with a big cast and a marathon runtime that's about how small and insular and selfish people can be, about the miserable depths to which human beings can sink in their cruelty to others. Nationality's got nothing to do with it, though the ability to wield power over other human beings might, and so there might be some pertinent application to America as a whole right now. But everyone will — or should — recognize the universality of this, the worst side of humanity. MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

Daunting, non-naturalistic and bold. Mary Colbert in Boxoffice Magazine

Dogville can be defended and even praised on pure ideological grounds, but most moviegoers, even those who are sophisticated and have open minds, are going to find it a very dry and unsatisfactory slog through conceits masquerading as ideas. Roger Ebert in The Chicago Sun-Times

Dogville is a film that, in its flooring penultimate chapter, reverses the usual tables, only to implicate von Trier himself, whose self-criticism here is every bit as incisive as any vitriol spewed America's way... Whether you admire this film or flat-out despise it, you certainly won't walk away unaffected. It's as devastating as it is deeply troubling... I was breathless and more genuinely shaken up than I've been by a film in a very long time. Josh Timmermann at Stylus magazine

Dogville is a love-it-or- hate-it experience, but one that will fill a large space in any viewer's imagination. Colin Covert in The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Dogville is another round of brazen disrespect from cinema's baddest boy. But the movie, despite its ultimate nuttiness, has a quiet, consuming power that sneaks up on you and doesn't go away. Wesley Morris in The Boston Globe

Dogville is in no way a standard film and likely won't appeal to many. But Von Trier is so inventive, so outlandish and so filled with energy he has to at least be admired. Tom Long in The Detroit News

Dogville is no different from von Trier's earlier parables of vulnerability and brutality. And like those works, it is the staggering, infuriating work of a visionary filmmaker. Lisa Kennedy in The Denver Post

Dogville is not a cry of rage against America — it's a cry of rage against all mankind. It demands to be seen but not to be loved. Joshua Tanzer in OFFOFFOFF

Dogville is not a masterpiece, nor is it an embarrassment. But it is a cinematic Rorschach test, as much fun to praise and to scorn as it is to watch. Chris Vognar in The Dallas Morning News

Dogville isn't for everyone, but there's some intellectually stimulating conversation fodder for those with the patience to navigate the film's rough terrain. James Berardinelli in Reelviews

For a movie with such bold visual designs and high-flown rhetorical ambitions, it seems almost reactionary to say that it works because the performances are so good. Nick Davis at Nick's Flick Picks

For all the plot detours and dead spots, this is strong, stinging filmmaking. Von Trier, light years from the formula doggerel at the multiplex, delivers something rare these days: a film of ideas. Peter Travers in Rolling Stone 
(24 March 2004)

For courage and sheer audacity in form and plot, no filmmaker on the world stage currently matches Lars von Trier... Make of the provocation what you will, but don't miss this completely unique and extraordinary movie by one of the world's most adventurous directors on top of his game. Jürgen Fauth at

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. J. Hoberman in The Village Voice

Has rarely been far from my mind in the 10 months following Cannes, during which time it has grown only richer, deeper and more complex than I initially estimated. Scott Foundas in L.A. Weekly

I hate it, yet I'm fascinated by the magnitude of the ambition and the failure to realize it. Bruce Kirkland in Jam! Movies

Imagine if Jesus Christ came to die for our sins only to discover we weren't worth the trouble. Erik Childress at

Imprints itself on the consciousness and hauntingly lingers Arthur Lazere,

It is a valiant but risky attempt and, truth be told, it is only partially successful. Michael Elliott, Movie Parables

It really is a masterpiece — von Trier's first, as it happens. Glenn Kenny, Premiere magazine

It stalks silently, stark with its minimalism at first, and then pounces unexpectedly with an overwhelming wash of emotion like a rabid animal, with sharp piercing teeth. Michael Szymanski at

It's a bleak view of humanity expounded here, giving much food for thought, and for meditation on the concepts of humanity, tolerance, acceptance. Jean Lowerison in The San Diego Metropolitan

It's a pity that the political point-scoring at Cannes, admittedly fired up by Von Trier's provocateur stance, has diminished the perception of Dogville's artistic worth. Dogville is daunting, non-naturalistic and bold. Von Trier has denied it was intended as an antithesis of Billy Wilder's Our Town; his concerns in the film are bigger than America-bashing. It's a moral parable for our times. Mary Colbert

It's a tough sit through tough questions. Richard Nilsen in The Arizona Republic

It's like von Trier's expression of bewilderment at the idea of Christ. Like Mel Gibson, he portrays intense evil to make us wonder at the generosity of Grace. Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer

It's simply a movie whose bite is as harsh and hard as its bark. Bob Longino in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It's the best stage play you've ever attended, and you feel as if you're right in the middle of it. Steve Schneider in The Orlando Weekly

It would take a true knucklehead not to understand that Dogville isn't so much Anywhere, U.S.A., as anywhere. It really is a masterpiece — von Trier's first, as it happens. Glenn Kenny at Premeire magazine

Kidman, in a performance as emotionally stark as any she's ever given, makes Grace's journey achingly real, even though everything around her is deliberately artificial. James Sanford in the Kalamazoo Gazette

Lars von Trier is probably a genius. This doesn't stop him from being a jerk. Robert W. Butler in The Kansas City Star

Maddening, challenging and audacious, Dogville is an unlikely masterpiece. Rene Rodriguez in The Miami Herald

Nearly as powerful as Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark. Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

No matter how you come down on this movie politically, Dogville is a compelling chamber piece with constant cinematic surprises. Desson Thomson in The Washington Post

Optimistic viewers may debate how much of a handle he has on human nature. But he's clearly got a handle on his own views, and presents them in a way that is impossible to ignore or discount completely. You can loathe Dogville because it represents a concession to the basest ideas of human greed and cruelty, but you can't deny that it makes those ideas feel frighteningly real. Josh Bell in Las Vegas Weekly

Philosophy and politics aside, von Trier has forgotten to make a movie worth watching, create a single sympathetic character or write dialogue that isn't prattle. James Verniere in The Boston Herald

Rich with meaning or a sublime prank, Dogville gets to you. Jeannette Catsoulis in The Las Vegas Mercury

Running a painfully long three hours, Dogville is pretentious with a capital 'P. Steve Rhodes in Internet Reviews

Sarcastic humor, inventive staging and a brutal story combine to give Dogville the force of a bonfire, incendiary and beautiful. Chris Hewitt in St. Paul Pioneer Press

Shocks, galvanizes, and exhilarates. Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly

Singular and unforgettable — the work of a brilliant crackpot. Joe Baltake in The Sacramento Bee

Slow-moving but engrossing, it feels shorter, and any reservations you may have about the unorthodox approach are washed away by its unexpected and purgative ending. Eric Harrison in The Houston Chronicle

The acting is ice cold. The dialogue is lethargic. And if we're going to sit through any movie that's 177 minutes, it better have some Hobbits in it. There are no Hobbits here, so stay home. E! Online

The daring, artistic brilliance of Dogville far outshines any negative interpretation we may have of the work. It's to be praised for inspiring varying interpretations and generating debate. Jack Garner in The Rochester Democrat And Chronicle

The film equivalent of an early 80s West Coast punk rock demo: low budget, unfocused fury from deep within that not everyone will agree with, but with undeniable primal power. Larry Carroll,

The only thing simple you can say about Dogville is that it's a masterpiece. Kim Morgan,

This acerbic "illustration" of a small town's curious notions of entitlement unspools as a Christian allegory by way of Mark Twain or Dr. Seuss. Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

This brilliantly acted film is a highly stylized, surprisingly successful experiment that sits somewhere between theater and cinema. Ken Fox TV Guide's Movie Guide

This examination of selfishness, xenophobia and the human ability to rationalize acts of horror may have audience members squirming not with outrage but recognition. John Beifuss in Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

This is a seriously important film and a huge achievement. Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle

This isn't cynicism. It's nihilism. And its brilliant, infuriating display here proves again that Von Trier — exciting, maddening Von Trier — may be finding unusual new ways to say things just as he's running out of things to say. Stephen Whitty in The Newark Star-Ledger

This unique cinematic experience is a parable of greed and revenge that could take place anywhere. Marc Mohan in The Oregonian

Though certainly a failure in some respects, Dogville may be the most fascinating, richly accomplished screw-up you'll see all year. Michael Wilmington in The Chicago Tribune

Unapologetically cynical, miraculously imaginative, and sumptuously beautiful, Dogville is a thought-provoking time at the movies. Dustin Putman at

Uncompromising filmmaking that's both artistic and powerfully entertaining. Rich Cline, Shadows On The Wall

Utterly engrossing. Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs

Von Trier supplies enough of an intellectual apparatus to give Dogville the veneer of art, but at its core this is a hollow, mean-spirited work. Daniel Eagan in Film Journal International

Von Trier's contempt for humanity is becoming harder to hide with stylistic flourish. He doesn't even try here, and his arrogance is topped only by his misanthropy. Sean Axmaker The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

We realize we just sat watching a movie for 3 hours that's a little pretentious but didn't really mind — that says something. Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone at

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. David Denby in The New Yorker

What's amazing about von Trier's alienating ploys is how quickly they make the movie enthralling. What starts out as distracting works to bring us in closer to what we should be concentrating on: the passion of Nicole Kidman's tragic heroine, and what her suffering says about the hope of all mankind. Bob Strauss in The Los Angeles Daily News

While you watch the movie, it can seem ridiculously long-winded... But once it's over, its characters' miserable faces remain etched in your memory, and its cynical message lingers. Stephen Holden in The New York Times

Who but von Trier could make such a film? Who else would dare? Liam Lacey in The Globe And Mail

Without a doubt one of the most brilliant films I have had the chance to experience. Kevin N. Laforest in the Montreal Film Journal

Yes, all the rumours are true. Dogville is vile, hilarious... and essential. Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

I'd be hard-pressed to argue that the gloomy Dane wants anyone to actually like Dogville." Yes, it plays like a baldfaced, brazen insult, but it is a stunningly accomplished one. It hurts, but maybe it should. Michael O'Sullivan in The Washington Post

You don't so much enjoy watching it as you simply appreciate the genius that went into its creation. Phoebe Flowers, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

You just have to see it to believe it. Frankly, I have never seen anything like it, which is not to say that it's good or bad, but it is different and even original. Andrew Sarris in The New York Observer

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