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The Dancer Upstairs

HD   R Closed Captioning

John Malkovich

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About the Movie

This taut political thriller set in Latin America marks John Malkovich's explosive directorial debut. Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem stars as legit policeman Agustin Rejas, who faces the greatest challenge of his career - to catch the leader of a terrorist movement threatening to collapse his government, while being stopped at every turn by his own corrupt superiors. As the fight becomes more ferocious, Rejas' search brings him ever closer to the guerrilla leader. But when, amidst the chaos, he falls in love with his daughter's ballet teacher (Laura Morante), Rejas must choose between his heart, his country, and his own well-being.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 114
  • Fresh: 73
  • Rotten: 41
  • Average Rating: 6.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: From this tangled web, Malkovich weaves something delicate and devastating. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Nov 24, 2006

Fresh: An adult piece of work, made up mainly of quiet, emotional scenes and detailed performances. – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 5, 2003

Fresh: Far from perfect but completely unique, the film could best be described as a paranoid South American metaphysical political thriller -- you heard me -- and whatever its failures, they're not ones of nerve or imagination. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: A slow-burning affair that may seem exotic but mainly crawls from cliche to cliche. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Cerebral, intriguing, engaging. Loved it!

Excellent. During the first viewing, it's a little hard to understand in certain parts. The actors speak in English, but it's the second language of the Spanish speaking cast. Unique approach. As a result, the dialogue seems to be spoken with more thought and care. Bardem delivers a magnificent performance.

Love it

Great film. I will warn you, the promotional picture, with the naked woman's back makes you think there is more romance involved...well, it make me think that at least! However, it's far from that. The love story is much less emphasized, but still important. There's not much dancing, it's more about what is upstairs than the dancing. Interesting film though. Very disturbing at times, and quite dark. But it has lighter moments. Javier is wonderful as usual. I have yet to see the man do something dreadful.


This is one of the best filmes and the only one directed by John Malkovich. There are so many stories here, some dark, some hidden and some revealing for the simple beauty; and all of them entertained into a thrilling plot. Bardem gave us a heads up for his later roles in the exquisite show of male emotion related to his wife, his paramour and his daughter. It is in this melting pot which shows how men relate to women, to law and society and to his own desires. A filme of depth, grace and beauty.

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The Dancer Upstairs
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2003

Customer Ratings