Black Swan

Critics Consensus

Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction -- and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 302

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 177,724
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Movie Info

A psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, BLACK SWAN stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a featured dancer who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with a new rival at the company (Mila Kunis). A Fox Searchlight Pictures release by visionary director Darren Aronofsky (THE WRESTLER), BLACK SWAN takes a thrilling and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect. BLACK SWAN follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter,s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. -- (C) Official Site

Cast

Natalie Portman
as Nina Sayers/The Swan Queen
Mila Kunis
as Lily/The Black Swan
Vincent Cassel
as Thomas Leroy/The Gentleman
Barbara Hershey
as Erica Sayers/The Queen
Winona Ryder
as Beth MacIntyre/The Dying Swan
Benjamin Millepied
as David/The Prince
Ksenia Solo
as Veronica/Little Swan
Kristina Anapau
as Galina/Little Swan
Janet Montgomery
as Madeline/Little Swan
Sebastian Stan
as Andrew/Suitor
Toby Hemingway
as Tom/Suitor
Sergio Torrado
as Sergio/Rothbart
Mark Margolis
as Mr. Fithian/Patron
Tina Sloan
as Mrs. Fithian/Patron
Abe Aronofsky
as Mr. Stein/Patron
Charlotte Aronofsky
as Mrs. Stein/Patron
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as Costumer Georgina
Shaun P. O'Hagan
as Stage Manager Sebastian
Christopher Gartin
as Sexy Waiter Scott
Deborah Offner
as Administrator Susie
Michelle Rodriguez Nouel
as Physical Therapist
Kurt Froman
as Understudy for Siegfried
Marty Krzywonos
as Conductor
John Epperson
as Jaded Piano Player
Arkadiy Figlin
as Piano Player
Timothy Fain
as Violin Player
Sarah Lane
as Lady in the Lane
Liam Flaherty
as Man in Stall
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News & Interviews for Black Swan

Critic Reviews for Black Swan

All Critics (302) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (255) | Rotten (47)

  • Director Darren Aronofsky's darkly enthralling entertainment makes the perfect antidote to too many sugary holiday Nutcrackers.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…

    Caryn James

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Portman hasn't been this good since her early performances in The Professional and Heat, and is deservedly attracting intense Oscar buzz. Kunis brings to Lily a savvy sexiness, and Cassel is entertainingly smarmy.

    Jan 31, 2011 | Full Review…
  • An exercise in the higher kitsch, a slick, pretentious film in which the polished surface is a distorting mirror.

    Jan 26, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Full of sex, drugs, catfights, violence, hallucinations and even some choice girl-on-girl action. What more could you possibly want from a ballet movie?

    Jan 20, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Fantastically deranged at all times, Darren Aronofsky's ballet psycho-melodrama is a glittering, crackling, outrageously pickable scab of a film.

    Jan 20, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • With repeat viewings, the thematic subtext slips into focus and the performances take on a new significance. It's not vintage Aronofsky, but it's still a tour de force.

    Jan 20, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Swan

  • Jun 22, 2016
    Natalie Portman turns in a strong performance in this film as a ballet dancer that wants stardom but is slowly led down another path. Very artistically done by Aronofsky and the film won awards. The story is a little confusing toward the end and the film has to be watched again in order to piece everything together. It also ends a little abruptly.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2016
    A thought provoking psychological thriller about the anxiety of being replaced. Portman stars as the titular character who is pushing herself to play both the white swan and the black swan in another adaptation of the Swan Lake, things took a dark turn when she slowly lost control of herself. Intense and beautiful, Black Swan is probably the best performance from Portman, Kunis was a good comic relief too. I think the writing and special effects deserve some praise too, the hallucination scene was rather eerie, the realism also worked really well to explore the psychology of the characters. A must watch.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2015
    The Black Swan, as a film, is finely crafted. I really enjoyed the way it was shot, and also the nice cuts and effects. The story is easy to follow and has strong pacing. Natalie Portman makes the lead work as this crazy yet sympathetic character. The film is as simple or as complex as you like, and I recommend it.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2013
    so overrated and full of clichés
    William H Super Reviewer

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