The Dancer Upstairs

Watch The Dancer Upstairs

"An honest man caught in a world of intrigue, power and passion."
  • R
  • 2002
  • 2 hr 13 min
  • 6.8  (6,846)
  • 64

The Dancer Upstairs is a powerful thriller directed by John Malkovich and starring acclaimed actor Javier Bardem as Agustin Rejas, a police officer tasked with hunting down a dangerous and elusive revolutionary in an unnamed South American country. The film tells the story of how Rejas becomes increasingly obsessed with catching the charismatic leader of a terrorist group known only as Ezequiel, while also struggling with his own moral compass and the fear of losing his family.

The movie opens with a scene of a young girl in a tutu walking through the streets of the city, where she sees a man being shot and killed by a group of men. We later learn that this little girl is Rejas' daughter, and that the man who was executed was a high-ranking official in the government. From this point on, the film becomes a tense and complex story of political intrigue, terrorism, and betrayal.

As Agustin Rejas works to unravel the mysteries surrounding Ezequiel and his group, he becomes increasingly aware of the corrupt and violent nature of the government he serves. He is drawn to the mysterious and enigmatic Yolanda, played by Laura Morante, a woman who works as a ballet teacher and eventually becomes his lover. The two share a complicated, yet passionate relationship, and their scenes together create an interesting contrast to the intense violence and political drama that surround them.

The film also explores the relationship between Rejas and his daughter, who often acts as a symbol of innocence and hope in the midst of the chaos that surrounds them. We see many scenes of the two playing together or talking about their hopes and dreams for the future, and these moments offer a refreshing counterpoint to the dark and violent world of terrorism and political corruption that dominates most of the film.

One of the most compelling aspects of The Dancer Upstairs is the way it uses ambiguity and moral ambiguity to keep the audience on edge. While the film is clearly sympathetic to the plight of the terrorist group and critical of the government, it never fully endorses either side. Instead, it presents a complex web of characters and situations, allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions about who is right and who is wrong.

Overall, The Dancer Upstairs is a thought-provoking and powerful thriller that explores themes of violence, corruption, and morality in a way that is both engaging and challenging. The performances by Bardem, Morante, and the rest of the cast are excellent, and the direction by Malkovich is sure-handed and confident. While the film may not be for everyone due to its intense subject matter and ambiguous themes, those who appreciate complex and thought-provoking cinema will find much to enjoy here.

The Dancer Upstairs is a 2002 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 13 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 64.

The Dancer Upstairs
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (6,846)
  • Metascore