The House That Jack Built (2018)


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Critic Consensus: The House That Jack Built presents writer-director Lars von Trier at his most proudly uncompromising: hard to ignore, and for many viewers, just as difficult to digest.

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Boundary-pushing cinematic visionary Lars von Trier (Antichrist) returns with one of his most daring, masterfully provocative works yet. In five audacious episodes, failed architect and arch-sociopath Jack (Matt Dillon) recounts the elaborately orchestrated murders-each, as he views them, a towering work of art-that define his "career" as a serial killer. Mixing pitch black humor, transcendent surrealism, and renegade musings on everything from history to architecture to cinema, von Trier fashions a radical, blazingly personal inquiry into violence, art, and the twin acts of creation and destruction. With Uma Thurman, Riley Keough, and Bruno Ganz.

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Critic Reviews for The House That Jack Built

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (8)

If von Trier is instead merely content telling a sick joke - and the soundtrack, including the repeated use of David Bowie's Fame, suggests as much - it leads to a punchline we've all heard before.

December 7, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

An empty provocation, The House That Jack Built aims for profundity but achieves only mild queasiness.

May 25, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It's...like von Trier is arguing with himself, locking us into a debate between his ego and his self-loathing, his confidence and his self-doubt.

May 17, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

As a longtime admirer of the director's work, I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but the most shocking thing I found about The House That Jack Built is how tedious it is.

May 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Dillon might have trouble putting this one at the top of his resume if he wants to do a Disney film, but there's no question he delivers an impactful movie monster, with darting eyes and a toothy smile that makes Jack at once seem empathetic and bonkers.

May 15, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Lars von Trier is a stupid, arrogant troll and, when the mood strikes him, a reasonably talented filmmaker. But there are only a few moments in "The House That Jack Built" in which his stupidity doesn't entirely overwhelm and negate his talent.

May 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The House That Jack Built

Lars von Trier reaches the very apex of his career with this iconic (yes, that's the word), hysterically provocative and bafflingly rich piece of self-reflection that drags us to the bottom of (his) hell and tears not only into himself as an artist/person but also the world we live in.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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