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The action in Canadian provocateur Atom Egoyan's cryptic Exotica revolves largely around the strip club, which lends the film its name, a faux-tropical hothouse where young female dancers cater to their customers' sexual and psychological needs. Among the regulars is Francis (Bruce Greenwood), a troubled taxman haunted by Christina, a young stripper played by Mia Kirshner. As the film hypnotically unfolds, their relationship is slowly explored, the narrative dovetailing with the stories of a gay pet shop owner (Don McKellar), the Exotica's pregnant owner (Arsinee Khanjian), and its… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of the most despairing movies, and yet there is in the precision of its craft and the depth of its empathy something fundamentally uplifting."
‑ Bryant Frazer, Film Freak Central
"Egoyan's masterpiece -- a twisting tale of erotic obsession and hypnotic storytelling."
‑ Dan Fienberg, Zap2it.com
"It might be set in a strip club, but Atom Egoyan's tale of loneliness, lust and jealously simmers with sensual heat."
‑ Shannon J. Harvey, Sunday Times (Australia)
"Demonstrates that the mystery of the human personality must be respected and even hallowed."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Egoyan's first Cannes Film Fest entry is an engaging tale of sexual desire and alienation."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Egoyan's intent is not ultimately to disturb us, but to look closely at people at their wits' end, desperate, and sad, in hopes of finding absolution for them."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Don't be fooled by the soft-core poster; this haunting tale of pain and memory is as good as they come."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"The director/writer (Atom Egoyan) manages to take a lot of risks in his writing, but his directing was too cautious."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"Uses its eroticism as a head trip into loneliness, alienation and desperation."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A mosaic-style thriller whose artful recipe is deepened in The Sweet Hereafter."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Apparent from its ominous, opening pan is Exotica's craft - the film is deliberate and attentive, and displays action that is not apparently related or significant - at first. Ultimately, the exposition purposefully lacks a cohesiveness."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"One of the best movies ever to come out of Canada."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
More reviews for Exotica on Rotten Tomatoes