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The politics of slavery and the follies of nation-building highlight Danish director Lars von Trier's thought-provoking follow-up to the director's 2003 drama Dogville, featuring The Village's Bryce Dallas Howard in the role originally played by Nicole Kidman, and shot in the same stage-bound style as its predecessor. Shortly after leaving Dogville, Grace (Howard) and her father (Willem Dafoe) wander into a gated Alabama community still operating under the tenets of slavery. Appalled to stumble across a brutal scene in which a white master is viciously lashing his slave (Isaach de… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Manderlay loses in power what it lacks in novelty, even though it's more relevant than anything the year is likely to bring."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"If von Trier can't be bothered to get out more, he should at least consider picking up a book or just using some real imagination."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"The second installment in Lars von Trier's trilogy, USA: Land of Opprtunity, is a maor disappointment"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It doesn't offer much insight into America's race issues, which might seem at first to be its target, but it works very well as a metaphor for America's intervention in Iraq."
‑ Robert Davis, Paste Magazine
"this Great Dane backs up his satiric bark with a vicious bite."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Watching this film is an edifying but frustrating experience; dull in parts, amusing and illuminating in others. You'd still struggle to call it entertainment."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Manderlay is both more coherent and more obvious than Dogville, which lacked the clean narrative drive of the new film."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"A superior entry to "Dogville.""
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"If this trilogy finishes up strong, this middle portion may come to be seen as the weakest, though it's still forceful and intimate in the von Trier manner."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"A slightly more ponderous - if less dramatically satisfying - example of a Von Trier puppet show."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Dig that freaky symbolism!"
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Manderlay comes off as little more than a droning, embittered curiosity."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
""Manderlay" shows von Trier learning from that film's stylistic mistakes to make an ambitious and thought-provoking allegory about the ways in which "slavery" in America was never truly abolished, but rather converted to a different condition of capitalis"
‑ Cole Smithey,
"[It] raises interesting questions about what can happen in a democracy when its people are deeply corrupt. ... But likely to be more disheartened than enlightened."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Manderlay is an intellectually invigorating analysis of race, class, power and democracy, all while remaining a thoroughly enjoyable (if harrowing) film."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
More reviews for Manderlay on Rotten Tomatoes

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