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An unpredictable black comedy with an epic scope, Emir Kusturica's highly acclaimed Underground takes a look at the modern history of Yugoslavia through the often absurd misadventures of two friends over several decades. The film begins in Belgrade in 1941, establishing the friendship between the gregarious Blacky and the more intellectual Marko during a drunken, late-night musical procession that establishes the riotous tone to follow. Fellow members of the Communist Party, the friends also share an involvement in shady business activities and an attraction for a beautiful actress. Soon,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Delirious in its excess, but never less than ferociously intelligent and operatically emotional, Underground represents one of those rare, exhilarating moments when an outsize artistic vision is fueled by an apparently unlimited budget. Not to be missed."
‑ Dave Kehr, New York Daily News
"Kusturica takes us from wacky farce to harrowing grief to lyrical fantasy to bloody horror. To ignore any side of Underground is to do it injustice."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"On balance, Kusturica is sturdier on style than substance."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"It's an admirable, interesting wartime satire, but it has a vaguely distasteful feel that makes its 167 minutes a difficult slog."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The past may all be just a pack of lies, the film suggests, but after everything's gone to pieces, it's hard not to feel nostalgic for something."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A triumph of mise en scene mated to a comic vision that keeps topping its own hyperbole."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Underground is a bizarre, often repellent anti-war parable that takes forever to state the obvious but hits some scattered high notes on the way."
‑ Joshua Klein, AV Club
"Brilliant, outrageous filmmaking. Underground is touching, hilarious, and new."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"Whether you'll share the filmmaker's indulgence of his larger-than-life characters is questionable, but the Fellini-esque wedding feast on a floating island makes for a memorable closing sequence."
‑ , Total Film
"With much of the action taken at a frantic pace, to the accompaniment of brass or gypsy bands, this is as breathless as it is perplexing."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"A rich, vibrant, visually spectacular survey of the changes the place has gone through during the past 50 years."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Emir Kusturica's epic black comedy about Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1992 is a three-hour steamroller circus that leaves the viewer dazed and exhausted, but mightily impressed."
‑ Deborah Young, Variety
"Kusturica creates memorable characters and puts them in increasingly surreal scenarios, but he's awfully long-winded in the storytelling. Trim an hour off this beast and you've got a masterpiece."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Emir Kusturica's tragic-farce Underground may be the most important film of the last 25 years."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"A sprawling, imaginative, bold and impressive work."
‑ , Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for Underground on Rotten Tomatoes