Dark Horse

Now in his 30s but emotionally stuck in his early teens, a vintage-toy enthusiast strikes up an unlikely but successful relationship with a woman who has some adjustment troubles of her own -- until a secret threatens to undermine the whole affair.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 2.8
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 73%
Critics' score: 73   Audience score: 43   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

It would be unfair and patronizing to say that Solondz needs to grow up, but "Dark Horse" suggests that it's time for the bard of bourgeois hypocrisy to consider moving on. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Solondz has made a career out of specializing in highly aberrant views of middle-class life. full review

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

That Gelber can make Abe appealing in any way is a triumph. That Solondz can orchestrate such a feat is an even bigger one. full review

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Solondz will never be much for happy endings, but the film is strangely optimistic and at times borders ever-so-slightly on the whimsical. full review

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

For once, Solondz seems less interested in scoring points off his characters than in creeping into their shy, sad interior worlds. full review

Stephanie Zacharek, Los Angeles Times

Todd Solondz, the dean of depressive comedy, is back with another funny, shocking, emotionally probing original. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

[Solondz] pulls one too many narrative stunts, with one too many dream sequences, calling into question the reality of everything that's happened - including that soap-operatic finale. full review

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle

[A] wonderfully realized and surprisingly understated dark satire... full review

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

You have to admire the filmmaker for what he has achieved thus far in Dark Horse, and mourn Abe's premature departure from the action. full review

Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail

As awful as Abe is, you can't help rooting for him as he struggles to get his life in order, all while his vivid fantasy world seems to be closing in on him. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Even though Todd Solondz' latest journey into suburban dysfunction may seem dark (and is), it's also about joy, and how easily it's wasted. full review

John Anderson, Newsday

Abe may deserve all that comes to him, but the question of how he got this way sustains the picture, against all odds. full review

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

There are times when it is dark humor, and then times when it is simply dark. But there is something more going on here, something deeper and more ... hopeful? full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The most squirm-inducing aspect of Dark Horse is the way that Solondz is still stuck in his outdated loser tropes. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Solondz is a minor master of black comedy-the flattened emotional responses, the grotesque non sequiturs, the perverse desires lurking under a bland surface. full review

David Denby, New Yorker

It's tough to get on Todd Solondz's wavelength, but boy is it worth the emotional gyrations. full review

Characters turn out to have improbable secret lives, or pop in and out like hallucinations. Plotlines that start to satisfy, attitudes that start to make sense, are ruthlessly upended. full review

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

It's a typical Solondz sad-sack tale, but this film seems to be disgusted by its own characters, which isn't true of the director's best work. full review

Sara Stewart, New York Post

Its departures from realism have the effect of enlarging the narrow, unremarkable lives that are its focus, and by extension the audience's sense of what those lives might mean. full review

A.O. Scott, New York Times

Despite its flaws, Dark Horse largely succeeds as yet another installment in Todd Solondz's career-long examination of the lust for love and security among the deeply damaged. full review

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