Dancer Upstairs

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20th Century Fox Released 2002

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Movie Summary

Director:
John Malkovich
Released:
2002
Rating:
R

Dancer Upstairs is the 2003 political thriller from director John Malkovich. In a small Latin American country, a terrorist organization rises up with a potent threat to overthrow the government. One honest police officer, Agustin Rejas (Javier Bardem), sets out to bring down the terrorist ring, but he finds that one the biggest obstacles is a ring of corrupt police officers. In the meantime, he is trying to maintain his responsibilities as a faithful father. His daughter's extra-curricular activities lead him to an encounter with her ballet teacher, Yolanda (Laura Morante). The two strike up a relationship, and Agustin feels the draw to put aside the life of fighting crime to settle down and raise his family. With pressure from within and threats from the outside, Agustin follows the clues that will lead him to the heart of the criminal circle. Ultimately, the challenge will force him to decide what he really wants in life, and what he's willing to put at risk.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Echoes its director's own deportment as a performer, alternating silky smoothness with burlap coarseness. Though Mr. Malkovich stays entirely behind the scenes, he creates a languo...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    If the screenwriter and director had followed their cinematic instincts fully, they would have collaborated on one of the more satisfying political thrillers in years; instead, the...

  • 80

    Variety David Rooney

    The film is powered by a superbly controlled performance from Javier Bardem. While it lacks economy and could have used a firmer hand in shaping the key central relationship, this ...

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Themes

Thrillers, Love & Romance