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Birth

Birth

2004
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 40m
A metaphysical love story that explores the space between what we know and what we feel. Like many fairy tales, Birth is part romance, part mystery, and part family drama - woven into a magical whole about love, mortality and the unknown.
Your probable score
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Birth

2004
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 40m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 46.78% from 1223 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1223)
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Rated 06 Mar 2013
72
81st
Contrary to some misinterpretation, this film is about the idea that love is the infinite projection of a fiction, that the one we love is a fiction we create, and about the struggle to hold on to that fiction in the face of a constantly rationalising world. In this case the fiction is projected by Anna, or by both of them, perhaps, but firstly by Anna. In other words, the boy is projected out of her unending grief, a fiction she eventually rejects, but a rejection that, ultimately, she regrets.
Rated 31 Jul 2014
70
55th
An interesting mix of 'great' and 'yeesh'. The story itself is the weak point and by all means the characters should've been able to solve the mystery of the premise in 5 minutes. Yet so many scenes have this uncomfortable and seductive quality to them that held my attention effortlessly. Kidman is hypnotic and her hauntingly long close-ups are a sight to see. But all this stylish hot air can't help the movie from deflating towards the end.
Rated 02 Dec 2010
4
70th
A delightfully strange movie. Though a bit impenetrable (or, perhaps more to the point, inconclusive), the deliberate pacing and elegant direction give it a hypnotic quality to guide along the mystery at Birth's center. Glazer wears the Kubrick influence on his sleeve (slow zooms, classical music, and cinematography straight out of EWS), but it never feels like hacky derivation, and for that matter feels closer to Kieslowski's sensibilities on the whole. A nice mood piece.
Rated 26 Jul 2021
80
65th
A wonderfully constructed film that uses a perfect marriage of director & star to present the premise. Like in Under the Skin, Glazer is capable of creating an unsettling and engaging mood. And as Hollywood's most cerebral and expressive actress, Kidman completely captures a sophisticated woman coming to terms with a supernatural conflict. Still, your enjoyment will depend on your personality as melodrama fans will be rapt by the romance while skeptical nerds nitpick the mystery. Recommended.
Rated 20 Mar 2010
65
59th
Sadly Birth runs itself into a corner of 'is he or not', which is a shame, as Cameron Bright does a pretty good job at being creepy, and it makes _that_ controversial bathroom scene eerily effective. Still, the thing you'll remember most is probably going to be Alexandre Desplat's beautiful and haunting theme.
Rated 06 Jul 2015
70
65th
Anything that holds you has value (past jokes about overly friendly uncles aside). Birth was filmed ten long years before Under the Skin and I see very little development from one to the other. It's a testament to Glazer's soundscapes and long takes that I don't mean that as an insult. The real shame is that so little happened between the two.
Rated 03 Mar 2020
70
58th
this is deeply personal to me, because I, too, have claimed to be Nicole Kidman's husband to many people
Rated 25 May 2018
90
95th
Glazer is in a league of his own. The audacity to take a fairytale premise and play it so literally and with such earnest shouldn't work. But, of course, it does and Glazer captures each scene beautifully. Exploring enduring love and grief in such manner is quite effective. If you doubted Kidman's acting prowess then I ague with exhibit A.
Rated 02 Dec 2010
90
88th
If it's "Kubrickian" in any way (besides all the references), it's in how well-crafted it is. Everything in its place, especially the score. There's a lot of Kubrick's deadpan here, too, but Glazer ultimately speaks with his own interesting voice. A lot of thought and care went into this, and it shows.
Rated 08 Sep 2009
100
96th
About as close as anybody has ever touched the work of Stanley Kubrick in terms of style and substance, "Birth" is a draining portrait of uncertainty, faith, and personal dominion. Anna's situation is both terrifying and realistic; and when she makes her own personal decisions on aspects that take much belief in the supernatural, you as an audience member do as well. "Birth" is a compelling and spellbinding study of yearning and the tribulation when letting go of someone you love.
Rated 19 Feb 2024
75
45th
What happens here is what is called "projection" in psychology, which is neither mystical nor unusual, because who someone is to us - one that we desire, love, miss, etc - is always a matter of the projection and transference of a certain path through which our libidinal energy flows out. And just like one might find it extremely difficult to give up a projection because of how it keeps her alive, one could want to be the object of a projection simply because he craves its extraordinary energy.
Rated 08 Mar 2010
67
49th
Has everything going for it but a sensible story. Glazer holds the camera to the fire and trusts his actors (and what wonderful faces he has in Kidman, Heche, Stormare, Bacall, etc.) The score is used to great effect, as is Harris Savides' chilly cinematography. But it all comes back to that unbelievable story. I kept wondering why Kidman was so ga-ga for her dead husband when, if the little boy is supposed to remind her of him, he's apparently a humorless gnome. At least it had atmosphere.
Rated 10 Jun 2012
84
93rd
This elegant film takes its premise and runs with it, treating it seriously, with riveting results. It takes great risks, lingering on Kidman's face for eternity. But with such moving results! Hers is a superb performance, and this is a deeply romantic film.
Rated 02 Aug 2014
80
61st
In that rare category of true speculative fiction, where humans are forced to deal with something they can't explain in a realistic manner, and we learn more about them and humanity itself in the process. (See: Her, The Leftovers) Beautiful filmmaking and an astounding score by Alexandre Desplat.
Rated 11 Feb 2014
8
80th
Birth is deliberately ambiguous and a little absurd, so opinions seem to sway either way. I happened to like it a lot. Concerning the story: It's often easy for grief to give way to irrationality, and in this movie our grief-stricken protagonist is approached by what is clearly a delusion or a hallucination, yet she succumbs to the boy, and begins, along with other characters, to project her past-demons and desires onto him.
Rated 22 Jul 2014
62
60th
Jonathan Glazer really wants to be Kubrick, doesn't he? I do have to admit, after seeing this the arthouse aesthetics of Under the Skin are a lot less surprising, as the stylistic template was pretty much laid out here, albeit in a much less fully-realized form. The icy detachment that worked so perfectly in the latter film feels more arbitrary here, and well, cold (not unlike how i feel about Kubrick, actually). It actually not unlike a companion piece to Todd Hayne's Safe as much as anything.
Rated 25 May 2014
60
28th
Just goes to show that pointless can be interesting, even while being ultimately unsatisfying. Yes, the film looks like Kubrick, but not the story.
Rated 27 Nov 2016
8
42nd
A lesson in how little needs to happen in a story to still be impactful. Full of small visual references (thefts?) to Kubrick, Glazer is here in transit from the stronger story of Sexy Beast to the oblique world of Under the Skin. The result is a wonderful and interesting mystery that ends in fantastic ambiguity. It's almost like hard sci-fi. Cameron Bright's performance is great and Kidman's amazing. The opposite of an epic - a quiet peek through the keyhole into a small, bizarre world.
Rated 03 Mar 2007
80
77th
What makes this film so special is the amazing performance given by Kidman -though the rest of the cast is good too- and specially the art direction.
Rated 22 Jan 2018
78
84th
A daring, meaningful and rather emotional journey into the concept of grief, love, and ultimately the lengths to which we would go to chase an idea. Misunderstood and one of the most underrated movies I've seen in some time.
Rated 30 Jan 2009
100
25th
Almost as good as a real birth, 100 out of 10 stars.
Rated 10 Sep 2018
75
59th
Extremely slow-paced, one of the strangest plot lines I've ever seen, but for some reason I found it interesting
Rated 14 Aug 2007
55
20th
Why was this movie made?
Rated 05 Jan 2013
4
56th
Contains a certain value that fails to capitalize on its spellbinding aura. To its credit, the acting is damn near flawless.
Rated 21 Feb 2016
16
89th
Star Rating: ★★★★1/2
Rated 15 Feb 2024
80
54th
Not 100% satisfying to me but I love how unsettling and enigmatic it is and the dark comedy rules and amazing work from Kidman and Desplat!
Rated 22 Aug 2023
52
53rd
A strong, existential mystery that doesn't land the way I would hope in the second or third act. There are a couple of uncomfortable laughs that Kubrick himself would be proud of. Yet the movie does pull some punches. I anticipated it going two steps darker at several points, but it never did.
Rated 11 Mar 2023
3
64th
Excellent idea for a story. Sadly the acting, the dialogue, and the direction weren't to my taste. Still worth the watch, though.
Rated 23 Jan 2022
70
31st
The past’s reemergence, specifically love’s reemergence, inevitably sends one into a distraught spiral. Unable to confront the truths of her past as we see her not only pretend to move forward, but now try to re-imagine it. Both characters explore the way life’s identity is shaped through history and remains a part of us. As the narrative unfolds we are also reminded of the forbidden love that exists in our lives. Some haunting notion that pairs well with Glazer’s atmosphere.
Rated 16 Dec 2014
70
56th
A excellent combination of sound, images and a mysterious plot, but the slow pacing made doze off a few times.
Rated 01 Jan 2015
65
87th
#14#, liked, Nicole.K/10a4, oldies(2) }*{ #00s(m)#, story, Nicole.K!
Rated 22 Aug 2020
62
46th
Definitely my least favorite of Jonathan Glazer's short filmography but it is still engaging and thought-provoking. The premise is interesting but I was hoping for it to be explored in a darker way. The score rubbed me the wrong way throughout the whole film as instead of something suitably dark and forboding it frequently conveyed a whimsical, adventurous tone. The plot didn't come together in the end in a way I found satisfying.
Rated 26 Oct 2017
67
29th
I could've liked this film if it had settled with me more. The issue is that there's not enough at the start or the end to make this a wholly satisfying story -- I never get engaged in the story because of what's lacking with the characters. It's an intriguing, and pretty daring, story, and done well with the acting and visual design, but it's rather emotionally, err, stillborn.
Rated 02 Oct 2015
72
5th
A very interesting not great movie.
Rated 26 Feb 2009
0
1st
A piece of junk! A total waste of my time!
Rated 23 Feb 2007
68
66th
I'll try to be neutral; Kidman's performance is brutally awsome as the kid's, whose name I can't remember.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
1
0th
I want two hours of my life back!!!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
23rd
If the goal of this movie is to make you uncomfortable, this one certainly succeeds.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
75th
Not for everyone, but it worked well enough for me.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
25
29th
Bizarre. Some might like it but for me it was...
Rated 07 Mar 2008
78
77th
A truly haunting performance by Kidman as a fragile woman who can't manage to adopt the viciousness that the other characters around her utilize. Effectie use of close-ups and intuitive score make for exquisite style, but doesn't quite add up to a relateable plot. The plot is also not at all pleasant. But some of the sensitivity resonates and makes an impression that stays with you a long time after you leave the theater.
Rated 01 May 2008
20
26th
Creepy...and not in a good way. Totally unbelievable and just plain weird.
Rated 22 Jun 2008
65
41st
Starts off creepy and thought-provoking. The ending was lame.
Rated 26 Jan 2009
75
74th
Surprisingly good. Awesome acting. Well done Kidman
Rated 03 Feb 2009
40
27th
The film begins with a strange premise, but it could go right. But ends in a very silly way. But Nicole Kidman is very well here.
Rated 04 Jun 2014
3
73rd
Started really strong, sputtered a couple of times ( lynchian jolts of over-acting came off as just goofy) then it broke. The -clearly desired- Rosemary's Baby dream-like creepiness replaced by -much tamer- social awkwardness. The main too pathetic and indulged to relate to. Beautifully crafted but doesn't add up.
Rated 04 Mar 2009
50
63rd
"...a confounding picture, full of ideas and morals, all of them complex and substantive."
Rated 04 Mar 2009
65
79th
Unsettling story...original and daring.
Rated 14 Apr 2009
42
33rd
Very well done and acted (Kidman), but the story was kind of what for. Why to put so much attention on the story which was not chewed till the end. It's been for a long time I saw this piece. The details has been forgotten; so, it cannot be so unforgottable one.
Rated 01 Feb 2010
60
36th
The ending ruined it. AWFUL.
Rated 20 Oct 2010
15
21st
"Blithely confuses a "possession" story, laced with unsavory sexual undertones, for a daring take on Eastern spiritualism." - Jay Antani
Rated 04 Sep 2011
75
65th
Top badass moment? Sean’s love letters must’ve been nothing but bullet points in a tiny font, given how much information there seemed to be in them. And ‘young’ Sean must have a photographic memory. Jeez, it's not rocket science, just ask him loads and loads of questions; he's either Anna's dead husband or a ten year old kid messing about; it can't be that hard to tell the difference. A film that looks, feels and sounds good, but has a wobbly plot. No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Rated 14 Apr 2012
40
32nd
I really hated how the director put the camera on Nichol Kidman while she was just sitting and then just left it there for what seemed like an eternity. So many times I just wanted to scream foul at the director! I am disgusted with the choices he made in this film, so if I never see another movie directed by Jonathan Glazer it will be too soon. Other than that, Nichole Kidman was awesome and beautiful. Too bad the director totally ruined the viewing experience.
Rated 26 Jan 2007
10
1st
"You watched it! You can't unwatch it!" If you've already seen this film, I'm sorry for your pain. The long, overdrawn pauses and horrendous storytelling make this one better just never to see at all. Half the movie is Nicole Kidman starring blankly into space. No joke. This movie is one of many pieces of cinima trash that I would really rather simply did not exist.
Rated 08 Apr 2014
3
36th
glacial kubrick tracking shots + dreyer close-ups, some creation imagery and cursory class commentary do not a great movie make. glazer does some pretty cool things with this material but for the most part it constrains him, full of inexplicable behaviour and obvious metaphors/archetypes even before the limp-wristed third act. to see a premise like this taken to bolder extremes, check out fliegauf's hideously uncomfortable WOMB. i'm not saying it's better, exactly, but, uh, you've gotta see it.
Rated 15 May 2014
50
46th
Controversial premise buoyed by Kidman's standout performance. I was intrigued right until the very unsatisfying ending.

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