Chicago Sun-Times - 12/01/2010 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[T]old with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd. It centers on a performance by Natalie Portman that is nothing short of heroic..."
New York Times - 12/03/2010
"Part tortured-artist drama, BLACK SWAN looks like a tony art-house entertainment. But what gives its a jolt is its giddy, sometimes sleazy exploitation-cinema savvy."
Washington Post - 12/03/2010 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[A] ballet film that captures both the gossamer pink softness of classical dance and the scarier psychological impulses lying just beneath the serene surface."
USA Today - 12/03/2010 4 stars out of 4 -- "At the center of this dreamlike story is Natalie Portman's exquisite performance of a troubled ballerina who evolves from timid to seriously unhinged."
Rolling Stone - 12/02/2010 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Aronfsky treats ballet as one of the bleeding arts. And so does his breathtaking star, Natalie Portman, who delivers an all-stops-out performance that will soon be the stuff of legend."
Hollywood Reporter - 12/01/2010
"[A] gorgeously shot, visually complex film..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/24/2010
"Darren Aronofsky's backstage ballet thriller BLACK SWAN is lurid and voluptuous pulp fun, with a sensationalistic fairy-tale allure." -- Grade: B+
Box Office - 12/10/2010 4 stars out of 5 -- "With Natalie Portman dominating the action and exhibiting a screen maturity not seen from her before, this all-stops-out Grand Guignol melodrama exhibits more than enough blood, sweat and tears to score nicely beyond the ballet crowd."
A.V. Club - 12/02/2010
"BLACK SWAN is a florid, often lurid, completely enthralling film held in place by a disarming Portman, who rarely leaves the frame." -- Grade: A-
USA Today - 12/31/2010
Included in USA Today's "10 Best Films Of 2010" -- "A deeply disturbing psychological thriller..."
Rolling Stone - 12/24/2010 Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's "10 Best Movies Of 2010" -- "[A] fever dream of a ballet thriller..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/16/2010
Included in Roger Ebert's "The Best Films of 2010" -- "BLACK SWAN uses powerful performances by Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel to represent archetypal attributes..."
Total Film - 12/30/2010 4 stars out of 5 -- "BLACK SWAN is a film obsessed with movement, colours, sets, sound design, Clint Mansell's clanging score and, of course, performance..."
Empire - 01/21/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "Aronofsky pulls off some astonishing visual flourishes....Like THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN also showcases Aronofsky's ability to tease career-best turns out of lead actors, in this case Portman."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2011
"[A] film that gives the hair on the back of your neck a serious workout."
Uncut - 02/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "[P]rops to Portman, who's in every scene -- and Winona Ryder, brilliant as the neurotic, toxic former prima ballerina."
New York City ballet dancer Nina (Natalie Portman) enters into an intense battle of wills with a talented and ambitious new arrival (Mila Kunis) who seems intent on edging her out of the spotlight in this supernatural-flavored psychological thriller from director Darren Aronofsky. Nina covets the role of the Swan Queen in a production of Swan Lake by acclaimed theater director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel). The harder Nina works to win the part, however, the more overwhelmed she becomes by her suspicions that talented newcomer Lily (Kunis) is intent on stealing it away from her. As the production draws near and Nina struggles to master the duel roles of the White Swan and the Black Swan, she grows increasingly unstable to the point where she finds it difficult to distinguish fantasy from reality. Though her burgeoning friendship with the unconventional Lily helps Nina to jettison her perfectionist instincts and find her footing as the Black Swan, the closer she gets to perfecting the role, the further her sanity erodes until she begins to experience a bizarre and profound transformation.