Critic Reviews

48

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Cohen, so good in 2015’s “Brooklyn,” is chilling as the shark-eyed Varg (who has been linked to hate crimes in France in recent years), and Culkin brings just the right amount of eye-twitch to Aarseth, who seemingly enjoyed making grandiose proclamations of “evil” and donning corpse makeup rather than actual criminal activity — yet did little to stop out-of-control followers.
70
As a depiction of the very public emergence of a marginal movement, Lords of Chaos provokes both awe and repulsion, but not necessarily admiration for a musical form and subculture unwaveringly devoted to literalism, no matter how extreme.
70
Despite the film’s inherent shock value, Lords Of Chaos still manages to successfully mine the explosive psychology of adolescent angst - even if the horror movie aesthetics occasionally threatens to overwhelm proceedings.
70
Åkerlund’s music videos established him as a whiz-bang technician, a skill he only unleashes in two terrifying montages. Lords of Chaos proves that he can also get great performances out of a young cast, especially Kilmer’s otherworldly Dead.
67
Lords of Chaos the film ultimately could care less about the music when the psychology of this scene’s progenitors is what intrigues. So those expecting to learn about the genre will be sorely disappointed. This is about aesthetic, notoriety, and paranoia.
67
Åkerlund's style, and his quietly sensitive handling of the bloody details, will still bang the head that does not bang.
50
Åkerlund’s understanding is more like contempt, in a film that downplays the bigotry of the Norwegian black metal scene and shrugs off the severity of its actions with a “boys will be boys” approach that has no reverence for the scene, but doesn’t provide any insight into it, either.
38
Slant Magazine
Jonas Åkerlund’s breezy approach to this material not only cheapens the music, but also has the effect of downplaying the severity of the scene’s truly unsavory politics.
30
Akerlund, a veteran music-video director who intersperses Lords of Chaos with mildly surrealistic bursts, never establishes a coherent or interesting point of view. The tone unproductively veers from the goofy to the creepy, which creates a sense that he was still figuring it out in the editing.
25
Lords Of Chaos is more interested in the spectacle than the substance behind the true story, and that kind of phoniness likely wouldn’t even get the film or Åkerlund invited into The Black Circle.

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