Time Out says

Von Trier's Element of Crime was one of the great love-it-or-hate-it films, and this divided opinions even more furiously. Portentous but hypnotic, it's a mannered delve into postwar history: an American German (Barr) returns to work on the German railways after WWII, only to get entangled in underground politics and the dark machinations of a railway dynasty. The grandiose scale and visual pyrotechnics paradoxically combine to claustrophobic effect (imagine something between Fassbinder and Lynch's Dune); and like the constantly shuttling sleeping car in which much of the film is set, where it's going is hard to say. Max von Sydow's ominously mesmeric opening voice-over makes for a wind-up from the outset, but if you can stay awake through that, you're in for a highly idiosyncratic mystery tour.

By: JRo


Release details

114 mins

Cast and crew

Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel, Tómas Gislason
Jean-Marc Barr
Barbara Sukowa
Udo Kier
Ernst-Hugo Järegård
Erik Mark
Jergen Reenberg
Henning Jensen
Eddie Constantine
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