Movie Review: “Siberia” is an unrewarding and frustrating puzzle of a film

God bless Willem Dafoe, an actor that I believe is constantly challenging his fans and himself, with material that tries to make everyone a better thinking consumer of films. It’s like he’s speaking an alien language, that if you can unlock, will give you a next level appreciation of the craft.

Sometimes its a haunting vision like “Antichrist”. Other times, it’s a beautiful enigma like “The Light House”.

Unfortunately, “Siberia” is neither, as it just stumbles down the path consisting of a frustrating glob of experiences.

Dafoe stars as Clint. A man who is searching for his soul. Everywhere. In a cave. In a tavern. On a dogsled speeding through the snow. This movie doesn’t really have any borders. And all along the way he’s challenged with visions and riddles as he tries to recover the missing part of himself.

It makes no sense. It doesn’t want to. And that results in a poor experience.

The movie just drifts from scene to scene. Some are gory. Some are sexual. Others are completely out of place. There is no rhyme or reason here. You are given a box of different parts from different machines, ranging from a super computer to a can opener and told to “build something” with it. There is nothing to build.

It’s an art house movie. But I’ve said it time and time again. Art house films have to make you feel something or provide an answer to an equation. Director Abel Ferrara has been around so long, he probably didn’t believe he was required to do that. To say something positive about the film, Dafoe gives us everything. Like he normally does.

But this time, it’s for nothing.


Grade: F+

Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Rated: R (and it’s pushing it).

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