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3,532 Ratings

The Square

Directed by Ruben Östlund
Sweden, Germany, 2017
Comedy, Drama


Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum. While preparing his new exhibit—a four-by-four-meter zone designated as a “sanctuary of trust and caring”—Christian falls prey to a pickpocketing scam, which triggers an overzealous response and then a crisis of conscience.

Our take

Following his hit Force Majeure, Sweden’s Ruben Östlund won the Palme d’Or for this even more ambitious and acerbic satire, a biting pitch-black comedy taking square aim on the bourgeois contemporary art world. An excoriating, painfully funny film, featuring Claes Bang and Elisabeth Moss.

The Square Directed by Ruben Östlund

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2017 | 2 wins including: Palme d'Or

Academy Awards

2018 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Village Voice Film Poll

2017 | Nominee: Best Screenplay

It’s harsh, sarcastic, unsparing, threatening, unfair, and messed up. While it is formally rather controlled, it is also a cauldron of bad feelings and bad faith.
April 19, 2018
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As with his previous films Play(2011) and Force Majeure (2014), Ostlund uses his setting to explore hidden inequalities in supposedly liberal societies, particularly those concerning masculinity, race and class, playing with our expectations about what is supposed to happen versus the results, which are always uncomfortable.
March 15, 2018
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Claes Bang gives an exceptional comic and dramatic performance as Christian, the long-suffering, hapless director of a contemporary art museum in Stockholm. The movie is a wild, suspenseful satire of the art world that’s also a cringe comedy: Östlund, the audacious provocateur who most recently gave us FORCE MAJEURE, a withering comedy of manners about masculinity, cheerfully accepts a definition of his aesthetic as a cross between Larry David and Michael Haneke.
November 10, 2017
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