Five of the Best Lars von Trier Movies

Let's talk about one of the most controversial and admired film directors in cinema. Each of his movies captivates the viewer. In fact, the way Lars von Trier treats any subject, how he handles the movie, and the methodology he uses to craft his stories is extremely interesting. Furthermore, the actors he works with makes him the envy of all his colleagues.
Five of the Best Lars von Trier Movies

Last update: 23 October, 2021

People either love or hate him. Some are envious and jealous, while others don’t agree with his arrogance and morbid humor. Nevertheless, Lars von Trier is a fascinating filmmaker.

In 2011, the judging panel and organizers of the Cannes Film Festival banned and declared him persona non grata. That was because he made jokes about Nazis and antisemitism, hence jeopardizing an otherwise prolific career.

However, this wasn’t a game-changer for Lars von Trier. Indeed, people continued to love his movies, they remained successful at the box office, and his fan base continued to grow each year.

It seems that L’Enfant terrible of the movie world is here to stay.

Melancholia is a film about depression by Lars Von Trier.

Five of the best movies from Lars von Trier


Starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melancholia focuses on the life of a young woman with melancholic tendencies. In the first act, we notice her sadness in the face of her disastrous wedding and awful relationship with her parents. In the second act, we witness her depression.

Her sister, Claire, takes her back to her mansion, but they soon find out that a strange planet called Melancholia is about to collide with Earth.


Dogville is one of Lars von Trier’s best movies. Starring Nicole Kidman and Lauren Bacall, it tells the story of a mysterious woman who arrives in a small village.

We witness how her relationship with the townspeople develops. In fact, in this film, the Danish director reconstructs the evolution of human emotions. Submissiveness, guilt, anger, envy, and love are all portrayed in this amazing movie.

Nymphomaniac (Vol. I & II)

Nymphomaniac is the most controversial of Lars von Trier’s movies. The movie moves between erotica and violence, making it a cult classic. It’s praised by some and hated by others. It’s the story of a woman, Joe, who’s rescued by an old man.

He takes her home and there, she tells him her life story, starting in her teenage years and her first sexual experiences. She explains how she’s accepted her nymphomania and has managed to create deep relationships with the people that surround her.

“A film should be like a stone in your shoe.”

-Lars Von Trier-


This movie is a masterpiece in the bizarre and is, arguably, the best movie made by the Danish filmmaker. In Antichrist, we see how a couple’s life crumbles after the accidental death of their son Nick. The father, a therapist, decides to take his wife to the cabin where they spent their last summer with their son, not suspecting what’s to happen next.

The mix of terror, sadness, and the bizarre make Antichrist a strange, difficult, and passionate movie. The performances of both Willem Defoe and a fantastic Charlotte Gainsbourg, are without a doubt, brilliant.

Björk in a film by Lars Von Trier.

Dancer in the Dark

This musical, starring Icelandic singer Björk and French actress Catherine Deneuve, tells of the life of a young Czech mother who moves to the United States in search of a better life for her and her son.

Before long we discover that the mother suffers from a degenerative disease that’ll ultimately make her go blind. Her struggle to avoid leaving her son with nothing as she loses her sight contrasts with her feelings of loneliness and the love that others try to give her.

Lars Von Trier as persona non grata at Cannes. non grata
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Axel Schmidt/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6787630g)

A politically incorrect character

If Lars von Trier remains successful it’s due to his undeniable talent. He’s original, creative, and has the ability to portray emotions as well as complicated, but all too real situations.

He employs a profound and open view of sexuality as well as dealing with many uncomfortable and controversial subjects. Furthermore, he works with incredibly talented actors who aren’t afraid of his stories. After all, at the end of the day, shouldn’t movie-making be a representation of true life, no matter how uncomfortable this may prove to be at times?


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.