The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
In its jagged style and tone Black Butterflies is as close to an inside-out view of Jonker's tumultuous life as a movie could go without sinking into chaos. Its hues are continuously changing, and the seaside weather around Cape Town reflects her tempestuous emotional life.
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The Hollywood Reporter

Paula van der Oest's biopic of South African poet Ingrid Jonker is conventional yet captivating thanks in large part to a terrific lead performance from Carice van Houten.
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By Ronnie Scheib
The uncompromising power of Ingrid Jonker's poetry runs like a pulsing vein through Black Butterflies.
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New York Observer

By Rex Reed
Neither another bland biopic about a self-destructive artist nor an historical scrapbook about a country in the grip of slavery, Black Butterflies is a dark, moving depiction of the life and death of a brave rebellious, idiosyncratic woman who made significant strides toward changing the world around her and paid a heavy toll for her passion.
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Slant Magazine

A reasonably sensitive and occasionally insightful look into the mind and psyche of an impassioned and deeply troubled artist.
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Time Out New York

By Keith Uhlich
Carice van Houten (Black Book) is superb as the emotionally unstable Jonker - all manically beaming highs and depressively gloomy lows, a tempestuous force of nature in a movie that too often plays it blandly polite.
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The A.V. Club

By Sam Adams
At least Black Butterflies gets the tortured-soul part right.
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New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
The script is cliché-ridden and ends on an overly sentimental note.
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Village Voice

By Nick Schager
Art, politics, and craziness conspire to form a rather mechanical melodrama in Black Butterflies.
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66 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.