Review Revue: Critics React To Eminem & Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” Video

Aug 6th, 2010 // 17 Comments

Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox fight, Rihanna broods and Eminem burns in the emotionally-charged “Love The Way You Lie” music video. So we were curious to find out just what the Internet thought of the Joseph Kahn-directed clip, which revolves around an unhealthy, abusive relationship (and doesn’t shy away from visual depictions of the violence stemming from it). Head below to see if critics were feeling the fire.

Rihanna Eminem Love The Way You Lie 1

:: Entertainment Weekly‘s Music Mix notes that “Love The Way You Lie” is “a great track, and a star-powered video.” However, they go on to ponder, “…does it take responsibility for its dramatization of domestic violence? And knowing all we know about Rihanna’s personal life (and Em’s), is this collision of reality and fame-world cleansing or just awkward?”

:: MTV News points out that actor Dominic Monaghan recently said, “I think we tried as hard as we could to not glorify the violence, to try and explain that this was a relationship that is by no means ideal and a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner than it did.”

Rihanna Love The Way You Lie:: New York‘s Vulture quips, “Turns out instead of being the Rihanna video about domestic abuse, it’s actually an Eminem video about super-attractive people looking super-attractive! We might be able to ginny up some outrage if we weren’t so totally hypnotized by just how nice Fox, Monaghan, Eminem, and RiRi look when filmed in sepia tones, in front of burning houses.”

:: The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog jokes, “Okay, so maybe having this Eminem-Rihanna video on Heat Vision is stretch but what can we say? We like Dominic Monaghan, who was in Lost, Lord of the Rings and Wolverine. Oh, yeah, it’s got some girl called Megan Fox in it, too.”

Eminem Rihanna Love The Way You Lie 2:: HitFix feels “Love The Way You Lie” is more the Eminem Show, and questions Rihanna’s involvement: “She stands close to the burning house (in hot pants, no less), but doesn’t catch on fire, like Em does. Did she set the fire? Is she going back in the house? Is this any commentary whatsoever on her own relationship with Brown or is she only a voice aiding the story of Eminem’s own unhealthy relationship?”

:: Taking a different approach, The Prophet Blog praises the man behind the lens by writing, “It’s not the best video ever made, but it’s very appropriate for the song, and Kahn deserves a pat on the back for the beautiful style and visual effects used. He’s a fantastic director, and whenever you see his name attached to something, you at least know that it’s not gonna suck.”

Dominic Monaghan love the way you lie eminem rihanna:: New York Daily News feels that “Love The Way You Lie” isn’t “as flashy as Kanye West’s ‘Power’,” but goes on to say “what the Joseph Kahn-directed clip lacks in artsy flair it makes up for in straightforward, brutal imagery.”

:: Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy declares, “The age of the event video is clearly not completely over… Everything about the new video seemed better fit for the big screen than the TV screen, from the star appearances by Fox and Monaghan, to the dramatic sequences of domestic violence.”

:: Finally, Hecklerspray takes the comedic approach with a visual decoding of Fox and Monaghan’s scenes from the video. Says the site, “Incidentally, if anyone was wondering where Eminem is while this nightmare is playing out, he’s in a field. Again, he’s in a field.”

  1. Jen

    I don’t agree with the critics take on this video. This video and song are a warning to others from those who have lived and done it. It doesn’t need to be overly flashy like Kanye West’s. The situation being depicted in the video has enough fireworks. Thank you for giving a voice to those of us who can’t explain it well enough to shout for help. Very well done and it represents both sides well beautifully.

    • Thankyou!!! for someone speaking up!
      It does not matter that it has famous celebrities
      in this video it is more than pretty little faces
      and the way they are dressed
      its about abuse and what every one goes
      through. how its so hard to let someone
      go even though they are so wrong for you.
      its about pain, love, and violence.
      eminem and rihanna are just victims of this matter
      especially rihanna. so i do not care what critics think
      this music video was awesome.
      I love you eminem. and much love rihanna!

  2. Mel

    Omg!! Wat is evry1 findin sooo amazin bout kanyes video its random lik dey rnt even movin its jus plain weird id rather watch the love the way you lie video anyday over that

  3. i don’t agree asshole

  4. how old are you

  5. annissa

    agreed!! i think if it was 2 ugly no named actors then the point would have been lost cuz not many would watch it either. awesome video and love that they are soooo open about it all :)

  6. annissa

    just to clarify my comment was to the first post. thought this was being attached to the first comment and no way to delete or change comment!

  7. Dakota

    Not going to lie, loved the video. :) But on that one critic’s review of Kahn, I disagree. Kahn does suck sometimes, quite often in fact, IMO. He’s just a bit too mainstream. But, at the same time, I will admit there are occasions (probably with about 5-7 videos right now?) that are actually really really good, but it isn’t constant.

  8. Briana

    People really think Kanye’s video was better? I think Kanye though he was God or something in his video. Love The Way You Lie is a video that when you watch it makes you feel like your their or it makes you really feel sorry for the people in the video. Even though its fake it is so believable that you wanna help them. It doesn’t matter if they had a 700 pound woman being beat up and abused what matters was the message and if it reached #1 for three weeks without a video it wll deffinetly stay for a while once everyone sees the video. And about rihanna being in a domestic violence relationship, you make it seem like she would have no place in the song if that never happened to her. She even said her publishers and managers held her away from the song for a cople of weeks. To do a song about this is only gonna help the person out and make them stronger. I love you Rih Rih. nice job Em. ♥

  9. antonius

    I’m very positive about the video, but honestly the Hecklerspray comment made me laugh and i think they are right ;p

  10. virgotwin

    Thank you!!! I’ve lived it and I think the lyrics a right on!

  11. Here is another review of the song. See what you think:

    http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/features/111/6308

    ‘Eminem and Rihanna’s recent chart-topper, Love the Way You Lie, is remarkable in a number of ways – not least because it manages to tackle the painful and prominent issue of domestic violence without resorting to shallow stereotypes.

    The song follows the story of a violent relationship, narrated by the abuser. We are privy to the twists and turns in logic that run through the abusers mind as he attempts to justify his behaviour – “but your temper’s just as bad as mine is”, he pleads.

    Interestingly, though, we also glimpse the moments of clarity – the shame and the galling realisation of what it means to be a woman-beater. And it is this that makes Love the Way You Lie both fascinating and instinctively repulsive – this is not the ramblings of a deluded maniac but of a troubled man struggling to draw lines between love, fear, hate and anger…’ (to read the rest please click on the link below)

    http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/features/111/6308

  12. Veronica Galaviz

    This video sent shivers down my back as it tore open some freshly healing wounds for me. I totally agree so much more needs to be done on this issue. However, people need to start speaking out just like Rihanna and Eminem. The more the public hears about the seriousness of the issue, the better chance to change the laws. I understand that this is not a subject that victims, especially, want to talk about. Who wants to admit there is trouble in “paradise”? Fortunately my abuser is dead, but not the case for many others. I was told I needed a protective order. So I spent thousands of dollars to obtain one only to have it discounted by the police each and every time he violated the order despite having video surveillance proving his violations. So what happened? Since the police never enforced the order, he thought he was invincible and could do anything…I mean anything…earlier this year he violated the order yet again by breaking into my home and trying to kill me with a shot gun. When he didn’t succeed, he set my house on fire burning it to the ground and shot himself. Not only did he burn my house down, but he also killed my pets in the process. So I’m grateful to Rihanna and Eminem for taking this step to increase awareness on this very serious issue. This has the potential to go a long way toward raising awareness, but the Hollywood video only scratched the surface about the very real pain of domestic violence. I’m also trying to take steps to improve the rights for victims by reaching out to members of the Texas Legislature. I am pushing for changes in laws especially dealing with protective orders and the possible need for increased sensitivity training to this matter for police. I encourage others to get involved and help make a difference for other victims of DV.

  13. sonia

    I thought everybody likes this song but me, I am glad the critic is pushing it down, the make domestic violence glamurous and it isn’t, the second part is outrageous with rihanna saying that the figths keep her satysfied. Eminen hates women and up to him balck women are studier than white women that is why he has used stupid rihanna to deliver exactly that that women are under humans and sex objetcs with rihanna admitting that we like being beaten and will stay until the end. but rihanna saw dollars to keep juicing the fight and the beating she got from CB what if you think about it wouldn’t be so bad with her 10 bodyguards close by. eminem is evil and rihanna a whore
    I really don’t mean to insult anyone but them.

  14. Jay

    The depiction of an abusive relationship is bang on. Particularly in the begging when they are sleeping in bed and she goes mad at him. At this point anyone looking from the outside in would swear she was the crazy one and simply having some form of over reaction. However, in truth she is re-acting to everything wrong in their relationship as the story goes on to show.

    The real star of the show is Eminem. Pretty much every line sang hits the nail on the head. He clearly depicts the stages of the abuser – the insecurity from which the anger stems, the abuse, the rationalizing, the wallowing and finally the admission to himself (this is important – he only admits it to himself) that he’s lying and it won’t change and yet he goes back for more.

    I applaud Eminem & Rihanna for their efforts on this track and they should be praised for treating the matter with the honesty and truth it deserves. I can speak from experience when I say people judge you when they find out you have been in an abusive relationship. People are quick to play it down and cast you off as “being a fool for staying with him” but as this video so accurately shows it’s not black and white. You are not yourself when you are on receiving end of abuse and if like me your at first
    too proud then later too scared to ask for help it can be a lonely path.

    I first seen this video six months ago. It was like watching my life on youtube. I managed to escape an abusive relationship 4 months ago. I know there are millions out there who so far haven’t been so lucky. I just hope that like me one of them might just come across this video and realize it doesn’t have to be their life.

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