Most English metre is classified according to the same system as Classical metre with an important difference. English is an accentual language, and therefore beats and offbeats (stressed and unstressed syllables) take the place of the long and short syllables of classical systems. In most English verse, the metre can be considered as a sort of back beat, against which natural speech rhythms vary expressively. The most common characteristic feet of English verse are the iamb in two syllables and the anapest in three. (See Foot (prosody) for a complete list of the metrical feet and their names.)
In the Los Angeles Times , on the other hand, Manohla Dargis dismissed it as "three hours of tedious experimentation."  Richard Corliss of TIME argued that von Trier lacked humanity and wrote that the director "presumably wants us to attend to his characters' yearnings and prejudices without the distractions of period furnishings. It's a brilliant idea, for about 10 minutes. Then the bare set is elbowed out of a viewer's mind by the threadbare plot and characterizations."  Roger Ebert , who gave it two out of four stars, felt that the film was so pedantic as to make von Trier comparable to a crank , and viewed it as "a demonstration of how a good idea can go wrong."  In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , Sean Axmaker said, "There's no denying von Trier is visually intriguing. [...] But as an artist, his contempt for humanity is becoming harder to hide with stylistic flourish."  Charles Taylor of Salon additionally responded to allegations of the film's anti-Americanism with the charge that it was "anti-human", and said that it was "as total a misanthropic vision as anything control freak Stanley Kubrick ever turned out" – while personally admitting that he felt von Trier was as deliberate a filmmaker as Kubrick.