I have not seen other Lars von Trier movies so I can't critic the movie from the perspective of one who has. My take on the NYT review was that is was missing some critical points. Like Justine's apparent pre-vision. Not that the metaphysical aspect was significant. I think it was simply intended as a window into the Justine's world view. Which was an Existentialist perspective on things and rather significantly the point of the movie.
I noticed at one point when Claire said: "There must be life elsewhere" and Justine replied "No there is not and soon there will not be life on Earth." It was an Existentialist moment of some significance. I also found myself contemplating Justine's statement that "Life is evil". I wondered for awhile why she said that. I would put it towards her depression but I think I'm reading too much in to the movie by saying that.