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Offret (The Sacrifice)

Offret (The Sacrifice) (1986)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 6,109

My Rating

Movie Info

The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration. The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander's, who promises God that he'll give up everything he holds


Drama, Art House & International, Classics

Andrei Tarkovsky

May 16, 2000

Watch It Now



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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (5) | DVD (4)

For those willing to acccept the tenets of Tarkovsky's cinema of spiritual quest, his esoteric notions of Christian iconography and his obscure approach to cinematic meaning, the film can seem nothing less than miraculous.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Sacrifice is a stunningly beautiful film that holds your attention even while you feel slightly stunned, in a less welcome way, by what is actually going on.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Tarkovsky pulls you into a dark, foreboding nightmare and Nykvist [Bergman's former cameraman] gives that nightmare an explosive awakening.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Sacrifice is not the sort of movie most people will choose to see, but those with the imagination to risk it may find it rewarding.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a paradox: a sublime failure. For all its stunning, poetic imagery, it's almost impossible to sit through.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At least close to being a great film. It's a film that lingers in the mind -- not in the least because it's so open to interpretation.

February 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The few insecurities in the filmmaking, which stick out in contrast to his Russian works, are easily overlooked by how masterful other scenes are and the impressiveness of the imagery.

August 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Visually potent ... humblingly vast ... [and yet] the movie oscillates between compelling our thunderstruck confidence and testing our patience with unfulfilled promise and highbrow clichés.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Tarkovsky punctuates this so-called "plot" with many, many stunningly poetic images, mostly filmed in long takes with delicate tracking shots.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Tarkovsky's last film, a spiritual meditation about the end of the world and a new beginning, bears resemblance to Ingmar Bergman's work, not least beacuse of its themes and lead actor and cinematographer.

December 31, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

It's long, stately and po-faced (all reasons why Tarkovsky seems faintly unfashionable these days), but if it's extended, beautifully composed tracking shots you want, he's your man.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent

Invaluable pointers on narrative patience, spiritual yearning and technical finesse.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent

Brilliant and audacious, with one of the most extraordinary final sequences in modern cinema.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian

A fitting epitaph for a great artist. Every frame could be hung on a wall, the script is supremely thoughtful and the performances are universally excellent.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

A difficult film - slow-paced, unashamedly theatrical and heavily laden with philosophy - yet a profoundly satifying one: a rewarding display of filmmaking mastery that forms a mystical and enigmatic coda to a legendary career.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source:

For all its Swedish trimmings, the long, syrup-slow takes are unmistakably Tarkovsky's, and it's these that provide this arthouse disaster movie with its mesmerising power.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Tarkovsky's film will be forever confined to a dark cul-de-sac in the arthouse ghetto because of its sheer monotony.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Sky Movies | Comment (1)
Sky Movies

As involving and intellectually rich as all Tarkovsky's work.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

heavy-going but brilliantly realized masterpiece.

July 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

To awaken the spiritual hunger for something beyond materialistic, desacrilized modern existence was the burden of Tarkovsky, cinematic poet laureate of the Russian soul.

October 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

True film devotees will appreciate the mystery and the spiritual allusiveness of The Sacrifice.

August 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Certainly makes demands on one's patience, but Tarkovsky is always worth the work.

August 15, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

It is a poetic vision, filled with the symbolism peculiar to Tarkovsky's imagination. It is also a visually stunning, hauntingly beautiful, brilliant piece of art.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Offret (The Sacrifice)

Beautifully acted, directed and told The Sacrifice is a brilliant final work from legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. I've given my fair share of praise of his work, and with good reason because every picture that he has made has had the scope of fine filmmaking that only a select few could replicate. The only filmmakers that come to mind when comparing his work is Sergio Leone and Stanley Kubrick, because Tarkovsky tended to make truly spectacular films, films that made a significant impact on cinema. With The Sacrifice, being his final work before his death the same year of its release, Andrei Tarkovsky crafts a fine final film that is just as good as all his previous films. The picture is poignant, beautiful, well crafted and everything about it resonates with the vibe that Tarkovsky has been known for. Crafting a stunning feature with a simple, effective story, yet he takes his time for the plot to unfold and he uses the images to really tell the story and in doing so, The Sacrifice is elevated in terms of a fine work of filmmaking by a pure craftsman that was always able to make masterful, brilliantly shot picture that stood out. How does this film rank among his masterpieces such as Solaris and Stalker, it's definitely up there, and for me anyways, it's a film that is almost perfect, and Tarkovsky again displays storytelling with the basic ideas but he uses the power of vivid, captivating performances along with the powerful imagery to really engage the viewer and suck him into a highly memorable picture that is a brilliant way to end a stunning, legendary career. The Sacrifice is a great picture, and Tarkovsky and it's hard to believe that this was his final film before he died. However, if you're wondering, Andrei Tarkovsky ended his career on a high note, and The Sacrifice is a poignant, evocative and unforgettable drama that is a must watch if you've enjoyed most of his work.
July 1, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"The Sacrifice" starts out with a famous journalist, Alexander(Erland Josephson), celebrating his birthday with friends and family. Interrupting the celebrations, is a catastrophe which may signal the end of the world.[/font]

"The Sacrifice" has some very interesting things to say about faith but it takes a wrong turn about half way through and never recovers. It is also a perplexingly plodding piece of work that goes on for much too long. Andrei Tarkovsky's decision to film a good deal of the movie in long shots makes it almost impossible to identify with any of the characters. Sven Nykvist's cinematography is certainly pretty enough to look at, though.
July 20, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

First Andrei Tarkovsky movie I've seen, and his final feature. Will definently be looking forward to seeing more of his movies in the near future.This one concerns a theatre critics birthday party amongst close family and friends. When a news broadcast announces that WWIII has begun and nuclear holocaust is imminent. the attendees at the part react in various ways. Most extreme is Alexander who offers to sacrifice his family, his house and his son for this to reverse itself. So much of why this film works is based on its extreme minimalist approach and the mood it evokes, making a plot synopsis that is much more descriptive of what this movie is irrelevent. Apparently there are only 115 shots in this movies 2.5 hour run time, with shots that go on from 6-8 minutes commonplace. The opening shot lasting 9+minutes. So if you don't want to watch a movie that moves really slowly you might want to avoid this one. The cinematography is perfect though, and the minimalist approach i found really emotive. Definently a must see for more adventurous film fans.
October 29, 2011
Ed Fucking Harris

Super Reviewer

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