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The Bridge (2006)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 56
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 19

Tactlessly morbid or remarkably sensitive? Deeply disturbing or viscerally fascinating? Critics are divided on Eric Steele's unique documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge, wonder of the modern world and notorious suicide destination.

78

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 4

Tactlessly morbid or remarkably sensitive? Deeply disturbing or viscerally fascinating? Critics are divided on Eric Steele's unique documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge, wonder of the modern world and notorious suicide destination.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 7,776

My Rating

Movie Info

The Golden Gate Bridge Is An Iconic Structure; A Symbol Of San Francisco, The West, Freedom - And Something More, Something Spiritual, Something Words Cannot Describe.

R,

Documentary, Drama, Special Interest

Feb 16, 2007

$49.3k

First Stripe Productions - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (58) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (19) | DVD (9)

Tales are dramatic; the interviewees poignant, and the images -- often following bodies all the way down to the water -- are startling and discomfiting.

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Bridge avoids reducing its subjects to types, and if the portraits painted are often recognizable -- the person who talks so much about suicide that those around him fail to take him seriously -- they are not repetitive.

March 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The whole thing invokes the bodies falling from that other architectural icon on 9/11 - but it's not clear what is achieved beyond disturbance.

February 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aspires to humanize the people who kill themselves at the Golden Gate Bridge, but ends up mostly reducing its subjects to their flamboyant and very public deaths.

February 10, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By his use of interviews of friends and family of jumpers, Steel reminds us that no matter how alone some of these people felt, they weren't without people who loved them. It is a tender, powerful work.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comment (1)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though well-meaning, hauntingly scored and artfully photographed, this strange documentary marks the bridge as a mecca for self-inflicted death, while making us helpless observers of such horrific acts.

December 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

None of the insights justifies the queasiness of the project

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)
CinePassion

You will never look fondly at the Golden Gate Bridge again after seeing this disturbing documentary by a filmmaker ignorant of the volatile narrative water that he dishonors.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Comment (1)
ColeSmithey.com

Little more than a snuff film clumsily dressed up as an art house flick.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Two dozen souls, linked by suicide as a seductive, and very visible alternative to unrelenting torment and suffering.

May 4, 2007 Full Review Source: EURWeb
EURWeb

There are harrowing moments: who could not be moved by a parent talking about a son's suicide? But you do not leave the cinema with a better understanding of suicide.

February 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Sunday Times (UK)

While these interviews are affecting, and the movie talks about suicide in a refreshingly straightforward manner, it's the images of these actual deaths that induce horrified gasps.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

It's gripping viewing but you feel like a voyeur of somebody else's pain. After a while you may feel that you're watching a particularly scenic snuff film.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comment (1)
Times [UK]

This will get flack for being a "snuff" film - but the real tragedy is how suicide is often hidden away. This film brings it out in the open.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper
thelondonpaper

This could be the most morally loathsome film ever made.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comment (1)
Guardian

The filmmakers' methods are questionable, but the power of the resulting documentary and the importance of the issues it raises are not.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

despite the shocking, up-close look, we're no closer to a real understanding of the terrible urge to end it all.

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

This fascinating, sensitive documentary is an extraordinary film that is both thought-provoking and deeply moving, although it contains images that some viewers may find upsetting.

February 15, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Recommended, if sobering viewing.

February 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

If harrowing footage of deeply disturbed people contemplating a hideous suicide cross-cut with interviews with grieving loved ones who often blame themselves for failing to prevent the tragedy strike you as art - help yourself.

February 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The results are striking: an emotional and aesthetic whirlpool of horror, fascination, beauty, and resignation that would probably drown lesser movies but that gives The Bridge an eerie power.

February 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Bridge

The Bridge is quite a ghostly documentary looking at The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge has been named as one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is regarded globally as one of the most beautiful bridges ever build. It was a sign of prosperity on its completion and has become synonymous with San Francisco and is one of the worlds longest suspension bridges. What many don't know though is that it is the worlds most popular suicide destination. Ethically the film is questionable, as director Eric Steel did not tell the families of victims he interviewed that he would be showing their relatives actual suicides in the film. Effective in the film but at the expense of trust which is probably the golden rule of documentary film making. It is interesting but also haunting at the same time.
February 27, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

The Bridge is a superb documentary that tells the story of The Golden Gate Bridge and its story about how it is among the most the popular suicide destinations in the world. The film shows actual suicides and it quite disturbing, sad and unnerving. This is a documentary that shows a darker side of this famous attraction. In a way this is a film that is necessary because it can maybe cause debate in preventing further tragedy on the bridge. San Francisco needs to put up some sort of barrier to prevent these things in happening. The interview from the family and friends are hard to hear and make you think. The questions and statements of the people that knew the victims are something that you can't forget. This is a film that will stay with you long after you've seen it. This is a very well crafted documentary, even if the film shows real suicides, I don't think it exploits the pain, quite on the contrary, it is a film that shows an important aspect of the bridge. Depression, Mental illness and hardships are reasons to do it, but often people ignore that cry for help, and don't feel sorry for them. However after seeing this film, you realize that some people need help, and the sad part is, is that most suicides on the bridge could have been prevented. This is hard to watch, but it tells an important story that you need to understand. The Bridge is a very good documentary, but due to its subject matter is only worth seeing once. The Bridge is a unique documentary, and there will never be a film quite like this.
September 21, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

"The Bridge" is a tough movie to watch. It's intensely somber. Debut director Eric Steel pointed his cameras at San Francisco's majestic and mysteriously powerful Golden Gate Bridge and found out something deeply disturbing. An extraordinary number of people jump off that bridge in broad daylight, and his cameras caught everything.

It must have been a tremendously difficult decision, but Steel decided to build a project around suicide and use the actual footage. He and his team tracked down the family members of some of those who jumped and gently and compassionately interviewed them, hearing the terrible stories of how their family members' lives fell apart. Most jumpers had issues with mental illness; that is the overriding theme. But not all of them.

As an artist, you can't get more meaningful material than this. This project pierces to the heart of the human experience.

Unfortunately though, "The Bridge" isn't a great work of art. It's very good, but something's missing. After about an hour of hearing the stories of broken lives, I didn't feel that I was growing substantially from the experience. I commend Steel for his bravery and compassion. I'm just not sure if he found his way to lessons that were meaningful enough to build a film around.

If you can handle looking into the face of complete despair, "The Bridge" is recommended. In some ways, I felt it was a way of honoring those who suffered so much. But it's also interesting to think about how this subject matter could have been treated in some better ways.
October 2, 2011
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Eerie but completely fascinating. Like driving by a car wreck that you can't seem to take your eyes off of.
September 16, 2010
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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