Grizzly Man (2005)



Critic Consensus: Whatever opinion you come to have of the obsessive Treadwell, Herzog has once again found a fascinating subject.

Movie Info

This documentary centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell, who periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears. The outdoorsman and author -- along with his partner, Amie Huguenard -- was eventually killed and devoured by one of the very animals to whom he had devoted years of study.

Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Documentary
Directed By:
Written By: Werner Herzog
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 26, 2005
Box Office: $2.9M
Lions Gate Releasing - Official Site

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Grizzly Man

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (43)

Like so much of Herzog's work, both narrative and documentary, this is an engrossing look at obsessive behavior gone terribly awry.

Full Review… | April 29, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Treadwell, a failed TV actor, is presented as someone desperate to give and receive love. That he went to such extremes is tragic, but also, in Herzog's sympathetic eyes, deeply human.

Full Review… | August 16, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Fascinating as both nature documentary and as a portrait of a narcissistic monomaniac, utterly in keeping with Herzogian type.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Herzog's stirring, thought-provoking documentary meditates with exceeding insight into the mind that drove the man.

Full Review… | December 11, 2013

Werner Herzog forgoes judging Timothy Treadwell's disputed methods or questionable mental state - letting viewers decide based on footage that suggests Treadwell essentially sought some sort of transmutation from flesh to fur.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Remarkable beauty and wonder

Full Review… | September 5, 2009

Audience Reviews for Grizzly Man

An immediately captivating premise is elevated by Werner Herzog's perfect pacing and elegant editing, and the undeniably beautiful yet eerie, tragically ironic footage taken by Timothy Treadwell, the man who lived for 13 summers with grizzly bears before being eaten by one in 2003. The clearly troubled, possibly insane Treadwell set out to film bears, and Herzog instead turns this wealth of amazing footage on its original, now-deceased filmmaker to create an utterly human story.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer


The hypocritical execution made this documentary come off as rather unauthentic. A better reenactment/acting (specifically the scenes involving Jewel Palovak were executed horribly. The pretentiousness was quite apparent, at least to me. The scene where Herzog suggests her to destroy the tape was pathetic than sympathetic.) might have helped here. Apart from that flaw, the movie was passable. And passable isn't too bad these days around. 4.5/10.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


This well-crafted, insightful documentary reveals a damaged, narcissistic and complacent man who found solace in the wilds of Alaska. Contrary to what I anticipated, 'Grizzly Man' is first and foremost a character study; the man is discussed far more than the beasts he surrounded himself with. From the onset, I was surprised by Timothy Treadwell's eccentric demeanour; I was even more surprised by how quixotic and naive he was. Treadwell had been both an alcoholic and drug user prior to his Alaskan adventures, and it seemed as if he was still hitting the bottle during his rambling, gushing monologues about his love for the animals and the immense passion he had for his mission of 'protecting the bears'.

The main problem with Treadwell was that his objective was irrelevant and aimless; the bears weren't really under any threat. Indeed, an interviewee spoke about bear culls, an activity which I admittedly didn't see any purpose in, but these culls didn't affect the stability of the population. Overall, Treadwell's apparent love for bears was a self-serving endeavour; he was never going to improve the bears' quality of life, but the bears certainly improved his.

The problem with the film is Timothy Treadwell, it's hard to resonate with the man due to his foolishness and juvenile manner. Treadwell became increasingly conceited throughout his footage. His complacency reached its zenith in an almost comically ironic segment recorded hours before his death where he proudly stated how he had reached a point of untouchability with the bears. Though this is another of Werner Herzog's accomplished documentaries, it is Treadwell's flawed, rather unlikeable personality that makes this one I won't watch again.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

Grizzly Man Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Grizzly Man on our Movie forum!