In Darkness Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 16, 2012
Based on a true story, "In Darkness" is obviously tough to watch, especially since Holland's camera is both unforgiving and relentlessly human.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
March 13, 2012
It positively clamours for your attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 9, 2012
The film is a morally challenging examination of the vexed Polish Catholic-Jewish relations of the era and a rich portrait of a man moving almost reluctantly toward righteousness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
March 8, 2012
Based on the true story of Leopold Socha, a Catholic Polish sewer worker who hid a group of Jews over a period of 14 months in the underground tunnels of Lvov.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 8, 2012
More than half of In Darkness takes place underground, shrouded in rank, oppressive shadows. But the movie also glows bright with life and hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 2, 2012
The chiseled Furmann gives Mundek a savvy, even moral, brawn. As Paulina, Maria Schrader makes an argument for gentle yet pragmatic maternalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
March 2, 2012
An epic, and no less of one for taking place largely in the claustrophobic confines of a Polish sewer system.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
March 1, 2012
When it's over, you'll be relieved to come up for air. You'll also be glad you took the plunge down under.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 1, 2012
The film looks fine, is structured intelligently, measures out the horror in pragmatic amounts. In the end, though, it's that professionalism that gets in the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 1, 2012
Holland, shooting in confined spaces with little light, elicits taut performances from a strong cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
February 26, 2012
Honesty is the movie's greatest strength.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 23, 2012
One might think that years and years of seeing Holocaust movies would create an immunity, a point at which you can feel no more. But in fact, it works the other way.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 23, 2012
Wieckiewicz is outstanding, his open face expressing a full range of emotions, often within the same scene, sometimes within the same conversation. Is he a good man? Or is he a greedy man moved to do good things?
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 17, 2012
Robert Wieckiewicz is good as the conflicted protagonist, but the most valuable player here is cinematographer Jolanta Dylewska, who turns in handsome work even though most of the action transpires in inky blackness.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 17, 2012
Holland and her screenwriter David Shamoon understand that suffering isn't necessarily ennobling and that sometimes goodness emanates from the unlikeliest sources.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 17, 2012
The setting - a rat-infested sewer lit by flashlights and candles - and the memorable central performance from Robert Wieckiewicz etch themselves on the imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 16, 2012
Yet another movie in which Jews escape death in the Holocaust through the actions of a gentile with a conscience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 16, 2012
In Darkness presents a credible scenario about the effects of desperate times upon the human psyche, and it also shows how base human instinct can nevertheless be elevated.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Debruge
Variety
February 10, 2012
With the exception of the group's leader, movie-star handsome Mundek Margulies (German-born, internationally recognized Benno Furmann), the characters are flat as shadows.
Top Critic
February 9, 2012
Holland is properly unsparing about the casual sadism of the German military, but she resolutely sidesteps the sentimental oppressor-victim division that distorts so much pop-Holocaust narrative today.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 9, 2012
Real life brims with startling atrocities as well as clichés, and this film is full of both.
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
February 9, 2012
While In Darkness sticks to formula, it brings across that formula effectively.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 8, 2012
A daringly murky-looking movie that demands viewers enter the void...
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
February 7, 2012
Every Holocaust movie, however hair-raising, essentially thrums the same self-sacrifice-versus-self-preservation chord. It's not fair, but there it is: We've been here before.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 6, 2012
In outline, In Darkness is a standard conversion melodrama, but little within those parameters is easy. The darkness lingers into the light.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
December 9, 2011
Holland has said that she wanted her harrowing and rewarding epic to run long so it would make viewers feel that they're in the sewers as well. In this, she succeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 9, 2011
As many Holocaust stories as we've seen, this one still has a fresh and important lesson about heroism - and how it has the habit of springing from some all-too-human places.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 8, 2011
It is suspenseful, horrifying and at times intensely moving. But the ease with which it elicits these responses from the audience feels more opportunistic than insightful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 8, 2011
In a world where everyone was looking for an angle, hoping to survive the nightmare and maybe even turn other people's misery into a tidy profit, the fact that a fragile humanity survived at all is little short of a miracle.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 8, 2011
Only Wieckiewicz provides some light, in the humanity that gradually shapes Socha's experience. It's a transformation as wrenching to watch as it is vital to remember.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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David Fear
Time Out
December 6, 2011
The film's turn toward charcoal-sketch notions of good and evil only fuels a simplistic view of historical tragedy in the worst sort of way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
September 9, 2011
The suspense here, derived from a true story, is excruciating and inspiring in equal measure.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 8, 2011
Harrowing, engrossing, claustrophobic and sometimes literally hard to watch...