Opening

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Into The Abyss Reviews

Page 2 of 6
Ben Walters
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is gripping, moving and revelatory, an unabashed if implicit critique of the death penalty.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

March 27, 2012
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central

Less a polemic than a sombre sifting-through of the collateral damage that collects in concentric circles around an execution.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 20, 2012
Kevin Harley
Total Film

Herzog's tapestry testifies to life's light from death's darkness.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

March 19, 2012
Philip Concannon
The Skinny

Yet another intriguing and surprising film from this ever-fascinating documentarian.

Full Review Source: The Skinny | Original Score: 4/5

February 23, 2012
Philip Wilding
Empire Magazine

A haunting portrayal of people who are neither completely innocent nor wholly evil, and the terrible price of killing, whether in the pursuit of a sports car or in the name of justice.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

February 20, 2012
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl

I doubt anyone would give Into the Abyss a second look were it not directed by Werner Herzog.

Full Review Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 4/10

January 25, 2012
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An eerie, unsettling and slightly macabre attempt to understand the how and why of three senseless murders in 2001 in Texas.

Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 15, 2011
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The most memorable image here is the lethal-injection gurney. With its crossbar for the outstretched arms of doomed prisoners, it resembles a padded crucifix -- a ghastly and inelegant parody of a symbol of Christian comfort.

Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Original Score: 3/4

December 14, 2011
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

[Herzog] simply means to show us things as they are - and in this corner of Texas, just north of Houston, things are undeniably violent. And mean.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 87/100

December 14, 2011
Jim Slotek
Jam! Movies

Into the Abyss makes Herzog's point powerfully, without descending to the level of polemic.

Full Review Source: Jam! Movies | Original Score: 4/5

December 9, 2011
Norman Wilner
NOW Toronto

Unlike, say, Errol Morris in The Thin Blue Line, Herzog isn't seeking to exonerate anyone or introduce new evidence. He's just there, observing the process as it rolls forward and wondering why.

Full Review Source: NOW Toronto | Original Score: 3/5

December 9, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Herzog is pursuing no agenda with Into the Abyss, despite his opposition to extreme judicial measures. He's seeking to answer the question of why people kill, especially in a situation such as this where the reason for the murders was so meaningless.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

December 9, 2011
Ian Buckwalter
NPR.org

Herzog unforgettably shows how when you pull tight the straps on men who've lain down to die, it leaves a mark.

Full Review Source: NPR.org | Original Score: 8.5/10

December 8, 2011
Cynthia Fuchs
PopMatters

This is the abyss the film shows, the frightening arbitrariness of the death penalty. People are born into poverty and violence by chance, and their fates -- as crime victims or victims of the state -- are also functions of chance.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

December 7, 2011
Ethan Alter
Television Without Pity

The director's ability to objectively pursue this line of inquiry makes Into the Abyss a compelling, revealing work of art.

Full Review Source: Television Without Pity

December 5, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Into the Abyss does what too few documentaries these days do - it gives ample play to all sides of the argument. Herzog allows us to think things through on our own.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A-

December 2, 2011
Robert Denerstein
Movie Habit

Herzog's death-row documentary hits hard

Full Review Source: Movie Habit

December 1, 2011
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The overriding point of Into the Abyss, what keeps this sad, sorrowful film from becoming depressing and elevates it far above the usual chatter of liberal-conservative debate, is that there can be light on the other end of even the darkest of tunnels.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 30, 2011
Justin Strout
Orlando Weekly

Herzog asks, in that probing yet gentle, meditative voice we've come to cherish, "What does it mean?" Oh, Werner. We don't ask such things in 'Merica.

Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly | Original Score: 3/5

November 30, 2011
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Covers much the same ground as other death row movies, but with the Herzog difference.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

November 30, 2011
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