Into The Abyss Reviews
November 22, 2014
Thise time Herzog somehow didn't get me into the abyss...
January 17, 2013
With this film, Herzog takes an interesting approach to the controversy surrounding the death penalty: He lets the viewer decide. It's refreshing to see a documentary that doesn't take sides, that just leaves it's own preconceptions out of it. With this film, the lack of an agenda leaves bigger impression than if it would've been completely one sided, ala Michael Moore.
Very slow paced for a doc, this turned out to be highly enlightening. I wouldn't go so far as to call this film enjoyable, for obvious reasons, but it was impossible to look away.
September 28, 2014
I think part of the way this film works so successfully is by mirroring our own prurience. I am not claiming any exemption. The film is mesmeric. We can rationalise our interest as intellectual, as an appreciation of great film making, cinematography, etc, and it does stimulate on all of those levels, but in the end we are culture vultures looking at the celluloid remnants of real corpses. Herzog is largely forthright, compassionate and unsentimental- the sadness of lives lost get to echo and sound for themselves.
September 20, 2014
Hits you like a quiet storm -- riveting, intense, stirring.
September 17, 2014
Shook me to my core.
September 14, 2014
The entire time I was watching this, I was trying to figure out why exactly I didn't like it. Toward the end, it finally occurred to me that documentaries should be a statement of fact rather than an editorial, and this plays way more like an editorial. It's pretty much a commercial for the anti-death penalty movement, and while the filmmakers are certainly entitled to their opinion, it doesn't really have a lot of place in a documentary that's supposed to be about facts. Also, I have a really hard time taking pity on cold-blooded killers, so maybe it's just that the editorial was so much the opposite of my own beliefs. Either way, I was not a fan.
January 11, 2013
Not a bad documentary but not so original which surprises me for a Herzog film. It's also the first Werner Herzog film which isn't weird.
May 3, 2014
Dive into the complexity of the death penalty and its implications as approached by a master documentary film-maker.
April 12, 2014
Buen documentar. Muy interesante!
April 5, 2014
phenomenal look into the death penalty and its faults
March 29, 2014
This is one of the most emotionally tormenting documentaries I have ever watched, and with good reason. It provides and new and dense perspective of capital punishment, following those convicted and the families affected. The documentary's greatest success is its portrayal of both sides of the story, almost free of bias. While Herzog might not be the best interviewer, his film is unremittingly dark, melancholic, and above all, important.
February 22, 2014
Werner Herzog is not just one of my favorite filmmakers, he's one of my favorite humans.
February 21, 2014
Very psychologically moving film about the effects of violent crime as well as the death penalty. Herzog does a fantastic job interviewing both the convicted men and the victims' families and is very non-judgemental, event hough he makes it clear he himself is against the death penalty.
August 9, 2013
This is one of the saddest film experiences I have been through in many years. To see so much sorrow and grief and despair within the same 20 miles of land is heartbreaking. Whether by luck or by hard work, Herzog finds and shows us a gem of documentary filmmaking. This might be my favorite work from him.
February 16, 2014
Beautiful and haunting in so many ways.
February 7, 2014
Shocked at the overwhelmingly positive reviews on this documentary. There is a good film in here somewhere, but its buried beneath terrible editing, shots that linger on for what seems like an eternity. All you have to do is watch the first 5 minutes of this movie, the priest finishes his bit, and then the camera lingers pointlessly on his face for (I'm not kidding) A FULL MINUTE. This type of blatant run-time padding cannot possibly deserve a 91% from critics. This is a 45 minute documentary with a run-time of 1:31.
December 16, 2013
Without taking sides, Werner Herzog's new documentary examines crime and punishment in the United States by following the story of Michael Perry and Jason Burketts killing of three people in order to steal thier vehicle, for which they were found guilty. One was sentenced to death row and the other recieved life. The film does not glorify or exploit any aspect of its subject matter. It uses intimate interviews and crime scene video to lay out all facts and feelings , from all sides.
From victims to criminals to executioner they all play a part on this canvas. A must see....
December 15, 2013
One of his best documentaries, and a beautiful film. I was completely engrossed from start to finish. Such strange, interesting people.
November 14, 2012
Here's a question: Is Herzog now officially the best doco maker in the world? He constructs his tales carefully and purposefully and this one is no different. He brings in characters really late again to pull the story in different directions, but leaves the viewer the space to adjust and change their minds on the issues at play. Herzog's interview techniques might rile some viewers, but I think he usually is spot on. Somehow he manages to give the interviewees exactly the right freedom to come out with the most telling of quotes, without allowing anybody to lose focus. The only gap in this particular movie is the omission of Perry's relatives. I assume they didn't want to be interviewed, but they would've been essential in illuminating his character and backstory. Otherwise a great film and a worthy contribution to the polemic on capital punishment.
October 10, 2013
Stunning and poignant.
Sometimes we promote a movie just by saying that its based on real life. But after looking at a person who was executed 8 days after the movie was shot knowing that he knew that he was going to die in 8 days and seeing his reaction to all of it. It was a terrific experience. In a way reminded me so much of my favorite director Ingmar Bergman cause it mirrored his way of moving into the troubled consciousness, the uncomfortable zone we always avoid, the perspectives and constructs we fail to see or sometimes choose to overlook in favor of more accessible philosophies.