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Salo (SalÚ o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) Reviews

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Anton Bitel
Scene 360

It... speaks to the authoritarian abuses of twentieth-century history - but it has also, thanks to the chilling (and unflinching) way in which it presents grotesque atrocity, proven as difficult as feces for censors to swallow whole, if at all.

Full Review Source: Scene 360

July 2, 2013
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

I can't think of a reason in the world that anyone should subject him or herself to this.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

January 7, 2012
Eric Melin

Pasolini illustrates his belief that society forces people to conform by making his victims turn on each other, then making the audience complicit. Just by watching, we are voyeurs, and Pasolini calls us out in the movie's final moments.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 27, 2011
Simon Foster

By reputation alone, owning SalÚ should be enough to impress your cinephilic friends; watching it with them will be whole lot harder.

Full Review Source:

September 30, 2010
Cole Smithey

Dramatically feral and artistically fertile, "Salo" is a rigorous movie that dares to use the metaphor of torture as a device of utter physical and psychological annihilation for both the victim and the torturer.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A+

July 11, 2009
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's very hard to sit through and offers no insights whatsoever into power, politics, history or sexuality. Nasty stuff.

Full Review Source: Time Out

October 18, 2008
Steve Biodrowski

Intended to be read as a caustic commentary on the evils of Fascism, Salo is marred by the uneasy perception that Pasolini (rather like purveyors of modern Torture Porn) is simply getting off on the abuse he visualizes with such delight.

Full Review Source: ESplatter

August 27, 2008
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

Fastidiously attuned to the denial of the comforting release of either eroticism or expulsion, Pasolini's boudoirs of perversion lack De Sade's scarlet hedonism. Quite the opposite, his boners reveal only the presence of spiritual rigor mortis.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

August 25, 2008
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

There's a sense of pure evil clinging to the film like nothing I've ever experienced. I do not believe this is unintentional, nor do I believe it is pointless.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 4/5

May 14, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

The result, despite moments of undeniably brilliant insight, is nearly unwatchable, extremely disturbing, and often literally nauseous.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 23, 2007
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 23, 2007
Dan Fienberg

There are absolutely fascinating ways of reading and understanding this Pasolini epic. But would I ever want to watch it again? Probably not.

| Original Score: 3/5

September 10, 2005
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Shocking film.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B

June 15, 2005
Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A perfect example of the kind of material that, theoretically, anyway, can be acceptable on paper but becomes so repugnant when visualized on the screen that it further dehumanizes the human spirit, which is supposed to be the artist's concern.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1/5

May 9, 2005
Christopher Null

In all honesty it's a terrible, terrible experience -- but give the guy credit: It's certainly unique.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2/5

January 20, 2005
Rumsey Taylor
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

For SalÚ, a film genuinely concerned with the nature and power of misanthropy, Pasolini's murder is a conclusive action; it is an example of martyrdom.

Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You

February 24, 2004
Derek Smith
Cinematic Reflections

A difficult film to watch, but one that forces you to think

| Original Score: 4/4

December 7, 2003
Jeremy Heilman

I was more intellectually engaged than offended while watching it.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 5, 2002
Shane Burridge

A film from a text which single-handedly defined the term 'unfilmable'

Full Review

August 24, 2001
Alberto Pezzotta
Senses of Cinema

The film stands on its own as an anti-fascist and anti-power statement, if a somewhat raw and confronting one.

Full Review Source: Senses of Cinema

May 29, 2001
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