Salo (SalÚ o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
April 27, 2015
Its themes are so severe as to feel like a howl of despair more than an articulate statement of radical politics. But it is pure cinema
Anton Bitel
Scene 360
July 2, 2013
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.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
January 7, 2012
I can't think of a reason in the world that anyone should subject him or herself to this.
Eric Melin
October 27, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Simon Foster
September 30, 2010
By reputation alone, owning SalÚ should be enough to impress your cinephilic friends; watching it with them will be whole lot harder.
Cole Smithey
July 11, 2009
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 | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
October 18, 2008
It's very hard to sit through and offers no insights whatsoever into power, politics, history or sexuality. Nasty stuff.
Steve Biodrowski
August 27, 2008
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.
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
August 25, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
May 14, 2008
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 | Original Score: 4/5

TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 23, 2007
The result, despite moments of undeniably brilliant insight, is nearly unwatchable, extremely disturbing, and often literally nauseous.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 23, 2007
Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work.
Dan Fienberg
September 10, 2005
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
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
June 15, 2005
Shocking film.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 9, 2005
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 | Original Score: 1/5
Christopher Null
January 20, 2005
In all honesty it's a terrible, terrible experience -- but give the guy credit: It's certainly unique.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Rumsey Taylor
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
February 24, 2004
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.
Derek Smith
Cinematic Reflections
December 7, 2003
A difficult film to watch, but one that forces you to think
| Original Score: 4/4
Jeremy Heilman
March 5, 2002
I was more intellectually engaged than offended while watching it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Shane Burridge
August 24, 2001
A film from a text which single-handedly defined the term 'unfilmable'
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