• PG-13, 1 hr. 39 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    Ron Fricke
    In Theaters:
    Aug 24, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jan 8, 2013
  • Oscilloscope Pictures


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Samsara Reviews

Robert Koehler
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January 22, 2013

AV Club
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Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

January 22, 2013
Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
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One doesn't have to be a Buddhist to perceive themes of circularity and renewal in Samsara, but it takes that level of patience to suffer its frequent low points with silence and good humour.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 5, 2012
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
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A continuous flow of images of the natural world and the human tide that dominates it.

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

October 4, 2012
Ken Marks
New Yorker
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A Balinese dancer, an African tribesman, a disfigured marine, a Japanese stripper all stand composed, confident, and dignified, daring you to break the gaze.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

September 24, 2012
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Achingly beautiful and visually transfixing, Samsara offers a transporting vacation from the usual multiplex fare. It's a movie to get lost in.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

September 23, 2012
Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
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"Samsara" finds the world a little less blessed than it was two decades ago, yet still beautiful, which seems to be the movie's primary message.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

September 14, 2012
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
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Fricke and his crew capture such moments as a Hawaiian volcano erupting to life with a stunning, you-are-there clarity. But the film winds up being a collection of striking visuals without any emotional heft.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2/5

September 13, 2012
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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"Samsara" is a ravishing visual experience, but it carries a message that at least some viewers will find less than compelling.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

September 7, 2012
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
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The result is like an issue of National Geographic gone mad.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

September 6, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Samsara stares at Asian temples, African tribesmen, and chickens bound for slaughter with the same blank eye.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

September 6, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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A world of wonders without a guide or an agenda, "Samsara" rewards a leap of faith.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 4/4

September 6, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Fricke's Super 70 Panavision camera gives us ravishing images without comment, allowing us to infer whatever connections we choose.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

September 6, 2012
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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Any sincerity inherent in the project is overwhelmed by the manufactured awe of its godawful New Age score.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

September 6, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"Samsara" is gorgeous. And sometimes, depending on expectations, looks are enough.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

September 6, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Filmed over five years, in locations in 25 countries, it is the kind of experience you simply sink into.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

September 6, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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I'm not convinced that Fricke's movies are much more than exalted travelogues, but you certainly feel as if you've been somewhere after you've seen one of them.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

August 31, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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The makers of "Samsara" want to free our minds, but their technique makes us their prisoners more often than not.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

August 30, 2012
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
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There may be no words within "Samsara," a visually startling work of global cinematography. But there is a narrative, one by which the movie undermines itself.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 30, 2012
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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Fricke's film reminds us there's an inspiring world out there, but his approach is badly in need of creative rebirth.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

August 28, 2012
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
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Spectacular vistas shot in 70 millimeter are a fine way to spend time in a movie theater.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 24, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
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A ridiculously ambitious cinematic experiment, a poetic and impressionistic visual essay shot entirely on 70mm film under exceptionally difficult conditions in dozens of locations scattered across five continents.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 23, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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The world "Samsara" gives us is strange and beautiful, and in places disturbing, but it also seems manageable, even in its vastness, and perhaps too easily consumed through beautiful images.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

August 23, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Fricke and Magidson, who shot on 70mm film, have found some extraordinary beauty.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

August 23, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Visually, it's often remarkable - even if, like those multicolored sands, it too quickly slips away.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 23, 2012
Alison Willmore
AV Club
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No film can possibly capture the human experience as globally and completely as Samsara attempts to, but there's something stubbornly endearing about the way it tries and the surrender it demands ...

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

August 23, 2012
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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It's the equivalent of eyes-agog wonderment and New Age communion. But it's not enough.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

August 21, 2012
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
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Outs Fricke and Magidson as high-minded aesthete snobs.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 21, 2012
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