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Saraband Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The performances are perfectly distilled, but the traits I dislike in Bergman are all here -- self-pity, brutality, spiritual constipation, and an unwillingness to try to overcome these difficulties.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 2/4

August 5, 2005
Jeremiah Kipp

Bergman hasn't lost his touch. But he has lost his vigor.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 18, 2004
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The 85-year-old Bergman has proclaimed this his final film and it has the feel of closure. It also feels like the effort of a tired artist reworking the same themes.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: C+

July 21, 2005
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Saraband, flat and static both visually and thematically, doesn't begin to approximate the austere beauty of the director's art-house classics.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

August 5, 2005
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan

Bergman is an acquired taste. For my money, these folks are too self-involved and needy to sustain my interest.

Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan

July 30, 2005

Boston Phoenix

The sight -- and sound -- of Johan with his head between the speakers listening to the brutal Scherzo from Bruckner's Ninth Symphony tells you all you need to know.

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

July 16, 2005


It is existential gruel, ten portions of misery handed down from the master. Compelling and intense, it is also pitiless.

Full Review Source: Film4

August 7, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Powerfully, painfully honest.

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

August 4, 2005
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's title -- a lovely word that describes a sexy dance for two -- is either mordantly ironic or another instance of Bergman doffing his cap to the eros that courses through the most baleful of human relations.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

July 7, 2005
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

Bergman is still at the top of his game, every bit as much in control of his faculties for deciphering human misery.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 4/4

August 25, 2005
Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

An excoriating and revelatory experience, scrubbing away yet another layer of skin from the image that the director has created for himself.

Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You

June 21, 2005
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is just great filmmaking, great storytelling, and just stays with you for so long afterwards.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

July 18, 2005
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Like the Bach piece that gives it its title, Saraband is a stately, mournful movie.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

July 28, 2005
Eric D. Snider

Ullmann and Josephson are old Bergman pros and have evidently learned, over the decades, how to act the roles he assigns them naturally and flawlessly.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B

July 28, 2005
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine

Bergman has a sharp talent for observing human conflicts without claiming to fully understand them.

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

June 5, 2008
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like watching four people take turns trying to swim with one of the others clinging to an ankle. It's grim and gripping.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

July 8, 2005
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Saraband is a great masterpiece, and a true and fitting culmination to a major career.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 4/4

July 21, 2005
Brandon Fibbs

So many great directors seem to go out with a whimper. Ingmar Bergman has gone out with a bang.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 7/10

February 28, 2008
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

In Ingmar Bergman's magisterial last film, we watch family members bare their souls and in their faces we see intimations of the grand emotions which animate us all.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Original Score: 4/5

October 15, 2004
Kent Turner

Both a valentine to [Liv] Ullmann and a star-making film debut for [Julia] Dufvenius

Full Review Source: | Original Score: '2.75/5'

July 8, 2005
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