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Sound of My Voice (2012)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 11

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,156

My Rating

Movie Info

In Sound of My Voice, Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), a couple and documentary filmmaking team, infiltrate a mysterious group led by an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling). Intent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the followers from her grip, Peter and Lorna start to question their objective and each other and they unravel the secrets of Maggie's underworld. -- (C) Fox Searchlight


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Oct 2, 2012


20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (104) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (26) | DVD (1)

As a thriller, 'Sound of My Voice' tails off and its budget shows. But for Marling it's an impressive calling card.

July 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Sound of My Voice" at once dramatizes and questions the power of belief.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is a huge difference between an unexpectedly sudden ending (like The Sopranos) and a non-ending.

May 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing wrong with asking viewers to fill in some holes. But "Sound of My Voice" leaves you dangling, reaching out for something that's just not there.

May 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (3)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Behold the trials and tribulations of going undercover. It doesn't matter if it's cop or journalist, a muddying of purpose takes hold once a mole plunges deeper into the darkness.

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The intelligence in it is both soothing and intimidating.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Acted with a subtle nuances throughout, this film's ambiguous ending will elicit much discussion, while the film's delicately handled politics are refreshingly two-sided.

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

Sound of My Voice is a too-rare example of intelligent, ambitious genre filmmaking.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Sound of My Voice is an eerie film that is completely supported by the performances. It's deliberately vague, which can sometimes be annoying but works fine in this setting.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

It does look like it was made for a buck and a quarter and is sufficiently ambiguous to be taken as profound.

May 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A cracker of a film about the seductive power of cults... the film rides largely on the haunting, compelling presence of Marling.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

Either Maggie is the real deal, or she's lying, or we never find out. In any case, anticlimax seems inevitable.

November 22, 2012 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Sound of My Voice is an interesting approach to indie sci-fi and a solid introduction to Batmanglij and Marling as bright new talents.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

A compelling low-budget film which would have been even better if co-writer Marling could wean herself off an infatuation with infuriating conclusions.

September 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman

A light puzzler that's not as complex as a rubix cube but more akin to a simple cryptic crossword

August 29, 2012 Full Review Source: The Popcorn Junkie
The Popcorn Junkie

This isn't a movie that needs, or even welcomes, neat ends. Rather, it imagines the world as it is: messy, confusing, and rarely ever black and white.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Another thought-provoking fable from Another Earth's Brit Marling.

August 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Argh! Actor and screenwriter Brit Marling has done it again! She's come up with an intriguing science-fictional concept as the basis for an indie arthouse drama -- and she doesn't know what to do with it.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

The setting up is better than the working out, and a third act is desperately lacking.

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

[A] bumpy but watchable cult-penetration thriller.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Proof that you can create nerve-scraping twilight zones without A-list stars or CGI.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Brit Marling's latest film comes up with another interesting idea - in this case, two film-makers infiltrating a cult - that fizzles out infuriatingly.

August 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

For two-thirds this held my attention but it becomes clear the story is an elaborate tease with no answers or proper third act.

August 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A few clumsy but forgivable moments aside, this is a subtle and downright creepy film.

August 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Smartly written, well made and superbly acted indie thriller that makes the most of its low budget and confirms co-writer/star Brit Marling as a talent to watch, though it's slightly let down by a frustrating climax.

August 1, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

It's a small scale movie with some big ideas.

August 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Sound of My Voice

I great idea ruined by a bad script and a poor choice of cast. Brit Marling was perfect in her role, suspicious, untrustworthy, Innocent and ultimately contradictory. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius however, played it well over the top and their characters are badly written. Was this supposed to be a fake documentary? that's how it started, did they just give up on that halfway through because they lost patience? It seems very amateurish, small budget aside. I forgave Brit Marling for the ending in Another Earth but I'm not sure I can do the same here.
October 16, 2013

Super Reviewer

In the end of 2011, I was amazed and struggling with pessimism and optimism, Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Mike Cahill's Another Earth, respectively. The idea of another Earth was more breathable, especially in times of the end of a year where you are supposed to say out loud New Year's resolutions. And then, Kepler-22b was discovered.

I put Melancholia and Another Earth together because it was a way to analyze and discuss skepticism and belief within a more scientific than religious point of view. No, I wasn't worried with the prophecies for 2012, but I got impressed with the following discoveries of a planet being devoured by its star. Perhaps, deep inside I asked myself: and if? So, in this New Year's Eve, a little bit disappointed once everything remained the same, I decided to rewatch Another Earth. I haven't noticed before that Brit Marling, the lead actress, co-wrote the script with director Mike Cahill, what took me to another movie also co-written by her: Sound of My Voice. That's curious to note how the work of some (most?) writers/directors is really connected (a succession of different ideas leading to a homogeneity) . There's a line in Another Earth that is, for me, the exactly connection between both movies:

"Within our lifetimes, we've marveled as biologists have managed to look at ever smaller and smaller things. And astronomers have looked further and further into the dark night sky, back in time and out in space. But maybe the most mysterious of all is neither the small nor the large: it's us, up close. Could we even recognize ourselves, and if we did, would we know ourselves? What would we say to ourselves? What would we learn from ourselves? What would we really like to see if we could stand outside ourselves and look at us?"

The Sound of My Voice can be seen as the separation line between the micro and the macro, probably where we, as humans, really stand. If another Earth put us in perspective, the sound of my voice reveals us: unsure, fickle, afraid, starving for salvation and certainties.

For me it was clear and obvious that the movie was a view on humanity and not on sci-fi; that it was way closer to Martha Marcy May Marlene than to Another Earth. Until I read an interview of Marling, Zal Batmanglij and Christopher Denham (who played Peter) to Milk Made and started to wonder: am I that skeptical?


Reviewing some scenes, rethinking some points, the answer is no. The script has some holes that don't seem to be intentional, at least not in the concept of open-end. If we clear see childhood abuse and, perhaps, its consequences in the character of the cult leader it's because of a sequence of scenes where after Maggie describes an abusive situation/memory, we see Abigail with her dad (that, in a previous scene, is already portrayed to look like a sexual abuser about to act/attack) and start to glue the pieces of what we saw before. There're lot of signs, right from the beginning*, and they are so many that they tend to induce us to be sure that Maggie is a fraud. But isn't that part of the game? I wouldn't belive that we are talking about a flimsy script. That, that is perhaps a trap. A trap to show us how similar we are from Peter - narrow-minded, self-involved, pretentious - and how, like him, we would easily end up eating the poisoned apple.

"What do you wanna do? You wanna go back to our normal lives. That's fine. We can do that. I can teach all day. You can stay home and write and surf the web. And on the weekends we can get wasted at various art installations or sneak forties into random foreign films. And then it's suddenly, like, we wake up and, whoops, where did our 20s go? But somewhere in the Valley there is a woman living in a basement who claims to be from the future. She's actually amassing followers. These people who believe that she'll lead them to salvation or whatever. And, yes, she's dangerous, but we have to see this thing through all the way or we're chumps. Don't you wanna do something that matters?"

*Maggie wakes up in a bathtub in some motel room. She has no idea of who she is , she can't remeber anything but her name and birthdate. She wanders aimlessly through the streets, living on the edge. Klaus, that had heard about her, finds and takes care of her. In some weeks she starts to remember some things, violent images. She thinks she has lost her mind, until Klaus explains to her who she is. What does that sound like? Pretty much like any fanatic cult after their messiah, no? But the only question that really intrigues me - because throughout the movie I never doubt that Maggie was a con artist - is how Peter and Lorna found out about the cult.

** I like that: "Time travel doesn't mean that the person who comes back isn't ordinary. If the military, let's say, in the future develops the ability to time travel and a soldier comes back, that's a very human person who's flawed and difficult and complicated and likes video games and listens to his iPod."
January 2, 2013

Super Reviewer

Equal parts baffling and unsettling, with a gritty realism and hypnotic stillness that proves quite mesmerizing and menacing at the same time. Britt Marling has a remarkable screen presence that makes you question and then re-question your ability to correctly perceive what's happening in front of you. Engrossing and memorable.
July 9, 2012
Tracy Kenderdine

Super Reviewer

This is one of those movies that you just can't stop talking about after you watch it. Some will love it, some may hate it (I kinda did) but I cannot deny that this was worth watching as it raised some serious questions about faith and personal beliefs.
July 5, 2012

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Sound of My Voice

    1. Maggie: Do you know what's in that apple? Logic. Bitterness. Intellectual Bullshit.
    – Submitted by Sam S (20 months ago)
    1. Maggie: See the anchor is the sign of a traveller and the number fifty four refers to where I come from, twenty fifty four. Your future.
    – Submitted by Zoo C (2 years ago)
    1. Maggie: What are you hiding from me?
    – Submitted by Zoo C (2 years ago)
    1. Maggie: Every life is death, and most deaths are suicides. Some are just more gradual than others.
    – Submitted by Matthew M (2 years ago)
    1. Abigail Pritchett: Who is she?
    2. Peter: I don't know.
    – Submitted by Gabriel F (2 years ago)
    1. Peter: To see her is to believe her.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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