Standard Operating Procedure Reviews

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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June 23, 2008
Morris offers valuable new perspectives on Abu Ghraib, but the paying customers may not care to go there again.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 6, 2008
Standard Operating Procedure feels like a historical work in progress, brilliant, thought-provoking but incomplete.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 6, 2008
As unappetizing as the subject may seem, Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure exerts a hypnotic pull anyway.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 6, 2008
Truth is a matter of perspective in director Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure, a piercing look at the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and the aftermath of their discovery.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
May 30, 2008
The result is a devastating film, and an important one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 23, 2008
Probes deeper than any other Iraq war documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
May 23, 2008
Standard Operating Procedure encourages us not to judge but to try to understand. Or, barring that impossibility, it prods us like the finest documentaries to watch and listen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 23, 2008
Morris marshals the witnesses, demonstrates that photographs are unreliable evidence, and leaves a verdict to the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
May 16, 2008
Morris explores the reality of Abu Ghraib with a visceral intensity that straightforward reportage could never allow.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 9, 2008
Morris widens our understanding of the real crimes that took place there. This is where the movie becomes not just a slant on history but also a vehicle for broadening our understanding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 5, 2008
Sometimes painful to watch, but a movie that must be seen.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 2, 2008
The singular achievement of SOP is reminding us that truth is always a slippery construct, made all the more so by the fallible human mind and the ever-blinking eye.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2008
Focus is really the heart of Morris' unsettling film, which strikes a remarkable balance between art and disturbance, between beauty and pain.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 2, 2008
This film by the masterful Errol Morris gets closer to the actual events than any of them, with probing interviews of soldiers who were involved and careful scrutiny of the hundreds of photographs retrieved from three digital cameras at the prison.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 2, 2008
Completely unlike anything I was expecting from such a film -- more disturbing, analytical and morose.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 2, 2008
The movie's a staggering work that traces the rotten blossom of this scandal close to its roots.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 2, 2008
Standard Operating Procedure begins with the terrible volumes spoken by the photos, and then, after interviewing the guilty soldiers holding the camera, it forces us to look outside the pictures' frame to see what is obscured.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 1, 2008
A misjudged degree of cinematic dazzle obscures the outrages at the core of Standard Operating Procedure, director Errol Morris' first documentary since The Fog of War, and the first Iraq documentary to focus on the infamous Abu Ghraib photo
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 25, 2008
Indisputably an impressive piece of documentary filmmaking. Whether that makes it a great document about what actually happened at Abu Ghraib is a separate question, and one that goes to the heart of Morris' project as a filmmaker.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 25, 2008
Standard Operating Procedure's subject matter, and what it says about the war in Iraq, is eye-opening. It may be the most disturbing film you'll see in a long time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 25, 2008
This film does have Morris' estimable style, grace and control. From the very first moment, as the music starts and the images of Iraq begin, we feel as if we're being led someplace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 25, 2008
those hoping to see Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - if not President Bush - get a cinematic racking in Standard Operating Procedure are going to be disappointed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 25, 2008
Morris mixes piercing sit-downs with disturbing evidence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
April 25, 2008
All I am arguing here is that Morris's manner of relating this story is very often quite inappropriate to its substance.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 25, 2008
At this late date there is little that is factually revelatory about his film, but as a human document of what people are capable of in wartime, it's indispensable.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 25, 2008
It is, predictably, a bleak, depressing movie, but if you stick around through the end credits, you may also be in for a few surprises.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
April 24, 2008
Working from interviews with many of the key players, Morris investigates the Abu Ghraib case with all the rigor of his film The Thin Blue Line, and comes away with an equally convincing argument for miscarried justice.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 24, 2008
The most chilling thing about the film is how hard it is to completely separate yourself from those guilty U.S. soldiers. Now who in the world would want to go see that?
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 24, 2008
You probably won't find a more illuminating account of what happened within the walls of Abu Ghraib.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Fear
Time Out
April 24, 2008
Standard Operating Procedure never offers concrete answers; it lets the perpetrators explain themselves straight into the camera, and we're left to sift through the testimonies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 23, 2008
As Spc. Jeremy Sivitz puts it with great understatement, 'When you're in war, things change.' Morris forces us to ask ourselves what we would have done in their position, whether or not we like the answer.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 23, 2008
Since The Thin Blue Line's remarkable intervention, Morris's work has grown more public and more problematic -- lofty yet snide, a form of know-it-all epistemological inquiry.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 21, 2008
See Standard Operating Procedure for its riveting narrative, for the way it keeps looping back -- to the swirls of Danny Elfman's night music -- to the basement of Abu Ghraib.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
February 13, 2008
It seems like Morris...misses the bigger picture.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
February 13, 2008
Adds relatively little insight to the public understanding of wayward military behavior.