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Standard Operating Procedure Reviews


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

October 18, 2008
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
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October 18, 2008
Jonathan F. Richards
Film.com
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Morris offers valuable new perspectives on Abu Ghraib, but the paying customers may not care to go there again.

Full Review Source: Film.com

June 23, 2008
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Standard Operating Procedure feels like a historical work in progress, brilliant, thought-provoking but incomplete.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

June 6, 2008
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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As unappetizing as the subject may seem, Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure exerts a hypnotic pull anyway.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 6, 2008
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

June 6, 2008
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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The result is a devastating film, and an important one.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

May 30, 2008

Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Probes deeper than any other Iraq war documentary.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 23, 2008
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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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 Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

May 23, 2008
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Morris marshals the witnesses, demonstrates that photographs are unreliable evidence, and leaves a verdict to the audience.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

May 23, 2008
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
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Morris explores the reality of Abu Ghraib with a visceral intensity that straightforward reportage could never allow.

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

May 16, 2008
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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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 Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

May 9, 2008
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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Sometimes painful to watch, but a movie that must be seen.

May 5, 2008
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

May 2, 2008
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Focus is really the heart of Morris' unsettling film, which strikes a remarkable balance between art and disturbance, between beauty and pain.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 2, 2008
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 2, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Completely unlike anything I was expecting from such a film -- more disturbing, analytical and morose.

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

May 2, 2008
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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The movie's a staggering work that traces the rotten blossom of this scandal close to its roots.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 2, 2008
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

May 2, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 1, 2008
Dana Stevens
Slate
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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.

Full Review Source: Slate

April 25, 2008
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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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 Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 25, 2008
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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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 Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

April 25, 2008
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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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 Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

April 25, 2008
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Morris mixes piercing sit-downs with disturbing evidence.

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

April 25, 2008
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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All I am arguing here is that Morris's manner of relating this story is very often quite inappropriate to its substance.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

April 25, 2008
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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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.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

April 25, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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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

April 25, 2008
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: A

April 24, 2008
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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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 Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

April 24, 2008
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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You probably won't find a more illuminating account of what happened within the walls of Abu Ghraib.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 4/4

April 24, 2008
David Fear
Time Out New York
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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 Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/6

April 24, 2008
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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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.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

April 23, 2008
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 23, 2008
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

April 21, 2008
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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It seems like Morris...misses the bigger picture.

February 13, 2008
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Adds relatively little insight to the public understanding of wayward military behavior.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 13, 2008
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