| Original Score: 3/4
| Original Score: 3/5
| Original Score: 4/5
Punch lines and outrage come easy, but beware: If you walk into this film with a secure moral judgment, prepare to have it shaken by the time you leave.
Zoo, despite its elegance, teeters on a tightrope; by relying primarily on words from men who seem reluctant to talk much about what happened, it ends up having little to say.
| Original Score: 2/4
This experimental-style documentary invokes the waking dreams of David Lynch, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris. It's like a true-crime inquiry undertaken during a total eclipse.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Devor has an eye; this is clear. If he trades some of the poetry for a little prose next time out, he'll really have something, whatever his subject.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Devor's moody style (silhouettes, reenactments, an ominously throbbing score) only heightens the sleazy Dateline NBC feel.
Zoo is a cool sensibility married to a hot topic, a poetic film about a forbidden, unsettling subject.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
You could wander into this poetic documentary willing to be sympathetic toward its subject -- men who have sex with horses -- and still find Zoo cryptic and borderline bogus.
| Original Score: C
Jenny Edwards, the animal rescuer who intervened on the stallion's behalf, admits of zoophilia, 'I'm right at the beginning of being able to understand it.' Can we?
| Original Score: 4/6
[The filmmakers] insist, none too convincingly, that animals are capable of consenting to fulfilling their sexual needs. Wilburrrrr!!
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Filmed with visual beauty and conceptual taste -- too much so, say the film's detractors -- it's an eerie glimpse into a secret world.
As artful and delicate as director Robinson Devor tries to be with his documentary's disorienting material, the enterprise bogs down from the weight of its artistic intent and mannered methods.
Zoo is, to a large extent, about the rhetorical uses of beauty. It is, rather more coyly, also about a man who died after having sex with a stallion.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Zoo is hardly a brief on behalf of the practice, but it does treat those who engage in it as something more than just contemptible freaks.
Zoo avoids any taint of exploitation, but it errs on the opposite extreme. I came away from it wanting a little less Art and a lot more simple reportage.
I can't believe I'm thinking about this stuff, but weirdly grateful to Zoo for going there.
The artiness -- and the ambient drone -- of Zoo becomes oppressive, but it's still a ride like no other. I guess I couldn't suppress the urge to make dumb jokes. Call me a neigh-sayer.
Robinson Devor and his accomplished crew expand our concept of the documentary film.
This film will confuse and surprise you. For the most part these guys seem like gentle, lonely and odd people, poorly socialized to human life.
The film's dramatic re-enactments, shot in lush 16mm by cinematographer Sean Kirby, create a fascinating blurring of the line between narrative and documentary storytelling, reminiscent of the work of Werner Herzog and Errol Morris.