The Bridge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bridge Reviews

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July 19, 2016
Everyone seems to be really divided on this movie. I think that it was a great movie but it could've been much better.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a really popular suicide site. This documentary talks about the people who committed suicide and it shows interviews with the family's of those who killed themselves.

It was a very difficult decision to use actual footage of those who committed suicide but the director was brave enough to do it. The film also got controversy because Eric Steel lied on his permit to the Golden Gate Bridge. This was a very risky film to make because if word got out about it then more people could try to jump to have their deaths recorded. Also, it was shown that suicide rates on the Golden Gate Bridge did in fact increase since the film was released.

But all controversy aside, this was actually a good film. It contains an honest look at suicide and the director tried to pay as much respect as possible to the people who lost their lives. Eric Steel looked for the families of the people who lost their lives and he compassionately interviewed them for the film.

This movie also has several powerful scenes which can be hard to watch. But this movie's power doesn't really come from its content as much as it comes from the emotional piano score. It's real simple but it's very effective at getting emotions out of the audience. The most powerful scene is the opening in my opinion.

But while this is a good work of art, I don't feel that it is really great. After watching the interviews for about an hour, I didn't feel like I was growing substantially from the film. I know that it had a message and I got it but I really didn't feel much of an impact because of it. Also, it can be quite disheartening to know that when someone died on film, the cameramen likely felt satisfaction knowing that they got footage for their film.

However, the fact that they refused to tell the family's that they filmed the deaths of their loved ones can be excused because they were trying to do their best to make sure that word didn't come out that they were filming suicides. If it did then they could have caused more suicides as some people would want their deaths to be immortalized on film.

In conclusion, this is a pretty good film. It could've been better if they worked on the message of the film more but I still found it to be a powerful film which is an honest look at suicide. I also feel that because of its controversy, it has become somewhat overlooked and misunderstood. I for one liked this film. I'm not sure if I'd watch it again but I do feel that people should give it a second chance.
June 19, 2016
One of the most raw & confronting documentaries I have seen that stays long with you after the credits role. An ambitious film in which the director placed cameras on the shore just away from Golden Gate Bridge visually documenting all 24 Suicides that year.

The director then goes to interview all the loved ones about the impact of these suicides. The first story that shocked me was a young man who jumped but changed his mind & landed properly but miraculously survived.

The final story which is by far the most tragic & affected me profoundly, the story of Gene a charismatic black rocker who had so much going for him (even a call back from a Video Game Shop offering him a management job on the day of the suicide) and the final moments of the film capturing his tragic leap to freedom.
½ April 2, 2016
Certainly a controversial one and, I must say that I went expecting that controversy to be mostly unfounded- I wasn't particularly worried about the film's intentions and I expected something quite interesting. Unfortunately, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth- indeed it just feels like there's something missing here.

My issue is not simply with the recording of the suicides/them not being prevented- there is certainly a moral discussion to be had here, but I'm honestly not that interested in looking into the filmmaker's justifications in this regard.

My issue amounts more to what is simply a lack of depth on the film's part, that unfortunately does not fit well with the frequent clips on the last moments of people's lives. Multiple friends and family members of suicide victims come forward with their own interpretations of the lives of the individuals in question. The whole film is really just that and then clips of said people jumping from the bridge.

To me, there is just something missing here and it's the film's fatal flaw. I hear countless possible explanations for why these people did what they did but I get no real understanding of who they were. There's also the issue that some of the people interviewed seem to be (understandably) dealing with their own issues, and I'm not sure that the filmmaker was ever really able to engage with the full emotions of the people that he spoke to. These things alone are disappointments but it's understandable given that the victims can't speak for themselves. However, when you combine this surface-level understanding of a person and then show me that same person jumping to their death, I find it hard to see what the film is really trying to achieve. What exactly am I, or any audience member, gaining from this work?

As the film concludes, we're shown one man sitting around the bridge, before then taking his own life. Over this footage there is some dialogue, including the following "Why he chose the bridge? I don't know... maybe he just wanted to fly one time"

Whilst watching, I had some remarks of my own- Why on Earth am I watching a man jump to his death, only to be told that he "maybe" did it because he wanted to fly? I can just imagine the film being edited- "insert the clip of the death here, and then add some of the interview talk over it- now we've got something worthwhile". I beg to differ.

I just can't ignore the divide between the visceral nature of this film and the little insight that it actually offers. I recommend 'Boy Interrupted' instead as it's a far more powerful and insightful work around suicide than this mess is.

Having said all of that, I watched this film for a reason and, whilst I was disappointed, I can't deny that there is something about the subject matter that I find interesting. So many lives ended in the same spot and so many other lives impacted by it- I think there's enough there to justify a film such as this one. However, such a film would have to tread with caution and provide its audience with a clear justification so as to be worthwhile- such a film would have to offer something true and, unfortunately 'The Bridge' offers none of this.
½ April 1, 2016
Roughly every two weeks somebody jumps off the golden gate bridge and very few survive. I think that this documentary maker had a cameraman sat there for a few months filming people who looked like they might jump. Film them killing themselves and then interviewing their friends and family to try and get an insight into what may have led to this tragic end. Put like this, it sounds like an inexcusable project to embark on but it has resulted in a fascinating documentary, especially for us lucky ones who can't understand what drives somebody to such lengths.
February 16, 2016
Fact: more people go to the Golden Gate Bridge to kill themselves than any other place on the planet. A devastating, somber portrait of the lowest of lows, all taking place during one year. There's nothing uplifting about this film. Not for the faint of heart.
January 18, 2016
Mesmerising and troubling documentary about those who jump to their death from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. None of the interviewees can pinpoint why their friends/colleagues/children/siblings elected such a dramatic end, and at times the film skirts uncomfortably close to voyeurism. But at its best it's a poetic and sincere meditation.
½ January 13, 2016
Hard to watch at times, but very well made and not pushing forward any agenda like bad documentaries tend to do. Very good film.
October 6, 2015
An Eerie, gripping, thought provoking if somewhat romanticised look at Suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in 2004. A difficult yet fascinating film that will make you consider the places the human mind can go during the depths of despair.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2015
Inspired by an article from The New Yorker, The Bridge is a provocative documentary about suicide. Focusing on jumpers from the Golden Gate Bridge, the film interviews the family, friends, and witnesses of several suicides. Also included is some raw footage of a couple of jumps and attempts that were caught on film. However, no context is provided to understand why people choice the bridge as a method of suicide or how they die. And there's no deeper discussion of suicide and its aftereffects. Yet despite its rather surface approach, The Bridge is an oddly fascinating documentary.
September 14, 2015
Got to admit...this one stayed with me.Fascinating and morbid but it will sure as s@#t grab you and you'll remember it.
July 20, 2015
Life changing. Haven't forgotten this even years later. Heartbreaking, disturbing and divisive. Shines a light of uncomfortable feelings.
July 14, 2015
The Bridge is a gripping film. I was on YouTube one day and somehow ended up watching a video dedicated to Eugene Sprague who jumped from the bridge. I had a lot of different emotions while watching. I have suffered severe depression for as long as I can remember. My father dying when I was 10 really kicked in big time. I have had suicidal ideation and even attempted it a few times. I was very drawn to the film and found myself wishing I could have been there that day and tried to help. Then another part of me envied Gene and watching him fall backwards off the bridge and just fall into the water. There was no flailing of his arms. He seemed at peace and a part of me wished I could do the same. The main reason I am alive and writing this review is more to do with fear I have of actually doing the final act. Mainly the guilt I feel knowing it would destroy my mother if I killed myself. Once she passes, I don't think it would take much to push me over the edge.
½ February 17, 2015
Incredibly morbid fare from Netflix. Terribly fascinating documentary about people who choose to commit suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge.
January 25, 2015
I'm not easily disturbed, but this movie made me made to curl into the fetal position and weep for a couple days...
½ December 2, 2014
Stumbled across this last night whilst routing around Amazon Prime for The Broen TV series. Shocking and incredibly sad. I'm still processing it, but it emphasises the need to prioritise mental illness as a condition and not an indulgence and has made me want to live my life as best I can...
September 26, 2014
Morbid and very sensitive, but also fascinating. The Bridge is a documentary for most fans of the documentary genre, but you may want to avoid it, if your not comfortable with disturbing content
September 15, 2014
The Bridge is such a sensitive piece that just trying to come up with some words to review it is quite hard. But as soon as I added it to my list and had an in-depth read of what it was about, I saw it the same day.

The documentary sets up as it means to go on very early with an on screen death and just continues to shock and really make you think. I think the worst shots of all are ones that are just a static shot of the bridge and after awhile you'll just see a splash in the water and while the bridge might have looked nice at first, by the end it just looks like a monster.

The stories of the people who had family and friends commit suicide at the bridge is, needless to say, hard to watch but it is very compelling, you feel for these people. Although it might be a bit taboo to say this, this is for the majority of the people who are interviewed. There are some that treat the friend or family member like they weren't human after their passing which I won't get into but even one of the people who thankfully survived, his family started to treat him like an alien, and like he said, 'I just want to be normal again'. His story was probably the most heartbreaking of all.

The film does raise some questions, even though I have read that the film crew alerted the authorities when they suspected someone would jump, and while they at least tried to do something, I still don't really know how to feel about the fact that they were waiting there, essentially, to film people dying so they could use it for commercial gain. I just started thinking about, if I could ever do something like that and the answer was no!

Saying that though, is it morbid or sensitive? Is it disturbing or fascinating? It is all of the above and none of them at the same time. The documentary is very neutral and just tells it like it is and leaves it up for the viewer to decide, which might lead into one of the negatives. At 95 minutes the film doesn't really offer any answers to its topic, there might not be any for one, but seeing people dying for an hour and a half with no real conclusion is its biggest positive and weakness. It is good that it doesn't take a side and lets you think about the topic without clouding your judgement but on the other hand, it doesn't take a side so you don't really know what the message of it was and, again, maybe there isn't one.

I only have one real complaint about the filmmaking, about half way through there is a scene with really upbeat music while it shows images of the bridge and it felt insanely out of place, I was contemplating skipping it but thankfully it wasn't on for very long.

Besides being a very strange topic to be your début and be a film in general, The Bridge is compelling and very honest and will stay with you for a long time after you watch it and it will be all you can think about for some time, be you repulsed or emotionally devastated. It might not provide any answers but perhaps that wasn't the point as it makes the viewer think a lot for themselves, namely, why haven't they done anything to prevent suicides at this bridge, yet?
½ July 3, 2014
An expectedly sober documentary that concerns itself with the unsettling allure of the Golden Gate Bridge as a popular suicide destination. It's sad but not mopey, interspersing long, lingering frames of the bridge in various weather conditions (often punctuated by a sudden, jarring splash beneath the span) with reflections upon the jumpers' troubled lives by their friends and family members. In a way it's heartening that so many of the subjects are calm, collected and rational about the event, having properly worked their way through the various stages of grief and come out the other side. They're changed, but they're also intact. Footage of the jumps themselves, collected through a year-long observation via telephoto lens, offer a vivid glimpse into these poor souls' most private moments. They vary from startling to heartbreaking, and often border on the voyeuristic. In one sense, it feels improper to share that intimate moment of climactic decision with strangers, but in another it lends their stories a sense of magnitude. These aren't just names in a list, empty faceless stories without a tether to our own reality - they're distinct individuals, emotively struggling to cope with something that's too large for their own conscience. As we hear the tale that led them to such a dark pit of despair, we see them quite physically grappling with that maddening choice. It's some of the most inarguably real footage I've ever seen on film, but I guess the greatest question here is; how real is *too* real?
April 16, 2014
Why were the filmmakers videotaping people committing suicide instead of trying to save them? It's that parasitic state of humanity that makes people kill themselves.
April 14, 2014
You know we've been to Mars, right?
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