Blindness

2008

Blindness

Critics Consensus

This allegorical disaster film about society's reaction to mass blindness is mottled and self-satisfied; provocative but not as interesting as its premise implies.

44%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 158

47%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 61,758

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

47%
Average Rating: 3.1/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.


Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Blindness Photos

Movie Info

When one man is struck blind while driving home from work, his whole world is turned to an eerie, milky haze. One by one, each person he encounters suffers the same unsettling fate. As the contagion spreads, and paranoia sets in, the newly blind victims of the "White Sickness" are quarantined within an abandoned mental asylum. But, inside the quarantined hospital, there is one woman who has only pretended she is blind in order to stay beside her husband. She will lead a makeshift family of seven people on a journey to break out of the hospital and into the devastated city where they may be the only hope left.

Watch it now

Cast

Julianne Moore
as Doctor's Wife
Maury Chaykin
as The Accountant
Alice Braga
as Girl with the Dark Glasses
Yusuke Iseya
as First Blind Man
Yoshino Kimura
as First Blind Man's Wife
Danny Glover
as Old man with the Black Eye Patch
Sandra Oh
as Minister of Health
Fabiana Gugli
as mother of the boy
Gael García Bernal
as Bartender/King of Ward Three
View All

News & Interviews for Blindness

Critic Reviews for Blindness

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (38)

  • The film is far from dull or careless but it's not convincing as a lesson in human frailty. If you're going to subject us to this much degradation, it has to be irresistibly believable, not just relentless.

    Mar 27, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • I have to admire a mainstream movie that's so overwhelmingly bleak, but that's the only real distinction of this dystopian sci-fi drama.

    Dec 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Sadly, 'Blindness' may realise its director's worst fear: to produce not only an exploitation B-movie but one, paradoxically, spoiled by its own integrity and misplaced 'artistic' mise-en-scène and intentions.

    Nov 21, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Meirelles, along with screenwriter Don McKellar and cinematographer Cesar Charlone, have created an elegant, gripping and visually outstanding film.

    Nov 21, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Stilted, claustrophobic and more stylish than substantial.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It's the rare movie that dissects the blackness of the soul; rarer still are ones that manage to find the darkness beautiful.

    Oct 6, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blindness

An entertaining movie with excellent acting and an intriguing plot that lost a few stars due to what I would consider illogical story elements. A In a nutshell, the movie follows a group of folks who fall victim to a blindness epidemic and get thrown into an abandoned facility by the military to be quarantined. One of the women, the always excellent Julianne Moore, is immune to the blindness but pretends to be blind so she can accompany her husband, Mark Ruffalo. The majority of the movie is a harrowing tale of how a growing population of confined blind prisoners with no care-taking provided (with the exception of providing rations). It's essentially an adult "Lord of the Flies." To describe my issue, I need to put a "spoiler alert" disclaimer before I continue. A nefarious faction in the "prison" begins to ruthlessly extort and rape the other groups in exchange for their rations which they then horde. Moore and Ruffalo's character establish that they are clearly intelligent and pragmatic as they keep their group civilized, yet Moore' rarely uses her ability "to see" to an advantage. How hard would it be to sneak in when the bad guys are sleeping and/or distracted before things get completely out of their control. She and the other women are repeatedly raped but it isn't until one of the women is killed during one of these episodes that she decides to do something about it. Sure, one of the baddies has been blind since birth giving him additional sensory abilities to detect sound, but having sight when everyone else is blind is a super-power that isn't used until very late. While it was likely done this way to increase dramatic impact, it's really lazy film-making. Other dramatic situations could have been introduced and improved the movie overall. Beyond that it is an entertaining twist on the apocalyptic drama.

Mark Beckford
Mark Beckford

Super Reviewer

½

The film begins literally conceptualizing the old expression: "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". Everyone everywhere goes mysteriously sightless all of a sudden, except Julianne Moore, and she uncomfortably has to discover just what to do with her new superpower. The work has ART stapled all over it, and MESSAGE FILM, too. Despite taking itself too seriously there are moments of lucidity, worth the wait, like Moore and Ruffalo's working together again. Either I'm getting older, or Moore has suddenly become a good actress ... or both maybe, yeah?

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

What would happen if everyone turned blind with no explanation or cure? Well, everyone but one person. This film is drawing a pessimistic picture of such a situation. The basic premise is very interesting, the following premise of the infected being held in camps entirely left to their own devices is already a bit over the top and more inhuman than reality, even if you are misanthrope. What follows is sometimes hard to stomach, a bleak, hopeless outlook on the loss of basic human values. It sometimes feels like the film is even going too far here. Once the one person who still can see finally makes use of that advantage, things turn around and the film gets a lot more exciting and makes for a much more convincing finale, that almost feels like a zombie film but at least keeps a ray of hope. The acting and camera work is outstanding either way. A disturbing film, but at least a memorable one.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

½

This movie is part of a long line of dystopic/social breakdown picutres, and it doesn't really bring anything new to the proceedings, but the specific concept at hand is actually kind of interesting. While this movie isn't as terrible as some have made it out to be, it's no masterpiece, and it could have been a whole lot better. It's a mess, but I give it some extra credit with the rating because of it's ambition, some really good individual sequences, and because the acting is really pretty good, even if the material is lacking. Julianne Morre's character is also quite intriguing and interesting, so that's also a plus. The way the the filmmakers choose to tell the story is interesting, but it's kind of annoying. Instead of trying to produce the expereince of going sightless, they should have just done it conventionally, instead of toying with sight and sound. I know they have good intentions, but a little goes a long way, and it gets tiring after the first 1/3 or so. I've never read the book this is based on, but maybe this should have just not been adapted. A few more issues I need to address are the length, pacing, and material itself. The film feels way too long, it drags, it could have been a little tighter, and this is just, in general, a really depressing and disturbing affair. It's also probably offensive to the blind community, even if it is just a "what if?" scenario. This is some hard stuff to sit through. It's bleak, unrelenting, and full of too much hopelessness. It seems like they were aiming for an artsy and thought provoking film, but end up with a tedious exploitation film with high production values and good intentions gone sour. Like I said earlier though, the specific variation to this unoriginal theme is interesting, and the characters (mainly Moore's) and performances are terrific. I'm undecided though as to whether or not it's a good thing that the epidemic and its conclusion are unexplained.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Blindness Quotes

News & Features