Cristi Puiu deliberately courts a frustrating obscurantism that at times plays like an intriguing mystery and other times just baffles.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's an intellectual wheeze, but too chilly to connect.
| Original Score: 3/5
Puiu, who also directed, goes too far in making the movie's violent undertone feel like just one more bit of modern malaise.
| Original Score: 2/5
A murder movie languishing in a suicidal stupor. Save some strength to crawl out of the cinema.
Define the movies however you want -- escapist bits of fun, illuminations of the human condition, comforts or challenges -- and Aurora would still fail miserably.
| Original Score: 1/5
Another hefty slice of eastern european life - even longer, even slower and even glummer.
| Original Score: A
It does reward close attention - and its final act comes very close to being worth one of cinema's more epic waits.
An endurance test that nevertheless invites fascinating contemplation for its darkly comic view of crime (and cinema) as manual labor.
A quiet, steady burn filled with stretches of unsettlingly reverberant silence cleaved in half by a midpoint eruption of violence. Here there is before, and then there is after.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's a fascinating, mesmerizing commentary on our thirst for the sensational...
Puiu's special approach to the realist aesthetic ensures that 'Aurora' rings unusually true. Superb stuff.
...if Mr. Lazarescu was swallowed up by bureaucracy on his final journey, "Aurora's" protagonist wades through it on his way to deliver death.
Cristi Puiu's Viorel is about as ambiguous a character as I have ever seen. He does not evoke sympathy since he is a blank, unreadable cipher, but one that fascinates because he is so inscrutable.
| Original Score: A-
It's not the most cheerful film, but it's not a dirge.
Aurora is not a movie to make you glad that you exist; it's a movie that makes you aware that you do.
It's a masterly film that draws us into a world controlled by unseen forces, but it concludes, intentionally, by compelling (not inviting) us to explain why Viorel acts this way.
"Aurora" proves that Puiu is no one-hit wonder.
| Original Score: 3/4
It's Puiu's talent to transform it all into a highly disturbing portrait - both of an individual and a society.