Into Great Silence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Into Great Silence Reviews

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Ted Murphy
Murphy's Movie Reviews
January 11, 2007
Simply put, the film goes on much too long. There's no real shaping of the story, no real structure to the documentary. What on paper sounds like it could be a fascinating prospect in execution turns out to be something of a snooze.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
February 26, 2007
A non-verbal contemplation of time in itself and of man's place in that dimension, 'Into Great Silence' is striking visually but a trial for viewers.
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 29, 2007
[Some] viewers are likely to consider this nearly three-hour, nearly soundless documentary as a chance to catch up on their sleep.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
October 27, 2006
Though there are dozens of images here that you might want as a computer-screen saver, Into Great Silence does not add up to a valuable or engrossing documentary.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jim Slotek
Jam! Movies
October 27, 2006
What seems to happen when you watch a movie in near total silence is that you become almost sensory-starved -- a meditative state by definition, I suppose.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
April 27, 2007
After an hour or so, you can appreciate Gröning's meditative pacing - but by the end of the second hour, contemplation may be overwhelmed by an itch for a good car chase.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
April 27, 2007
Makes you wish [director Groening] would have kept the film to about 90 or 100 minutes. A little time spent in the monastery is fine, but nearly three hours is an endurance test.
| Original Score: 2/4

Baltimore Sun
May 12, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: D
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies
June 27, 2007
By the final third of the documentary, we evolve to a state of envy - envious at their resolute commitment and their utter faith - and even the most cynical atheist might find himself convinced that if anyone will find God, it is these men.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
March 7, 2007
Their silence is full to the brim with incidental sound that functions as both score and narration in this hyper-empathic film.
Leo Goldsmith
Reverse Shot
March 5, 2007
The film's "great silence" is, like much of monastic life, an ascetic ideal to be pursued, but never attained.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 29, 2007
Watching Into Great Silence is like running a marathon or reading the dictionary: worthwhile, but you're glad to be done with it.
| Original Score: 3/4
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
February 28, 2007
Already easily ranks as one of the great cinematic documents of our time.
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
January 15, 2008
Something to behold.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
February 28, 2007
A mesmerizing mood piece which steeps the viewer in the humbling stillness of monastic life, thereby inducing reflection upon one's own relation to God versus the trappings of technology and the rampant materialism of modern society.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze
January 7, 2008
The Silence Before Bach: Illuminates a complexity of ideas, including the passive reflection prior to creative conception and organic to musical formulation and the space between sounds, that fascinate the filmmaker, both musically and cinematically.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 27, 2006
Viewing Into Great Silence is meant to mimic the experience of living with the monks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
March 16, 2007
Gröning's extraordinary new documentary... beautifully bucks the trend of so many recent documentaries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Brandon Fibbs
Christianity Today
June 25, 2007
I have never before experienced a greater example of utterly transcendent filmmaking.
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
June 13, 2008
Despite his restrictions, Groning finds light and shade, contrasting the natural - more chaotic world - with the regimented life within the cloister.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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