Into The Abyss - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Into The Abyss Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
November 15, 2011
Watching Into the Abyss, I had the overwhelming sense that, somewhere along the way, Werner Herzog lost his way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph (UK)
March 29, 2012
The extensive use of lurid crime scene videos and subtitles set in a naff typewriter font sit uneasily with the director's opposition to capital punishment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
November 10, 2011
What is missing is something new - clarity, insight, outrage. Instead, its understatement is ultimately its undoing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Nick Schager
House Next Door
November 4, 2011
Rarely has Werner Herzog seemed less capable of infusing a nonfiction inquiry with poetic depth than with Into the Abyss.
Sarah Boslaugh
January 25, 2012
I doubt anyone would give Into the Abyss a second look were it not directed by Werner Herzog.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
November 10, 2011
Herzog's film examines the taking of life, whether the person who is dying is a criminal...or a woman interrupted while making cookies, as Stotler was, but it does so in an oddly distanced manner.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 10, 2011
It's really just a rambling episode of A Current Affair.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 11, 2011
What could have been a well-aimed examination of the most troubling contradictions of capital punishment instead becomes a maudlin, unrestrained wallow.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
November 18, 2011
Herzog is an eloquent interviewer/documentarian. Yet his technically flawless film leaves you reeling emotionally even as you wonder why, and why now, he's turned his lens on the American way of crime and punishment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Will Leitch
June 22, 2013
A virtuoso work, unparalleled in Herzog's career. And it'll just break your heart.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Adam Ross
The Aristocrat
September 27, 2012
This is humane, fascinating documentary filmmaking that is willing to confront insurmountable issues. And as is the case with most true crime material: truth is stranger than fiction.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
June 30, 2013
A smart documentary that takes sides in the death penalty debate but never shies away from the horrendous crimes at the center of the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Emily McMehen
Electric Sheep
March 30, 2012
The honesty of the flesh, the absurdity of the sacred, the enduring equivalence of meaninglessness that all men share. Into the Abyss: a Tale of Death, a Tale of Life finds its foothold here.
Ian Buckwalter
December 8, 2011
Herzog unforgettably shows how when you pull tight the straps on men who've lain down to die, it leaves a mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Landon Palmer
Film School Rejects
November 19, 2011
Herzog proves a formidable guide through several controversial conditions of American life: notably crime and punishment, and living with death.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
December 28, 2012
Herzog is empathetic and non-judgmental, even as his interview subjects try to rationalize their lives, declare their innocence and the like.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
November 24, 2011
The title Into the Abyss could serve for any of Werner Herzog's documentaries, but this portrait of death row inmate Michael Perry is perhaps the least Herzogian film in his nonfiction catalogue.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
November 17, 2011
Into the Abyss is both affecting and frustrating, the work of a smart and sensitive filmmaker who, much like the justice system he confronts, mistakes half-formed ideas for profound truth.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Philip Concannon
The Skinny
February 23, 2012
Yet another intriguing and surprising film from this ever-fascinating documentarian.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 14, 2011
[Herzog] simply means to show us things as they are - and in this corner of Texas, just north of Houston, things are undeniably violent. And mean.
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
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