Critics Consensus

It's a tad heavy-handed in its message, but Samsara's overwhelmingly beautiful visuals more than compensate for any narrative flaws.



Total Count: 78
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Movie Info

Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience. Samsara reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award-winning films Baraka and Chronos were acclaimed for combining visual and musical artistry. Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means "the ever turning wheel of life" and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern. -- (C) Oscilloscope

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Critic Reviews for Samsara

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (28)

  • One doesn't have to be a Buddhist to perceive themes of circularity and renewal in Samsara, but it takes that level of patience to suffer its frequent low points with silence and good humour.

    Oct 5, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A continuous flow of images of the natural world and the human tide that dominates it.

    Oct 4, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A Balinese dancer, an African tribesman, a disfigured marine, a Japanese stripper all stand composed, confident, and dignified, daring you to break the gaze.

    Sep 24, 2012 | Full Review…

    Ken Marks

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • Achingly beautiful and visually transfixing, Samsara offers a transporting vacation from the usual multiplex fare. It's a movie to get lost in.

    Sep 23, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • "Samsara" finds the world a little less blessed than it was two decades ago, yet still beautiful, which seems to be the movie's primary message.

    Sep 14, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Fricke and his crew capture such moments as a Hawaiian volcano erupting to life with a stunning, you-are-there clarity. But the film winds up being a collection of striking visuals without any emotional heft.

    Sep 13, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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