Son of Saul - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Son of Saul Reviews

February 25, 2016
Nemes, in his first feature, is a bold, experimental voice with a clear vision -- a filmmaker to watch and study for years to come.
February 17, 2016
Formally riveting, emotionally shattering, and astonishingly confident.
February 12, 2016
Brutal and brilliant, "Son of Saul" may be the most harrowing film ever made about the Holocaust, which should give you an idea of how hard it is to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: A
February 4, 2016
An appalling, overwhelming descent into the heart of the Holocaust.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 29, 2016
A harrowing immersion into the lives of a lesser-known caste of prisoners in the camps. The film's ultimate message, however, is a puzzle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 28, 2016
You will never shake this film off, ever, and that is a powerful and enriching thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 28, 2016
Easily the most exciting new film I've seen over the past year.
January 28, 2016
Nemes has made a gripping film almost entirely free of movie heroics or placating visual strategies. It's not an easy experience. Nor should it be.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 27, 2016
There are numerous powerful Holocaust movies available but I don't think I've ever seen anything that offers the kind of grim, you-are-there perspective of Son of Saul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 21, 2016
On the whole it's daring and committed, and in Röhrig's tremendously focused performance, it honors all the saints we'll never know.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 21, 2016
It is a marvel of aesthetic control, speaking almost entirely from images, giving the film a documentary feel that it earns the hard way and puts to worthy use. We have entered a place where a false step could be fatal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 21, 2016
Offers a crushing view of humanity at its most desperate, and a view of one man's fevered efforts to find grace and dignity amid the horror.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 17, 2016
The movie is at once clinical in its accumulation of small details and dreamlike in its execution, a waking nightmare through which Saul somnambulates, the audience right alongside him.
January 15, 2016
...a riveting, fascinating account of one man's struggle, in the face of terrible suffering, to salvage human dignity through a single act of religious piety. (Not that it's ever stated so prosaically, or stated at all. There is no need.)
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 14, 2016
Finally, a cinematic genre heretofore mired in pietistic melodrama and safe aesthetic distance has been blown open and virtually reinvented, even the well-known contours of its subject matter reinvested with urgency, meaning and mournful honesty.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 14, 2016
The opening sequence achieves the outer limits of film art. Movies simply don't get more powerful than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 14, 2016
For all its intensity, Son of Saul is never ponderous. It moves so quickly, and relies so little on dialogue, that you need to race a little to keep up with it, and to keep your eyes open every second.
January 14, 2016
A Holocaust drama like you have never seen before.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
January 8, 2016
The movie doesn't expand in your mind - it shrinks along with its protagonist, its conclusion a reductio ad absurdum.
December 24, 2015
Director László Nemes films within a very claustrophobic and shallow-focused frame, bringing home the reality of the Nazi horror while also leaving much terror to the imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
December 18, 2015
It's not an easy sit, but it is a riveting, effective one.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
December 18, 2015
[A] tense, harsh, and superlative Hungarian drama [with a] compellingly ambiguous script.
Full Review | Original Score: 100/100
December 18, 2015
Right away, we know we're in the hands of a director who wants to tell the story of the Holocaust from a different perspective than we've seen before in films: a more personal, intimate one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 18, 2015
A Hungarian masterwork from first-time director László Nemes. You don't merely witness horror, you feel it in your bones.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 18, 2015
If the direction at times seems a little restrained, a little formalist - how else do you tell this story? What other choice do you have apart from simply giving one long, raw scream?
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 17, 2015
The filmmakers have created an intensely stark and visceral representation of this hellish place, and the cinematography is intimate and stunning.
Top Critic
December 17, 2015
Information - including the gassing of victims - is conveyed less by images than by complex, ominous sounds. The audience is the midst of horror, yet can barely discern it.
December 17, 2015
It's a beat-the-clock thriller wrapped around an allegory.
December 17, 2015
Son of Saul is a movie from which it will be very difficult to turn away from, though it will be nearly as difficult to watch.
December 17, 2015
Good movies summon up worlds. "Son of Saul" [is] a great movie ...
December 17, 2015
No matter how many Holocaust films you've seen, you've not seen one like this.
December 17, 2015
"Son of Saul" is a work of superlative filmmaking craft and moral intensity.
Top Critic
December 17, 2015
Son Of Saul, for all the enormity of its subject matter, is an oddly gripping experience-a vision of intense purpose found in what may be the final hours of a life. It's also a pretty stunning formal accomplishment ...
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 16, 2015
It's a harrowing story, as Tamás Zányi's sound design spells out the horror left in soft focus behind Rohrig's head.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 15, 2015
It's impossible to be a lover of cinema without having been down this road before in films like Schindler's List and The Pianist. But Nemes is telling his story in a revolutionary new way-and it's devastating.
Full Review | Original Score: A
December 15, 2015
What we see and don't see, what we hear and don't hear - all rigorously determined to evoke a historical evil as fully as possible without marinating in it.
December 14, 2015
The remarkable thing is that "Son of Saul" is a début: Nemes has never directed a full-length film before.
October 9, 2015
Elevator Pitch: A uniquely honest Holocaust drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 15, 2015
A powerful aural and visual experience that doesn't quite manage to sustain itself over the course of its running time, but is a remarkable -- and remarkably intense -- experience nonetheless.
September 15, 2015
Nemes' ability to inject the material of a concentration camp survival story with bracing cinematic energy is all the more impressive because it's the writer-director's first feature.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 15, 2015
The tight focus on one character to the exclusion of everything else can be exhausting to the viewer, but it never comes across as just a gimmick; it's too central to the story Nemes is telling.
September 12, 2015
It is unlike anything you have seen before-a film that constantly uses the tools of the form to produce emotional impact and yet doesn't allow that formal rigidity to defeat its human element. It's unforgettable.
May 22, 2015
An Auschwitz-set drama that's numbing, provocative and impossible to unsee.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
May 14, 2015
Hungarian helmer Laszlo Nemes and actor Geza Rohrig make a powerful debut with this grim, unyielding Holocaust drama.