The Act Of Killing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Act Of Killing Reviews

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February 2, 2018
A fantastic film, showing a different way to approach a documentary.
June 5, 2017
One of the best documentaries - and movies - of all time.
January 13, 2017
'The Act of Killing' is a harsh and necessary reminder that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer chronicles some of the most vicious people in Indonesia by getting the inside scoop from the horses mouth. These "gangsters" are proud and all to willing to talk in great detail of how they eradicated "communists" from their home country. The result is a sickening and graphic portrait that deserves watching. It's captivating, yet the viewer may need to step away from time to time just to catch his or her breath.

It's a great display of when journalists sit out and side with power and pretend they are doing their job what can happen to a society.

Watching this may be a necessary evil for those who don't believe a democracy can be oppressed by a few strong men who accumulate power.
December 12, 2016
Wow. What a radically disturbing film. Murderers, torturers, and rapists acting out their own atrocities perpetrated at the political will of the Indonesian government - 2.5 million communists murdered in 1965-66. And it still happens today, just not in such great numbers. Newscasters smile and young people cheer as they relate their terrible deeds. Worse than any horror movie.
December 7, 2016
Demand to be seen. Life-changing.
October 19, 2016
My bones are forever chilled after watching this film.
September 30, 2016
Words can't describe. This may be the best film of the decade. Just watch it.
½ August 30, 2016
It's hard to look at this with bare eyes. Everybody who watched The Act of Killing gets traumatized. You should be.
½ July 30, 2016
This is one of the strangest and most disturbing films I think I've seen. The visuals are amazing in parts and some of the scenes will infuriate you and stun you.

I knew very little of the Indonesian genocide from 1965, but after watching this, I understand it a little more. The way one group labels another group as "communists" (and they use that term loosely to describe undesirables such as Chinese immigrants, left-wing thinkers, intellectuals, etc...) and then label themselves as "gangsters" which they interpret as "free men" is mind boggling.

Even though I enjoyed the follow up movie called "The Look of Silence" more, this is still worth a watch if you want something very different than the mainstream Hollywood movie and you don't mind reading the entire movie (it's nearly entirely subtitled). It really makes you think.
½ July 19, 2016
Shocking, extraordinary and brilliant. I've never seen a documentary like this.
July 12, 2016
This documentary has a very simple premise. Take people legally endorsed to kill 2.5 million "communists", therefore sanctioned to do anything, and ask them to reminisce on their proud achievements by staging re-enactments. Mostly focuses on Anwar Congo, a famous executioner revered for killing one thousand enemies of the state. Maybe what happens when he plays the role of the victim in these re-enactments is predictable, but more powerful and shocking than you can expect.. Let's be frank, not an entertaining watch, but educational and sobering? you bet. Thanks James Root for another excellent loan.
½ June 7, 2016
Formal review:

One man free. One man not free. Born free?
Psychopathy > empathy. Gangster = free man. I don't love them hoes. Check grandpa out... caught red handed showing feelings, showing feelings of an almost human nature... THIS WILL NOT DO! CALL THE SCHOOL MASTER!
½ May 29, 2016
What the fuck, Indonesia?
½ May 13, 2016
Watching former executioners reenact the crimes they are still proud of themselves for committing is warped and painful. The "film" they produce is somehow both disturbing and charming. The former mass-murderers are so simpleminded and lack any self-awareness of how awful their crimes were.
April 30, 2016
"We murdered people & were never punished." Ok I was looking to watch the Oscar nominated Documentary, The Look of Silence but then I remembered that was a companion piece to The Act of Killing which is by the same filmmaker. Also nominated for an Oscar back in 2014. I will say this is of course a really good documentary, done very well. I just couldn't handle it. I found it very upsetting & at times very hard to watch. Yes I like learning about things that go on in the world. But listening to a group of Indonesian death squad leaders talk about how they killed people with no remorse & reenact their killings was very emotionally draining. I just feel sad & sick. It's also why it is so good. Because it's raw & real, how a documentary is supposed to be. I'll never watch it again but I think if you can handle this type of story you should definitely check it out! In awe of the filmmakers behind this :)
March 31, 2016
Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" is bold, unrelenting, thought-provoking, and unforgettable. You will never see another documentary like it!
March 17, 2016
I've heard high praise from this documentary which from the the title, it got me curious, but also worried from what the movie would show. The Act of Killing is the most disturbing documentary I've seen which I know that people would find hard to watch. When the people were talking about how they killed a lot of people and what they get in return, it's very unsettling to listen to. When they reenact killing people and hearing the other people suffer for it, it's one of the most disturbing parts of the documentary and I had a hard time looking at the screen during it. The interviewers are really interesting even though it's not one of those kinds of documentary movies that do it like that, which I really like. The history behind it is really creepy, and it's surprising how it's pretty much legal to kill in that country. The Act of Killing is one of those films that you have to see to believe, and even when I couldn't look at the screen at times, it never took me out of the movie and just find it compelling.
½ March 2, 2016
This documentary has not stopped haunting me. While it was extremely difficult to watch, it was incredibly gripping. The gradual peeling away of the main character's persona and subsequent self-realization was absolutely horrifying. This film truly invokes a visceral reaction of disgust, horror, and shock, which is necessary given the topic at hand. Brilliantly executed, one of the most powerful documentaries of all time.
February 10, 2016
It's so chilling and bizarre how the subjects recall their stories. Sometimes so matter of fact and cold and nightmarish. The way the filmmaker got them to open up was ingenious. You can really see the wheels turning as some of them come to grips to the war crimes they've committed. And all of it juxtaposed with the modern day madness of their world.
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