The Look of Silence


The Look of Silence

Critics Consensus

The Look of Silence delivers a less shocking -- yet just as terribly compelling -- companion piece to Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing.



Total Count: 135


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,427
User image

Watch it now

The Look of Silence Photos

Movie Info

Through Joshua Oppenheimer's work filming perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered - and the identity of the men who murdered him. The killers live just down the road, and have been in power ever since the genocide. The family's youngest son, born after the genocide, asks how he can raise his children in a society where survivors are terrorized into silence, and everybody is terrorized into treating the murderers as heroes. In search of answers, he decides to confront each of his brother's killers. The killers still hold power, so these confrontations are dangerous. The killers respond with fear, anger, and naked threats. But he manages these encounters with dignity, asking hard questions about how the killers see what they did, how they live side-by-side with their victims, and how they think their victims see them. Through these confrontations, we feel and understand what it is like to live for decades encircled by powerful neighbors who murdered your children. The Look Of Silence does something virtually without precedent in cinema or in the aftermath of genocide: it documents survivors confronting their relatives' murderers in the absence of any truth and reconciliation process, while the murderers remain in power.(C) Drafthouse


News & Interviews for The Look of Silence

Critic Reviews for The Look of Silence

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (130) | Rotten (5)

  • Every scene weighs on the audience. But Oppenheimer and Adi manage to locate a lightness as well that lessens the burden.

    Jan 21, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Oppenheimer's follow-up, The Look of Silence, is more lucid but less interesting.

    Dec 1, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • "The Look of Silence" is so disturbing because so few people in it seem disturbed.

    Aug 28, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • A reminder that the architects of a massive tragedy remain present and unrepentant, the personification of the evil men do and a warning that it could happen again.

    Aug 27, 2015 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Killing focused on the surreal reenactment of mass genocide by its elderly perpetrators. Silence makes it personal.

    Aug 20, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The Look of Silence couldn't possibly equal its predecessor, but it's still a wrenching and unforgettable experience.

    Aug 13, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Look of Silence

  • Jun 17, 2016
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 11, 2015
    Despite its tendency to place more the interviewer at the center of the doc than its subject, and how his confrontation seems at times fruitless and misguided, this welcome follow-up to The Act of Killing is also revealing as it exposes a country trying to bury its past.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2014
    An interesting film that looks at the Indonesian genocide of the sixties. Unfortunately it comes on the heels of an Act of Killing which covers the same topic in a much stronger way. Not a bad effort, just not great.
    John B Super Reviewer

The Look of Silence Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features