The Turin Horse

2012

The Turin Horse

Critics Consensus

Uncompromisingly bold and hauntingly beautiful, Bela Tarr's bleak parable tells a simple story with weighty conviction.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,764
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Movie Info

On January 3, 1889 in Turin, Italy, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, a cab driver is having trouble with a stubborn horse. The horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse's neck, sobbing. After this, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he loses consciousness and his mind. Somewhere in the countryside, the driver of the cab lives with his daughter and the horse. Outside, a windstorm rages. Immaculately photographed in Bela Tarr's renowned long takes, The Turin Horse is the final statement from a master filmmaker. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Turin Horse

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (19)

  • No movie could possibly live up to the monumental, forbidding grandeur of The Turin Horse's lengthy opening shot, but [Bela Tarr]... goes ahead and attempts the impossible, and comes frighteningly close to succeeding.

    Jan 8, 2013 | Full Review…
  • "The Turin Horse" is a parable, which means it's both very simple and very weighty. It's not about event and emotion, but duration and endurance.

    Jun 28, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie exerts an eerie grip, with echoes of Bresson, Bergman and Dreyer, but is utterly distinctive: a vision of a world going inexorably into a final darkness.

    May 31, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It feels like the creation story in reverse -- a terrible, unavoidable walk into the dark.

    May 31, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A magnificent, towering achievement.

    May 31, 2012 | Rating: 5/5
  • Through Tarr's meticulous vision, these ordinary hardships take on cosmic weight; this is tedium vividly rendered.

    Apr 6, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Turin Horse

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Turin Horse moves through six days time at a largo pace; the subject is burdensome. The shots are set up and progress very well. The film has a very somber and naturalistic aesthetic. If you can enjoy 2001, Tarkovsky's films, or nature documentaries then you may have the patience for this as well.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2015
    Dialogues (and monologues) have never been Tárr's forte, so it is wonderful to see him make a mostly silent and simple portrayal of the burden of existence in thirty hypnotizing long takes - the most visually and narratively well polished film of his career, yet ironically his last one.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2013
    <b>First Day</b>: Food and shelter <b>Second Day</b>: Touching, acquiring and therefore debasing <b>Third Day</b>: God watches all over you <b>Fourth Day</b>: Scarcity <b>Fifth Day</b>: Darkness and silence <b>Sixth Day</b>: Death <b>Predominant elements throughout the days</b>: A storm raging outside and moving everything that can be found in the air and on the ground, like trying to reach a destination, shadows, cotidianity occupying three alienated souls (two humans, one animal), a strong wind heard while outside, ghastly and scary wind sounds from the inside, repentance, mysteries unspoken, emotional detachment, water and potatoes. <b>Bonus feature</b>: Presented in the Second Day: A destructive critique to civilization throughout the centuries against authority and other godly figures attempting to establish their false omnipresence above everybody else, until a worldwide populace realizes that those trying to embody godly roles actually represent false promises and attempt to tear the system down. The moment in which the horse started to cry, my soul escaped my body and tears attempted to escape through my eyes. If this is meant to be the final testament from a film-making master, I shall embrace every single "post-neorealist" fragment and landscape he tried to represent throughout 5 decades, culminating in his most death-oriented statement composed by 30 shots with an average length of exactly 4 minutes and 52 seconds each. 98/100 P.S. It surprises me that this is the most acclaimed film by the director, and also the most famous. Not arguing about this master farewell's greatness, this wouldn't even be in his Top 3.
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2013
    To the casual observer, it might appear that there is nothing happening in the supremely deliberately paced, yet somehow oddly mesmerizing "The Turin Horse." Ohlsdorfer(Janos Derzsi) and his daughter(Erika Bok) might beg to differ, as this is life on their farm in microcosm that we are talking about. Granted, it is a hard life that usually consists of boiled potatoes for dinner and Ohlsdorfer's busted right arm not helping matters in the least. So, when a windstorm settles in for several days which their horse wants nothing to do with, their whole existence is under threat. However, as long as they have any brandy left, they should still be in good shape...
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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