Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by
A supremely cranky and lyrical feat.
Like many of Mr. Herzog's movies, fiction and nonfiction, Encounters at the End of the World itself has the quality of a dream: it's at once vivid and vague, easy to grasp and somehow beyond reach.
A deranged penguin is seen racing toward his certain doom amid the crags of a mountain range. It may not be "Happy Feet," but Herzog has made a penguin movie after all.
The A.V. Club
A sort of distracted, freewheeling form of inquiry and observation drives Encounters At The End Of The World, a loosely constructed documentary that seems to have been made on a whim.
Encounters may lack the power of, say, the Herzog doc "Grizzly Man," because it has no bigger-than-life character at its nexus, but it does confirm the filmmaker as an iconoclastic master.
Midway through, an eerier theme creeps in, all the more powerful for Herzog's lack of insistence. By the "end of the world" he means the end of the world.
The Hollywood Reporter
Retains considerable entertainment value on the strength of Herzog's never-dull, very personal narrating style.
Resultant picture -- one of Herzog's best and most purely enjoyable -- may lack the built-in curio factor of "Grizzly Man."
Village Voice
Perhaps because Herzog is approaching old-master status, Encounters at the End of the World skews toward the observational. As in "Grizzly Man," his 2005 portrait of a deranged bear lover, Herzog seems at least as fascinated with other people's obsessions as his own.
It's a loosely bound collection of miscellany filmed at the McMurdo Station, a 1,000-person settlement of researchers in Antarctica, during the five-month "austral summer" of round-the-clock sunlight. Herzog was sent to Antarctica by the National Science Foundation with carte blanche to make whatever movie he wanted--all he could tell them for sure was that it wouldn't involve penguins.

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