(2011)

Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
In Darkness is an extraordinary movie, and somehow good art creates its own uplift.
91
The fine Polish director Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa) pays her respects with a daringly murky-looking movie that demands viewers enter the void too and meet Socha and his Jews as real, flawed men and women behaving in flawed ways under suffocating conditions.
88
In Darkness is gloomy and hard to take for a running time of 145 minutes, but it's an important film, related with deep conviction, and uncompromising in its understanding of the remarkable things members of the human race have done - to, for, and against each other - in the wilderness of war.
85
The elephant in the room of any discussion of Poland and the Jews is that country's less-than-glorious record of betrayal and collaboration with the Nazis. Holland, who is half-Jewish and whose mother was active in the Polish Resistance, doesn't shrink from that legacy.
80
What makes this nominee for the best-foreign-film Oscar singular among Holocaust movies is the way it characterizes the banality of life underground.
80
It's a transformation as wrenching to watch as it is vital to remember.
80
This story of suffering and almost inadvertent humanitarianism is harrowing, engrossing, claustrophobic and sometimes literally hard to watch.
75
In Darkness is an agonizing experience, especially when Jews are publicly humiliated in the streets and a driving rainstorm nearly drowns those cowering in the depths. Holland means to shake you. In Darkness has the power to haunt will haunt your dreams.
75
The filmmaker, whose career took off with a very different sort of Holocaust film, 1990's Oscar-nominated "Europa Europa," understands that most of these stories arrive at a point of unspeakable, incomprehensible horror.
75
The movie also glows bright with life and hope, celebrating the innate human instinct to push onward and persevere, even in the face of incomprehensible evil.
55
Rather than beginning with the assumption that there is no possibility of our coming to know that kind of suffering exactly and using imagination and insight to truly take us inside the Lvov Jews' plight, Holland makes the base conditions of their confinement a narrative as well as aesthetic priority. And frankly it's boring as shit.

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