Critic Reviews

80

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Slant Magazine
Béla Tarr is the cinema's greatest crafter of total environments and in The Turin Horse, working in his most restricted physical setting since 1984's Almanac of Fall, he (along with co-director Ágnes Hranitzky) dials up one of his most vividly immersive milieus.
100
The Turin Horse has a burnished beauty that's awe-inspiring, like a clear window into a faraway world as it dangles, and then falls, off the precipice.
100
The movie is too beautiful to be described as an ordeal, but it is sufficiently intense and unyielding that when it is over, you may feel, along with awe, a measure of relief. Which may sound like a reason to stay away, but is exactly the opposite.
100
A sumptuous masterpiece by one of the greatest moviemakers of all time.
80
Variety
Though ripe for metaphorical interpretation, the slender setup, about the fate of a horse seen beaten in the streets, gives arthouse audiences little to cling to, and will provide institutional and fest programmers a test-of-wills head-scratcher for their calendars.
80
Village Voice
An experience comparable to starting down the road with an empty sack then, over the course of the journey, having it weighed down steadily with rocks until you can't go on. But this backbreaking effect cannot be called an artistic failure. It is exactly what Tarr sets out to achieve.
70
Salon
I left the theater oddly exhilarated - to see daylight again was so great! - and, odder still, eager to see it again (although perhaps not today). Tarr's films can be arduous, even wrenching, but they're not boring. Watching them is something like visiting the world's most fantastic art museum and taking an ice-cold shower, both at the same time.
60
This quiet drama is not for everyone. It may not even be for fans of Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr, whose spare, naturalistic films can be, well, trying. (The director has said that "Horse" will be his final film.)
40
The Hollywood Reporter
By this time, cinematographer Fred Kelemen's mostly stationary camera has revealed about all there is to see in a fine array of textures in such things as the wooden table, the rough floors, the walls of stone, the ropes on the horse and the skin on the boiled potatoes. That does not, however, make up for the almost complete lack of information about the two characters, and so it is easy to become indifferent to their fate, whatever it is.
40
Even on its own limited, rigorous aesthetic grounds, there are far superior movies (including all of Tarr's own work). It's a sad way for the 56-year-old to go out, almost a caricature of his funereal mood and of art cinema in general.

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