Derren Brown: Sacrifice (2018) Poster

(2018 TV Special)

User Reviews

Review this title
20 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Not his best
DannX6822 October 2018
I am a big fan of Derren Brown, through the years he has made me laugh, think, and be struck with awe. This, however, felt a little too staged at times. I get that they have to edit it down to a length and pace that don't scare people away, but it would have benefitted from 10-15 minutes more. I was entertained, though.

What baffles me the most, is the other reviewers here who bash it for its "political agenda". To you I will just say, that when you write stuff like this, it looks like you're okay with people hating, and killing, others for no good reason. Also, you obviously didn't pay attention, as Derren ended the show with talking about how both extremes could come together to find a solution. But maybe you had already turned out, because you were hurt that they told you that killing is bad. Seeing this as a political agenda doesn't reflect well on you. Not killing shouldn't be a left or right issue, it should be a human issue.
23 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Sometimes, I feel he gets it wrong...
barmybramgaming19 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
And although this show was mighty close to crossing the line, the empathy I had for Phil during the show was tremendous. I feel like I've just watched a miracle happen. Really good show, always been a fan of Derren Brown and this is one of his best experiments by far!

Bravo 👏
25 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Forced
tinohann22 October 2018
Huge Derren fan but his latest release felt very forced and over politicised. Although the main protagonist wasn't an actor it had the feeling that he was in the way he was so forthrite in his views, yet showed a huge amount of compassion when these beliefs were challenged with very basic tasks. Just didn't have that usual uniqueness you come to expect with Derren. It feels like he may almost have some sort of writers block and new releases are now just rehashed versions of older projects. This had the feel of other stuff he's done just in a political guise but despite all that I was still entertained.
18 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Beautiful concept, but with fake execution.
waleedalzuhair27 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I like the concept, don't live your life based on the choices made by other people (and their agendas). But live your life based on what is right & fair.

The fake part.. As a photographer, I'm always paying attention to the scenes and gear (cameras/lights/microphone/cables) placement. There is no way the scenes were candid, everybody had to be aware of the video and audio recordings.

Although I liked the concept, but I didn't like the delivery.
15 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Disappointing
dougmacdonaldburr17 November 2018
I am a big fan of Derren Brown and I have been for a long time. He is extremely talented and his work is completely unique. This project is very creative and well executed. I found the participant very likeable. Sadly though, whatever this has going for it is tainted by the underlying political propaganda. I think Derren should be allowed to incorporate his political opinions into his work, but, I have the right to criticise him for doing so. I watch his content to be entertained, I can make up my own mind about politics. Since Donald Trump became President, I have lost so much respect for entertainers I used to love. I don't mind that they have different political opinions to myself, I just wish they weren't all so relentless about forcing their views on me. To put this in perspective, being a conservative and watching this, would be like me making a show where the overall message is 'you should go to church' and making a famous atheist like Derren watch it. Overall I liked it enough to watch it, but, it is certainly not my favourite thing Derren Brown has ever done.
16 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
An idea that has gone well
ehsunassadi19 October 2018
A brief and concise video on how to stimulate humans and even change their old beliefs. But it went well by appropriate person otherwise it would not go well.
16 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Good entertainment, but infuriatingly invalid
rabbitmoon29 October 2018
I feel like Derren just likes coming across as a devilish manipulator. Sometimes he likes making people do bad things (rob an armored money carrier, assassinate someone, push someone off a building) other times like this he makes people do something heroic (save a falling aeroplane, survive an apocalypse).

Regardless, he'll give it some positive pithy spin in terms of how we can all be better people blah blah blah, and not resist giving wry little edited-in smirks while nasty things are happening. Oh Derren you devil you!

The problem here is in the concept of 'making' someone do something. There's a bizarre conflict in telling the person they did it all by themselves, are a hero etc, while implying throughout the whole show that actually no - it was Derren that made them do it using all his 'clever' manipulation.

Sacrifice was like a reversal of Heist - using a bunch of empowering techniques (misdirected as NLPish embedded commands, anchoring and whatnot, but who really knows what goes on behind the scenes, I'm sure some strong hypnotic suggestibility and dual-reality helps enormously with the results), and little jingles to push a particular action. The whole point of his methods is how easily people can be influenced and manipulated, so leaves us none the wiser as to what a person would 'really' do in the circumstances - so its all pretty irrelevant.

By the time he's using it as some symbol of how 'whats possible when he step outside of narrow narratives we tell ourselves' I just cringe. Its no more inspiring or educational than a lame Facebook picture quote. Make your mind up Derren - do people really have a 'choice' or are we all influenced by one agenda, cause, trigger, stimuli, narrative after another? Find me a racist bigot who 'chooses' to take a bullet of his own free will to save the target of his racism, without all the grooming/suggestion/empowering/obvious-tv-expectations/manipulation and I'll be inspired.

By the way - how could the guy in the car, after hearing the often-played jingle play TWICE in a row, NOT realize the scene is part of the TV show? Of course he would, part of him would absolutely know its all part of an elaborate role-play linked to what's happened before, so he's going to act according to expectations. Its all a bit contrived and nonsensical, but still enjoyable as entertainment.
16 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Derren Brown's best yet
Jimsonite7 November 2018
This was such a well made and thought provoking documentary. It shows how complex yet malleable the human brain really is.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Expecting a different outcome
benback-4057921 October 2018
In The Push, there were four participants but we only followed one for much of the show. So throughout this, I was expecting an end that was different from what actually happened. The journey was amazing and really powerful. It's a shame that some of the other commentators can't see past their political views to see what happened for it was. Watch and it will make you wonder what you would do.
10 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
It does seem like a typical fraud
kolomeets23 October 2018
As it starts and Daren keeps repeating and repeating his main show idea words , you realize it is nothing more but a plain boring theater. Pretty lame plot. Sorry
15 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Hubris and Hypno-manipulation
MogwaiMovieReviews5 May 2019
I've always felt a great ambivalance for Derren Brown: I've watched everything he's ever done, but always with a strange mixture of admiration and cringing discomfort, due to the exploitative nature of his work, and how much further he crosses the line in manipulating his 'victims' lives and minds than other stage magicians.

Then there's the interjection of his own beliefs and opinions about the world into his act, such as his shows about faith healers and mediums, which it's hard to divorce from his strongly held atheism. In that instance, I think most people would forgive him, since outing charlatans can never really be that bad, can it? Doesn't everyone benefit from that?

But this one pushes the line even further, through being so explicitly political, specifically pushing a Democrat/'liberal' open borders party line over immigration.

Now, concerns about mass immigration - and especially illegal immigration, as in this instance - are widespread all over the western world today, are strongly affecting the outcome of all elections, and are probably shared by going on half the population. So to depict anyone sharing those concerns as simply a racist white nationalist is arrogant, crass and condescending, but that is what Brown does throughout, with nary a flicker of self-doubt.

What is most insulting is the depiction of anyone not sharing his own political beliefs as someone needing 'curing' of their wrongthink, pathologizing the opposing political viewpoint and then openly manipulating a person's mind to change them into line with how he would choose them to vote.

I found the ease with which Brown would be happy to manipulate the political opinions of another human being, in another country, to be actually quite chilling.

The whole thing was way, way too partisan and preachy. If you don't think so, try imagine him making a show about hypnotizing a Guardian/HuffPo reader into seeing how catastrophic unchecked mass immigration is, and how they need to do something drastic about it RIGHT NOW. And, having come to that conclusion, that's the happy ending.

Well, maybe that will be Derren's *next* show.

On top of that, as other reviewers have already pointed out, it really feels as though he's about run out of ideas, and so is only focusing on finding new ways to dress up old tricks we've seen so many times before in new and headline-grabbing ways.

For all of this, it's still done very well, and as usual with Brown, it feels on a much more lofty level to anything else one could try to put forward as 'competition'. So it's still 'entertaining', I guess, but very troubling, too.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Fishy somethings?
booradlee23 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
To the commentor who thought the guy lived in England, did you put down your phone long enough to actually pay attention? He clearly said a few times that he lived in Cocoa Beach, Florida. When he left the "documentary" filming he went back to Florida to his normal life. He also stated during the DNA reveal that he would have sworn that he was from England, so perhaps he got the tattoo as a symbol of his faith to his supossed ancestry. Or perhaps it is all a ruse. Whatever the case he still claimed those two important factors. Anywhoodles, I enjoyed the show and whether it was real or staged it shows what is truly important for humanity; to love and accept each other for who we are on the outside. However, be cautious of what lies within and don't be afraid to stand up to it. And damn right it's politicized. Everything single thing we do is affected by politics and if you can't see that this current administration is dividing us, on many fronts, you are blind.
5 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Clearly staged-don't bother.
kevfrey11 November 2018
No way is this real. At one point, an "all of this is true" subtitle shows on the screen while the host explains to the rube that he is part Israeli - uuuhhh, no. That's not how genetics work. There is no "isreali" blood, a country founded in the 20th century with multiple ethnic groups.

Also, all "candid" dialogue is so completely, obviously written (the rube's "diary" video) that it seems like an audition tape for The Young and The Restless. GTFOH.

Great interview on Joe Rogan, which turned out to be just another set of lies.
12 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Beautiful story
safina-3996312 November 2018
Everyone seems to have a problem with the execution, my view is that it is a beautiful and moving story - watching the participant go through his own personal journey
4 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Incredible!
rubenoftheorchard11 November 2018
I saw Derren Brown's "The Push" a d thought it was great! This is even better! It's emotional and eye opening and suspenseful and beautiful! I'm so glad I watch it! I highly recommend it to everyone!!!
4 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A TV show
ersbel19 December 2018
Derren Brown's stunts were okay when they were shorter. The format is getting longer, the stories are not. So it goes slow and boring. To an already announced result. That is not that convincing.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Something fishy ?
smdoyle-677-59012121 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The "American" who said his country was being destroyed by illegal immigrants lived in London, England! He sports a 3 lions tattoo on his forearm .. this is the guy who thinks his country is being dragged down by these people and they should be kicked out the country .. he's not even in the states and has an English tattoo ! So how the hell can this man who's supposed to hate immigrants attempt to be brainwashed to save another ones life .. Now I really enjoy Derren Browns shows and although finding these faults it was still a good show ..just a little fishy about the "American"
6 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Must see, Would have have it 10 stars but.....
deemarie-630416 March 2019
This show is so interesting and eye opening and honestly had a great message almost everyone should see but...I struggle with the manipulation
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Another thriller from Derren Brown
JakeBrinkman24 March 2019
Just like Derren Brown's The Push (AKA Pushed to the Edge), this short film left me and my friends on the edge of our seats, hands shaking in anticipation. But where The Push left us with questions of morality, Sacrifice replaced that with genuine tugs at our heartstrings. In hindsight, I can see where other reviewers may believe that the events were contrived or fake, but this was indistinguishable while watching the film. Taking everything at face value, I was very impressed with the show and would recommend it to most people.
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Interesting but I'm not convinced
bluepink13 July 2019
I think the guy must have guessed it was all for a TV show... surely. Especially the fact that the jingle was so obvious. Anyway, it was a great show and really interesting.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed