Into The Abyss
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In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill-and why a state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen), Herzog achieves what he describes as "a gaze into the abyss of the human soul." Herzog's inquiries also extend to the families of the victims and perpetrators as well as a state executioner and pastor who've been with death row prisoners as… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The result is gripping, moving and revelatory, an unabashed if implicit critique of the death penalty."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"The overriding point of Into the Abyss, what keeps this sad, sorrowful film from becoming depressing and elevates it far above the usual chatter of liberal-conservative debate, is that there can be light on the other end of even the darkest of tunnels."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"The star filmmaker, oft mocked for verging on self-parody, keeps his Teutonic explorer persona in check and allows his subjects' emotional outpourings-sadness, shame, dread, and desperation, and unexpected glimmers of hope and happiness-to set the tone."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment Magazine
"Questions if the state has the right to murder."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It is also a devastating portrait of the culture of crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and broken families ..."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"Herzog is pursuing no agenda with Into the Abyss, despite his opposition to extreme judicial measures. He's seeking to answer the question of why people kill, especially in a situation such as this where the reason for the murders was so meaningless."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
""Into the Abyss" makes a strong case for the inhumanity of capital punishment, regardless of the crime or the criminal."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A smart documentary that takes sides in the death penalty debate but never shies away from the horrendous crimes at the center of the story."
‑ John Hanlon, Big Hollywood
"Herzog is empathetic and non-judgmental, even as his interview subjects try to rationalize their lives, declare their innocence and the like."
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"Herzog's engrossing examination of a real life triple murder demonstrates that evil doesn't reside only on death row."
‑ Dan Lybarger, KC Active
"Into the Abyss does what too few documentaries these days do - it gives ample play to all sides of the argument. Herzog allows us to think things through on our own."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Herzog's investigation may not work as an anti-death-penalty editorial, but its findings are undeniably profound."
‑ Peter Debruge, Variety
"A virtuoso work, unparalleled in Herzog's career. And it'll just break your heart."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"This is humane, fascinating documentary filmmaking that is willing to confront insurmountable issues. And as is the case with most true crime material: truth is stranger than fiction."
‑ Adam Ross, The Aristocrat
"It is a film full of despair, but it's also compelling, and Herzog's interview with a death-row groupie towards the end of the film provides a horribly grim punchline."
‑ , Scotsman
More reviews for Into The Abyss on Rotten Tomatoes

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