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, Seanax.com
"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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