Offret (The Sacrifice)
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The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration. The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander's, who promises God that he'll give up everything he holds dear--including his beloved 6-year-old son -- if war is averted. Allan Edwall, a local… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For those willing to acccept the tenets of Tarkovsky's cinema of spiritual quest, his esoteric notions of Christian iconography and his obscure approach to cinematic meaning, the film can seem nothing less than miraculous."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"The Sacrifice is not the sort of movie most people will choose to see, but those with the imagination to risk it may find it rewarding."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The few insecurities in the filmmaking, which stick out in contrast to his Russian works, are easily overlooked by how masterful other scenes are and the impressiveness of the imagery."
‑ Sean Gandert, Paste Magazine
"Tarkovsky's last film, a spiritual meditation about the end of the world and a new beginning, bears resemblance to Ingmar Bergman's work, not least beacuse of its themes and lead actor and cinematographer."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Brilliant and audacious, with one of the most extraordinary final sequences in modern cinema."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The Sacrifice is a stunningly beautiful film that holds your attention even while you feel slightly stunned, in a less welcome way, by what is actually going on."
‑ Walter Goodman, New York Times
"It's a paradox: a sublime failure. For all its stunning, poetic imagery, it's almost impossible to sit through."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"Visually potent ... humblingly vast ... [and yet] the movie oscillates between compelling our thunderstruck confidence and testing our patience with unfulfilled promise and highbrow clichés."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"It's long, stately and po-faced (all reasons why Tarkovsky seems faintly unfashionable these days), but if it's extended, beautifully composed tracking shots you want, he's your man."
‑ David Gritten, Independent
"A fitting epitaph for a great artist. Every frame could be hung on a wall, the script is supremely thoughtful and the performances are universally excellent."
‑ , Film4
"Tarkovsky pulls you into a dark, foreboding nightmare and Nykvist [Bergman's former cameraman] gives that nightmare an explosive awakening."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"At least close to being a great film. It's a film that lingers in the mind -- not in the least because it's so open to interpretation."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Tarkovsky punctuates this so-called "plot" with many, many stunningly poetic images, mostly filmed in long takes with delicate tracking shots."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Invaluable pointers on narrative patience, spiritual yearning and technical finesse."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"A difficult film - slow-paced, unashamedly theatrical and heavily laden with philosophy - yet a profoundly satifying one: a rewarding display of filmmaking mastery that forms a mystical and enigmatic coda to a legendary career."
‑ Jonathan Trout,
More reviews for Offret (The Sacrifice) on Rotten Tomatoes