Essential Killing
Essential Killing (2010)

A soldier must fight for his own survival as well as the cause of his people in this powerful drama from acclaimed Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski. A pair of American security operatives (Zach Cohen and Iftach Ofir) are on patrol in… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Under the guise of current events, Skolimowski artfully conjures an elemental archetype of human life itself. In English, Polish, and Arabic.

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David Jenkins
Time Out

Delivering an absolute minimum of context, the film dares us to forge our own reasons for rooting for or despising this savage.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Skolimowski's fresh approach keeps us on guard.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Stripped of its political vestments, Essential Killing is a chase film almost existential in its rawness and virtually silent in its unfolding -- just a pursued man reduced by circumstance to a primitive state.

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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times

The movie deftly shifts from its initial chase thriller mode to a grueling, offbeat tale of human survival.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

What is striking about it, of course, is the way that the filmmaker manages to garner sympathy for an essential villain.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

View it as an existential thriller illustrating how violence begets violence.

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Chris Fujiwara

Maybe the only failing of Essential Killing is that everything in it is seen so sufficiently that one doesn't feel the need to go back to watch it another time (unlike most great films, which improve on repeated viewings).

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

An astonishingly dull piece of work...

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More reviews for Essential Killing

Flixster Audience Score: 46% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Even if not original and proving to be a wearing experience, this visceral film deserves credit for being almost without dialogue - and Gallo does a good job as… More
Doctor Strangeblog
An endurance test, for both the main character and the audience. I didn't care for this film exercise without any real plot, hardly any dialogue, and… More
Walter M.
The meditative, subversive and provocative thriller, "Essential Killing," is about the hunt for a suspected terrorist(Vincent Gallo), told almost… More
Stephen Earnest
While not immediately involving or interesting, "Essential Killing" is taut and well-directed, and Vincent Gallo is brilliant in his wordless role.… More
Daniel Parsons
Sometimes visually striking, virtually dialogue free piece with some memorable moments and a committed, if over-egged, performance from Vincent Gallo. The… More