User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22

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  1. Oct 31, 2013
    0
    Do not waste your time or especially do not spend your hard earned money buying or renting this film. I warn you. The only other time I was as disappointed by a "horror" movie was when I saw Puppet Master Versus Demonic Toys. All this movie is is a timid guy doing his job making scary sounds for horror films. Oh my God that's scary right? No it really really isn't. I was expecting to seeDo not waste your time or especially do not spend your hard earned money buying or renting this film. I warn you. The only other time I was as disappointed by a "horror" movie was when I saw Puppet Master Versus Demonic Toys. All this movie is is a timid guy doing his job making scary sounds for horror films. Oh my God that's scary right? No it really really isn't. I was expecting to see at least one murder or attempt at murder or at least one drop of blood for that matter. So annoyed that I actually watched this whole film. I was fooled by the ratings others gave it and I have a feeling so will many others 0/10 Expand
  2. Jun 19, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As nearly every professional critic mentions, this movie is more of a cinematic freakout than a story, though there's enough story to grab on to. Is it good? Is it self-indulgent with a whiff of pretension? Is it cryptic enough to leave you without an easy answer? Yes, yes and yes.
    It isn't really a horror movie, except for in a psychological, David Lynch way. I would say that the main weakness [and here's the mild spoiler] is that it gives us yet another metadramatic "Is it real? Is it a fantasy? A dream? Is he insane and it's all in his head? Is it about filmmaking itself?" kind of thread to pull on. And I think that thread is threadbare this decade. It's been beat to death.
    This said, I half-expect to change my score to a 3 or a 9 after I eventually see this movie again. It's so weird that I'm not even sure if it's good, lousy or great.
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  3. Aug 6, 2013
    9
    This is a film all about atmosphere, not narrative (though the two are intrinsically linked, pushing each other forward). Toby Jones is flawless, and the "ufo scene" is particularly amazing.
  4. Jan 28, 2014
    9
    I loved this film. The visuals are very striking and the editing is phenomenal. Toby Jones is pretty great in this 'fish out of water' story which is really not a horror film, but more like a black comedy which is concerned with the process of making a film.
  5. Jun 21, 2013
    5
    I was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature Katalin Varga, which was defined by its vivid direction and use of a powerful score as contributing character to the film. Regrettably this was a lot less lucid and much more convoluted, confusing and even disturbing at times. The soundtrack on a league of itsI was drawn by the positive reviews of this film and justified my choice to watch it having seen Peter Strickland’s debut feature Katalin Varga, which was defined by its vivid direction and use of a powerful score as contributing character to the film. Regrettably this was a lot less lucid and much more convoluted, confusing and even disturbing at times. The soundtrack on a league of its own and deserving all the possible awards in this category, but unfortunately, apart from the technical merits there is little else to write home about. Expand
  6. Jan 26, 2015
    5
    A film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows from the greats (Inland Empire in particular). The idea is good, delving into the technical aspects and "behind-the-scenes" of a production, with gripping performances by the cast - however, it doesn't take off, due probably to the lack of a moreA film about film is something arthouse likes to endeavour in, sometimes with success, sometimes not; and Berberian Sound Studio borrows from the greats (Inland Empire in particular). The idea is good, delving into the technical aspects and "behind-the-scenes" of a production, with gripping performances by the cast - however, it doesn't take off, due probably to the lack of a more structured plot.

    Don't get me wrong, I know these movies aren't supposed to have plot, but normally they make up for it with symbolism, or cinematography, or sense of awkwardness, or what have you. Toby Jones's descent into a state of morbid attraction towards the film he's helping to produce doesn't feel at all gradual or symbolic, but rather curt and uncalled for. The cinematography is good, the score is better, and there certainly is a sense of awkwardness throughout. It just doesn't play well with the story.

    In conclusion, Berberian Sound Studio goes in the right direction but at a wrong pace, or for the wrong reasons if you will. It's still interesting to watch.
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: David Wells
    Jun 30, 2013
    50
    Eventually, though, these scenes get repetitive, and the muddled final act neither builds nor gets scary. Writer-director Peter Strickland is much more interested in the atmospherics, so when Gilderoy plunges into the abyss (or wherever), we are left confused, and not in a satisfying, David Lynch kind of way.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 21, 2013
    88
    Though “Berberian” bogs down a bit in its infernal spiral, Strickland proves himself to be a rising talent — a master of sound and fury both.
  3. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 17, 2013
    70
    There are no bad guys, and no real violence. Horror fiends looking for cheap thrills may be disappointed. But those with a flair for the offbeat might find themselves unnerved and riveted.