User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 96
  2. Negative: 30 out of 96
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  1. Sean
    Oct 16, 2008
    4
    Difficult slog. The descent into moral depravity was too quick, too easy, too unbelievable to be explained by mere blindness. Too many people standing idly by when EVERYTHING about their situation should have demanded more strident action, more intelligent and more organized a response. I felt frustrated and angered by the patheticness of it all--even the incomprehensible inability of the Difficult slog. The descent into moral depravity was too quick, too easy, too unbelievable to be explained by mere blindness. Too many people standing idly by when EVERYTHING about their situation should have demanded more strident action, more intelligent and more organized a response. I felt frustrated and angered by the patheticness of it all--even the incomprehensible inability of the soldiers to respond in a minimally meaningful or conciliatory fashion was pointlessly baffling. This is a movie where the details felt entirely disingenuous and ridiculous, as if every possible Orwellian fault was systematically exposed before being played to the hilt. Somehow, though, the overall setting/plot device somehow managed to remain both plausible and quite strong in its impact. Some solid acting saved this for me... but still nothing stellar. A week later and I didn't think of it once until I was reminded of it on this site. It could have been great had real people been blinded instead of a loose conglomeration of hypothetical constructs. Expand
  2. JayH.
    Feb 8, 2009
    6
    It works for the most part but not completely. Visually it is very good, and the direction is impressive. The acting is quite good as well. It always held my interest. Good effort.
  3. May 28, 2011
    6
    It wasn't very bad, but a lot of unrealistic action. I expected so much more from Julienne Moore's character. I didnt understood the role of her husband having sex with another women and her reaction to it, also the ending didnt bring any light as I expected.
  4. Sep 17, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was a very interesting movie with excellent acting and an intriguing plot but gets dinged due to what I would consider an illogical story element. First, as with any "apocalyptic" movies, a suspension of disbelief is required in general.

    In a nutshell, the movie follows a group of folks who fall victim to a blindness epidemic and get thrown into an abandoned facility by the military to be quarantined. One of the women, the always excellent Julianne Moore, who is immune to the blindness pretends to be blind so she can accompany her husband, Mark Ruffalo. The majority of the movie is a harrowing tale of how a growing population of confined blind prisoners with no care-taking whatsoever with the exception of rations being provided survive in an adult "Lord of the Flies" situation.

    To describe my issue, I need to put a "spoiler alert" disclaimer before I continue and it may dissuade some from watching given the graphic nature of a portion of the movie I describe.

    When a nefarious faction in the "prison" begins to ruthlessly extort and rape the other groups in exchange for the rations that they control and horde, why does it take Moore's character so long to do anything about it. The main two characters played by Moore and Ruffalo have established that they are clearly intelligent and pragmatic as they keep their "faction" together and as civilized as possible, yet Moore's character rarely uses her ability "to see" to their advantage. How hard would it be to sneak in when the bad guys are sleeping and/or distracted before things get completely out of their control. She and the other women are repeatedly raped but it isn't until one of the women is killed during one of these episodes that she sneaks in and kills the ring-leader.

    Sure, one of the baddies has been blind since birth giving him additional sensory abilities to detect sound, but having sight when everyone else is blind is almost a super-power that isn't used until very late. This is likely to increase the dramatic impact. It would have made much more sense and thus more dramatic if everybody was blind.

    Beyond that it is an excellent twist on the apocalyptic drama.
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Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 7 out of 31
  1. As the players enact the fall and rebirth of civilization, Meirelles suggests that even a society gone to hell looks better with a little music-video-like pizzazz.
  2. Blindness is provocative cinema. But it also is predictable cinema: It startles but does not surprise.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    50
    Meirelles' slickly crafted drama rarely achieves the visceral force, tragic scope and human resonance of Saramago's prose.