User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 95
  2. Negative: 30 out of 95
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  1. carlitod
    Sep 3, 2009
    10
    This movie rocks! A must see. Beautifully shot and executed. a flawless piece of what will one day become cult cinema.
  2. HenriqueT.
    Oct 6, 2008
    10
    Masterpiece. Meirelles does great job putting on screen the Saramago classic. It's a hard movie to watch? Yes, that's the point of the movie. Saramago's (Nobel winning) metaphor points out that if we weren't so "blind" that's how we actually would see the world. Not to mention the innovating/unique filming and top notch acting.
  3. SaramangoWeeps
    Feb 13, 2009
    2
    The did a great job at ruining one of the best books I've ever read.
  4. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    This is a great movie. I believe people would be less critical if they have read writer Jose Saramago's (Nobel laurate- 1998) masterpiece "Blidness" (as it is called in English). the movie is based on it, and succeeds in capturing Saramago's novel. It is unfortunate to see people can't grasp the allegorical nature of this film. Great performances, excellent storyline, magnificentThis is a great movie. I believe people would be less critical if they have read writer Jose Saramago's (Nobel laurate- 1998) masterpiece "Blidness" (as it is called in English). the movie is based on it, and succeeds in capturing Saramago's novel. It is unfortunate to see people can't grasp the allegorical nature of this film. Great performances, excellent storyline, magnificent adaptation of the book. A movie that is so underrated that is sad to see that. I think people should read more good literatute (not mere bestsellers)...because if they did, the would have a more open mind too...richer perspectives or life. As for those who are calling 'idiots' to those who appreciate this film, (i.e Edwardsomething) I find absolytelty idiotic their attitude...that shows how narrow their minds are if they believe those who do not see what they do are stupid. Considering that, and after reading his (Edward's) comment, I actually am relieves to be called 'idiot' by him, for if it was the opposite, I would perhaps be worried...seriously worried! Expand
  5. EdwardM.
    Jun 13, 2010
    0
    Easily the worst film ever made. The only good bit is where the Spanish guy was singing a Stevie Wonder song "I just called to say I love you". I suppose the rest of the film is laughable as well...The lead female was extremly irritating as having the gift of sight, stood by and allowed herself and friends to starved and be raped when she could have easily overpowered the enemy. The rape Easily the worst film ever made. The only good bit is where the Spanish guy was singing a Stevie Wonder song "I just called to say I love you". I suppose the rest of the film is laughable as well...The lead female was extremly irritating as having the gift of sight, stood by and allowed herself and friends to starved and be raped when she could have easily overpowered the enemy. The rape scenes weren't at all disturbing because the whole film was so illogical, it was hard to feel empathy for any of these characters. Anyone who gave this movie more than a 1 is an idiot and not living in the real world. I have spoken. Expand
  6. 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
  7. MarcoC.
    Oct 3, 2008
    10
    Excellent adaptation of Saramago's book. Moore's work is Oscar winner for sure. The movie shows us what life is really about.
  8. Carol
    Oct 6, 2008
    0
    One of the absolutely worst movies I've seen. I almost (and should have) walked out. No explanation for anything in a movie which debases everything and everyone.
  9. PauloD.
    Sep 30, 2008
    10
    Masterpiece! Fantastic! Saramago's world is in each second of the movie!
  10. MichelleS
    Mar 14, 2009
    0
    Anyone who gives this move a decent, let alone good score, is either blind themselves or enjoys long, boring and extremely offensive movies. Lets not forget it lacks logic, reason or explanation. I'm not asking you to spell everything out chapter and verse, but a simple "this is why everyone is going blind" or "this is why ONE person in the entire world is NOT blind". Something! You Anyone who gives this move a decent, let alone good score, is either blind themselves or enjoys long, boring and extremely offensive movies. Lets not forget it lacks logic, reason or explanation. I'm not asking you to spell everything out chapter and verse, but a simple "this is why everyone is going blind" or "this is why ONE person in the entire world is NOT blind". Something! You continue to sit through this movie thinking you will have some answers and instead you just get to be offended over and over again by disturbing scenes filled with unnecessary nudity, filth including people stepping in human poop (in the hallways mind you because apparently if you go blind you no longer understand the concept of a toilet) a mass orgy/rape (not once but TWICE). I could go on and on about how bad this movie is, but in all honesty I can't talk about it anymore, its making me angry. I am GLAD I had a free rental for this movie because I would feel even more sick to my stomach if I had paid anything for this piece of garbage! Expand
  11. Sep 10, 2010
    10
    Blindness is a masterpiece from its very core. The book that originated it is outstanding, as the majority of José Saramgo's work is.

    That being said, let me justify myself: somethings are undeniable when watching the movie, first thing is the language (don't really know if this is the right term) chosen. Meirelle's camera behave as a blind man, choosing spots that never
    Blindness is a masterpiece from its very core. The book that originated it is outstanding, as the majority of José Saramgo's work is.

    That being said, let me justify myself: somethings are undeniable when watching the movie, first thing is the language (don't really know if this is the right term) chosen. Meirelle's camera behave as a blind man, choosing spots that never reveal all the scene, as if not giving importance to how we see the scene. This choice gives a very dark (or gloomy someone said) mood to the film. This mood is of the most importance. We have to think that we are talking about something like a social blindness, about our incapability to think and to reason some questions that can change everything.

    Another important point is the choice to work only the video and audio aspects of the story, that may sound strange but if you've read the book you'll surely remember that the book uses scents and dirtiness as tools to create the sensation of loathing and since cinema can't work with scent, yet, he chose not to use it.

    The video and audio work in the movie is amazing there are times when we, the watchers, experience total blindness in the movie and the movie trust completely in the sound work to guide as through the scene it is a crazy experience.

    Ok. I think I've gone a little bit to far here. Enough. I hope that I can convince some people to re-watch the movie with a more critic eye. It saddens me to see such a great movie rated 45 and 56 on Metacritic.

    Enjoy.
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  12. JosefS.
    Oct 1, 2008
    10
    Fantastic! I have no words to express how strong this movie is. Meirelles is wonderful!
  13. BillyS.
    Oct 4, 2008
    9
    Blindness is so much more than "ooh, everybody in the world goes blind." It is a very smart, very intriguing story that at times is almost the cinematic opposite of Malick's The New World - dark, painful but a wonder to watch. Meirelles has stepped up a notch after the briliant The Constant Gardner and Julianne Moore is finally back in a leading role worthy of an Oscar nomination. Blindness is so much more than "ooh, everybody in the world goes blind." It is a very smart, very intriguing story that at times is almost the cinematic opposite of Malick's The New World - dark, painful but a wonder to watch. Meirelles has stepped up a notch after the briliant The Constant Gardner and Julianne Moore is finally back in a leading role worthy of an Oscar nomination. She is, as always, perfect as the only sighted person left who suffers more by what she can see then by what others can't. Cesar Charlone's cinematography lures the viewer into a world of "white blindness" from total blackness to looking at the sun brightness that is totally hypnotic and deserving of year-end recognition. Blindness is not a movie-for-the-masses, and in my book, one of the Best Movies I've seen this year! Expand
  14. DM
    Oct 4, 2008
    2
    Please do not let reviews trick you into thinking this would be a good evening's entertainment. "Blindness" is painful to watch, fails to set its 'different world' city, has serious script continuity problems and seems to last five hours. While the big concept is extremely simplistic, the details and story are stuffed with too much. A shame, because the actors are quality. Please do not let reviews trick you into thinking this would be a good evening's entertainment. "Blindness" is painful to watch, fails to set its 'different world' city, has serious script continuity problems and seems to last five hours. While the big concept is extremely simplistic, the details and story are stuffed with too much. A shame, because the actors are quality. Don't bother. Expand
  15. MatthewP.
    Oct 4, 2008
    1
    Only a movie attempting to be profound can be this bad. If you don't find yourself laughing uncontrollably about the silly, over-the-top nudity, the extreme, dogs-eating-dead-humans scenes, and a city's worth of people stumbling over themselves, then you probably take yourself as seriously as this director does. Futuristic and/or post-apocalyptic movies have a tendency to be Only a movie attempting to be profound can be this bad. If you don't find yourself laughing uncontrollably about the silly, over-the-top nudity, the extreme, dogs-eating-dead-humans scenes, and a city's worth of people stumbling over themselves, then you probably take yourself as seriously as this director does. Futuristic and/or post-apocalyptic movies have a tendency to be ridiculously awful and this one does nothing to thwart that history. The last time I saw a movie this bad was the banal Code 46. Collapse
  16. AidanW
    Oct 7, 2008
    1
    This movie was garbage. From the terrible dialogue to lame 'drama' it failed all over. The characters were not gripping. The story was poorly transcribed to the screen. The blind protested this for the wrong reason, not because it's offensive to the blind, but because it's offensive anyone who paid money to see this.
  17. CarlA
    Aug 31, 2009
    0
    Everything you read in the "bad reviews" is true and cant be said better. Everything in the "good reviews" you can tell is not how people talk and is artsy praise. Concepts and pretentiousness is not enough to warrant a 1 let alone a 10. This is why people don't listen to critics- because we're smart (IE pirating movies like no tomorrow rather than paying for this crap). This Everything you read in the "bad reviews" is true and cant be said better. Everything in the "good reviews" you can tell is not how people talk and is artsy praise. Concepts and pretentiousness is not enough to warrant a 1 let alone a 10. This is why people don't listen to critics- because we're smart (IE pirating movies like no tomorrow rather than paying for this crap). This movie is an insult to all facets of your humanity especially your intelligence. These characters aren't humans, they're characters written with no common sense. Blindness is without question the worst movie ever along with Chaos. Expand
  18. YuriC.
    Oct 1, 2008
    10
    I love how he (the director) tells the history. Amazing.
  19. Kris
    Nov 2, 2008
    0
    It is disturbing to me as a woman to think people could not only make a movie like this, but people could stomach sitting through the ENTIRE movie with all of the degrading scenes. I know I couldn't - I walked out... along with 20 other women. I was so disgusted by the rape scene in this movie that I could cry. I don't understand how this is even ALLOWED at all. I am actually It is disturbing to me as a woman to think people could not only make a movie like this, but people could stomach sitting through the ENTIRE movie with all of the degrading scenes. I know I couldn't - I walked out... along with 20 other women. I was so disgusted by the rape scene in this movie that I could cry. I don't understand how this is even ALLOWED at all. I am actually furious. Warning to women - do NOT see this movie unless you plan on leaving with a pit in your stomach that will not go away for weeks. Expand
  20. DavidB.
    Oct 3, 2008
    9
    Great movie. Very psicologicaland thought provoking. If the book is better, like usually they are, I gonna enjoy very much that reading. Not a movie for the "Pollyannas", mind you.
  21. Enrique
    Oct 3, 2008
    10
    A masterpiece. Not for every body.
  22. ElvisD.
    Oct 3, 2008
    10
    The director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) makes an intriguing work about the blindness of the human soul.
  23. DudleiO.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    Wonderful! I have both read the novel and watched the movie, and it's hard to say which one is better. You can feel the desperation the characters go through. In some scenes I felt breathless, such was the intensity of (both physical and moral) violence. And, as I left the movie theater, I honestly believed, for a few seconds, that everyone around me had gone blind. Such a powerful movie!
  24. PloK.
    Dec 14, 2009
    10
    Another brilliant film from McKellar. Touching, brutal, horrifying, and deeper than many people want their movies to be... but if you liked "Last Night", you'll appreciate this film. It's hard to say you'll *like* this film, because it is in some ways a very traumatic film. I had to pause the film for a few minutes and ask myself if I could handle what was happening on the Another brilliant film from McKellar. Touching, brutal, horrifying, and deeper than many people want their movies to be... but if you liked "Last Night", you'll appreciate this film. It's hard to say you'll *like* this film, because it is in some ways a very traumatic film. I had to pause the film for a few minutes and ask myself if I could handle what was happening on the screen. I tentatively decided to go on, and was rewarded with one of the best films I've ever seen. This isn't a feel-good film... but if you understand why it is that the darker stuff should be explored as well, the unflinching and brutal honesty in this film will hit a nerve. Many of them. Expand
  25. justin
    Mar 7, 2009
    2
    horrible , screwed up rape scenes made u feel sick to your stomach . and stuff like how the guard were there one day giving them food and the next day the whole world has gone blind was totally inaccurate and other little details the people that gave it a 10 were probably on crack or something maybe that would make the movie better and there were good actors the movie was just so bad that horrible , screwed up rape scenes made u feel sick to your stomach . and stuff like how the guard were there one day giving them food and the next day the whole world has gone blind was totally inaccurate and other little details the people that gave it a 10 were probably on crack or something maybe that would make the movie better and there were good actors the movie was just so bad that you couldn't notice them Expand
  26. BenM.
    Mar 15, 2010
    8
    Lord Of The Flies'esque film which touches on basic human instincts of survival when things don't go quite to plan. Can't help but be moved by this film. Some questions remain unanswered, but does everything always need explaining? certainly not.
  27. PauloS.
    Dec 4, 2008
    2
    Total dud. How did they shave in the blind jail? Exactly, one small ridiculous detail in a film written by amateurs, riddled with a hundred far greater lapses. Complete waste of attention.
  28. HollyR.
    Oct 29, 2008
    8
    This movie was a good study of human behavior when people become vulnerable and helpless. It is a study of human character under a crisis. If you are interested in psychology and/or human nature, you will quite like this movie. I liked the way it was filmed (stark) and felt it was a powerful movie. (I have a degree in psychology and love Sci-Fi.) Julianne Moore did a great job!
  29. JonB.
    Oct 5, 2008
    3
    Where to start... The theme behind the movie as previously mentioned is that one can only see the true nature of humanity if we are blind to race and appearance. This movie does a good job of showing that... But, I thought the movie was too long and I was really put off by the rape scenes.
  30. MichaelS.
    Oct 6, 2008
    8
    Fernando Meirelles' ambitious film "BLINDNESS" aims for Oscar contention, but is more realistically going to end up a cult classic in the near future. Many will hate it, some will love it. I'd say it's an 8/10.
  31. BrandonB
    Oct 7, 2008
    1
    Really messed up rape scene. It was literally the worst movie ever. I would like to punch the director in the face for wasting my time. It's all so clear why people pirate movies..movies like this really don't help their cause.
  32. ChadS.
    Oct 9, 2008
    7
    This happening is steeped in literary origins; one by one, big city denizens are embroiled in an epidemic of mass blindness, a condition that's symptomatic of an all-encompassing commonality: The world is going blind. "Blindness", the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Jose Saramengo, in spite of its heightened language and scope, like Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", is This happening is steeped in literary origins; one by one, big city denizens are embroiled in an epidemic of mass blindness, a condition that's symptomatic of an all-encompassing commonality: The world is going blind. "Blindness", the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Jose Saramengo, in spite of its heightened language and scope, like Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", is unmistakably a work of speculative fiction, which becomes more readily apparent with this servicable adaptation that probably does a disservice to the celebrated Portugese writer, since the film invites easy comparisons to M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" and Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later". "Blindness" plays out like an art house B-picture. In place of blind people, insert zombies; while the zombies are blind to their own humanity, some of the quarantined people at the staging area are blind to inhumanity, as the King of Ward Three(Gael Garcia Bernal) and his minions, pillage the food and rape the women. Thankfully, the filmmaker is mindful of Sarmengo's literary pedigree; he resists the temptation to put his own stamp on the material, unlike an egotist such as Shyamalan, who given the opportunity to adapt "Blindness", might have provided his own adducement behind this inexplicable outbreak of spontaneous unseeing, and transform the Saramengo novel into a tree happening. This laborious, but passionate piece of filmmaking, coaxes science fiction out from the narrative's closet, much to the chagrin of the Nobel Prize committee. It's the Richard Matheson short story reimagined as "I Am Blind". Expand
  33. 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.
  34. JustinM
    Apr 19, 2009
    9
    A very engaging movie that examines the ability of mankind to cope with disaster. Tough to watch at times but necessary to appreciate the end.
  35. VS.D
    Apr 6, 2009
    0
    Ugh. Terrible, terrible film.
  36. Stephanies.
    May 31, 2009
    7
    Michelle S, seriously? you obviously missed the point of the novel. if you even read the novel. the movie stayed true to the spirit of the book and i think anybody could appreciate that.
  37. LauraK
    Sep 12, 2009
    0
    This was by far one of the worst movies I have ever watched. There was no explanation for anything. I kept watching expecting answers, but instead more questions. Terrible, absolutely terrible.
  38. Paul
    Dec 4, 2008
    2
    Totally contrived situation, populated by stereotypes and one-dimensional writing. A major letdown from this director.
  39. AdamL
    Apr 29, 2009
    9
    I think this movie was solid all the way through. It didnt stray from looking at the lowest parts of humanity that appear in a crises. This is not a feel-good movie, as perhaps the red number people may have hoped. But I think it was well done. Its an art film . There are plenty of squeamish scenes and if you dont want to leave your comfort zone , don't watch this movie. Because it I think this movie was solid all the way through. It didnt stray from looking at the lowest parts of humanity that appear in a crises. This is not a feel-good movie, as perhaps the red number people may have hoped. But I think it was well done. Its an art film . There are plenty of squeamish scenes and if you dont want to leave your comfort zone , don't watch this movie. Because it will make you think and perhaps yell at the screen ! Expand
  40. 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.
  41. May 23, 2012
    10
    Blindness is an epic, edge-of-your-seat film that's as much a masterpiece as it is underrated. Even after multiple viewings, the film offers something new and truly riveting each time, as there is enough material both in the storyline and subtext to reward such repeated sittings. Is it a drama? Science-fiction? Even horror? Yes, all of that and more.... With the exception maybe of comedy.Blindness is an epic, edge-of-your-seat film that's as much a masterpiece as it is underrated. Even after multiple viewings, the film offers something new and truly riveting each time, as there is enough material both in the storyline and subtext to reward such repeated sittings. Is it a drama? Science-fiction? Even horror? Yes, all of that and more.... With the exception maybe of comedy. Blindness is not a very funny film, it is even almost unwatchably bleak at times, and there are some moments I don't like to watch or want to see ever again. Still, there's not a bad performance in the film and Julianne Moore will bring your ass to tears, she's so **** good. If the Oscars meant anything anymore, Blindness would have been among the year's best, but Gwyneth Paltrow actually has a Best Actress award somewhere in her possession so there you go. I'm guessing that history will be kind to this film as more people get the benefit of seeing it, the overall experience is very rewarding and the ending makes the pain worthwhile. Expand
  42. 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.