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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: It begins in a flash, as one man is instantaneously struck blind while driving home from work, his whole world suddenly turned to an eerie, milky haze. One by one, each person he encounters – his wife, his doctor, even the seemingly good Samaritan who gives him a lift home – will in due course suffer the same unsettling fate. As the contagion spreads, and panic and paranoia set in across the city, newly blind victims of the “White Sickness” are rounded up and quarantined within a crumbling, abandoned mental asylum, where all semblance of ordinary life begins to break down. (Miramax Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 7 out of 31
  1. Meirelles adds another perspective, that the epidemic might be a good thing if, by being thrown into the darkness together, we may once again recognize the human family to which we all belong.
  2. 75
    A perversely enjoyable, occasionally harrowing adaptation of José Saramago's 1995 disaster allegory.
  3. 63
    I kept hoping the meaning would click into place, but it never quite did.
  4. 50
    Not a great film, mainly because it can't transcend -- and, indeed, lays bare -- the intellectual flimsiness of its source. But it is, nonetheless, full of examples of what good filmmaking looks like. For all its chin-rubbing, brow-furrowing attitudes, it does not, in the end, give you much to think about. But there is, nonetheless, a lot here to see.
  5. Murky and grainy, and showing human beings at their grimmest - thievery, rape, betrayal, murder - Blindness is no barrel of laughs. But it IS a barrel of pretentious metaphorical musings.
  6. 40
    An extended metaphor for the condition of man, and boy is it extended. In the course of two hours that crawl by like four and a half.
  7. 0
    This ends on an uplifting and philosophical note, equating moral blindness with the literal sort, which you'll probably appreciate if you haven't already slit your wrists.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 42
  2. Negative: 16 out of 42
  1. YuriC.
    Oct 1, 2008
    10
    I love how he (the director) tells the history. Amazing.
  2. 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! Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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. Don't bother. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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