Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 100
    Judged both as reporting and as art -- many of Wiseman's films have a poetic density of structure -- it is a series without parallel in movie history. [11 Feb 2002, p. 92]
  2. Results are illuminating, harrowing, and riveting.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    If I didn't believe that the experience of watching Domestic Violence would change the world for the better, I wouldn't believe in the power of movies. And I wouldn't do what I do.
  4. Wiseman lets the material breathe in a manner unique to the subject.
  5. Be forewarned: The movie lasts three hours and 16 minutes, and nearly all of it deals with subjects that polite society (and even rude society) tends to ignore or evade.
  6. Wiseman reveals the victims of domestic abuse in all of their pity and terror.
  7. 80
    The most compelling Wiseman epic of recent years -- reminiscent of his hellish 1975 masterpiece, "Welfare," in its open-ended articulation of chaotic, violent, luckless lives.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    While maintaining the appearance of clinical objectivity, this sad, occasionally horrifying but often inspiring film is among Wiseman's warmest.
  9. 80
    The picture itself is about, yes, cycles, and as tiresome as that sounds, 10 minutes into the film you'll be white-knuckled and unable to look away.
  10. Wiseman's film is revealing. But it is also a silent rebuke to a society that tries to hide this pervasive problem behind a smug vision of itself.
  11. 75
    In an era when documentaries are looking more and more glossy, it's almost refreshing to see the austere approach taken by veteran Frederick Wiseman.
  12. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    70
    A bit too long. Conceptually, it's sensible to keep the camera running while these women bare their souls, but in practical terms, the gist of some of their stories would have sufficed. Nevertheless, Wiseman has scored another considerable achievement in the documentary form.

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