Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: Werner Herzog confirms his standing as poet laureate of men in extreme situations with Encounters at the End of the World. In this visually stunning exploration, Herzog travels to the Antarctic community of McMurdo Station, headquarters of the National Science Foundation and home to eleven hundred people during the austral summer (Oct-Feb). Over the course of his journey, Herzog examines human nature and Mother nature, juxtaposing breathtaking locations with the profound, surreal, and sometimes absurd experiences of the marine biologists, physicists, plumbers, and truck drivers who choose to form a society as far away from society as one can get. (THINKFilm) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    It is a poem of oddness and beauty.
  2. A supremely cranky and lyrical feat.
  3. Through Herzog's eyes it is a desolate, strangely beautiful frozen Edenish hell where the planet, having shaken out its pockets, lets the loners, fanatics and cosmologist-crackpots fall to bottom.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    80
    The images captured by Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger are dazzling all on their own, finding the disorienting psychedelia that is nature at its weirdest.
  5. An enjoyable example of this extraordinary director's documentary work.
  6. Midway through, an eerier theme creeps in, all the more powerful for Herzog's lack of insistence. By the "end of the world" he means the end of the world.
  7. Creating a hypnotically digressive travelogue, Herzog wanders from soul to soul, asking deceptively mild questions to potent effect.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. Sep 6, 2010
    2
    I watched this documentary and was appalled that a filmmaker could take a subject matter this interesting into an terrible film. It made very little sense and had no real point, despite the filmmakers repeated ham-fisted attempts to relate it to some overarching philosophy. His 'dry sense of humor' as some put it, consisted mainly of him asking scientists insipid questions about gay penguins wasting both their time and mine as a viewer.

    I was even more surprised to see that it had received so many awards and positive reviews.

    The one redeeming feature of this documentary is that it contains some incredible footage, and interviews with some great people which even this hack couldn't entirely destroy.

    When it comes right down to it I would actually recommend this film to people. If you manage to ignore the stupid interviewer and the poor shot selection there is some useful insight into a rarely seen side - not of Antarctica, but of the people who work there.
    Expand

See all 8 User Reviews