User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 129
  2. Negative: 21 out of 129
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  1. Adam
    Sep 13, 2005
    0
    Nothing in the movie makes any character remotely interesting--excepting their eccentricities, which by no means make them worthwhile characters unless one is watching a doco on wack-jobs and not one portraying mans quest into nature. I did not like this film, I did not like Herzog's subjective narration. Treadwell himself was irritating and distracting. And his ex-girlfriend and the Nothing in the movie makes any character remotely interesting--excepting their eccentricities, which by no means make them worthwhile characters unless one is watching a doco on wack-jobs and not one portraying mans quest into nature. I did not like this film, I did not like Herzog's subjective narration. Treadwell himself was irritating and distracting. And his ex-girlfriend and the coroner were simply horrific--making me only wish they had been with him when he died. This is not a film about man's obsession with nature and trying to overcome it, it is an example of man's inability to deal with his own troubles. He was not a fool for doing what he did, he was simply too weak to confront his own life. Expand
  2. Mjar
    Feb 4, 2006
    3
    you have got to be kidding me, this movie was a total joke. I don't think any of it was real...insanely stupid, but I keep watch it because it is so crazy.
  3. HanselH.
    Mar 9, 2006
    3
    Bear eats Fruitcake. German director makes movie. Critics rave.
  4. JoelK.
    Sep 15, 2009
    3
    This documentary is the biggest waste of time. I'm 15 and honestly i think that Timothy Treadwell wasted those 13 years of his life, which eventually ended up in his death. What was the point of him going into a protected environment or government reserve to protect bears? They don't need protection. In my view all the drugs and alcohol he part took in resulted in him coming out This documentary is the biggest waste of time. I'm 15 and honestly i think that Timothy Treadwell wasted those 13 years of his life, which eventually ended up in his death. What was the point of him going into a protected environment or government reserve to protect bears? They don't need protection. In my view all the drugs and alcohol he part took in resulted in him coming out of the situation being as one of the pilots described him 'mentally retarded' Expand
  5. Jack
    Sep 13, 2005
    0
    A true example of an American growing up in a delusional world so that he cannot confront his own problems and instead forces them upon nature. I only wish Herzog had the insite to not use the coroner and Jewel who only heaped evidence upon the fact that they were all wackjobs.
  6. donb.
    Jan 3, 2006
    1
    Sad story of a nobody trying to be somebody. He tells us he has successfully studied the bears. What has he learned? To teach children to call one Mr. Chocolate? A true fruitcake!
  7. Dec 16, 2010
    7
    Almost a guaranteed hit story here to start with lol.... Guy goes out to remote bear infested place, stays there for months for 3yrs, gets 15mins of fame, then gets eaten by bear .... along with being slightly nuts and a borderline social outcast ?? Come on how can you lose. Well.... Herzog's commentary was hit and miss and some holes for sure

    but I was entertained solid 7 PS -
    Almost a guaranteed hit story here to start with lol.... Guy goes out to remote bear infested place, stays there for months for 3yrs, gets 15mins of fame, then gets eaten by bear .... along with being slightly nuts and a borderline social outcast ?? Come on how can you lose. Well.... Herzog's commentary was hit and miss and some holes for sure

    but I was entertained solid 7

    PS - background music was interesting also
    Expand
  8. SamJ.
    Aug 28, 2005
    10
    Superb in every way!
  9. MaryM.
    Feb 3, 2006
    10
    I had to see it twice with a shot of the documentary about Herzog making Fitzcarraldo inbetween. Timmy's madness mirror's Herzog's in the undivided dedication to the personal vision no matter what the price.
  10. RayP.
    Feb 4, 2006
    5
    I liked Herzog's commentary, but who really was Treadwell? No background on why he became involved with the bears in the first place. What was the real danger to the bears - who was he protecting them from? What did he do when he wasn't living with the bears? Dedicating 10 mins to some background would have made this a more complete documentary.
  11. CarlaM.
    Oct 3, 2005
    10
    Werner Herzog's documentaries stretch the boundaries of what constitutes "documentary" filmmaking. Somebody approaching this Herzog documentary as if it's a National Geographic documentary is just not going to "get" it. You need to take an open mind with you when you go to see a film by this filmmaker. Woe to the viewer who doesn't. And if there are still some people out Werner Herzog's documentaries stretch the boundaries of what constitutes "documentary" filmmaking. Somebody approaching this Herzog documentary as if it's a National Geographic documentary is just not going to "get" it. You need to take an open mind with you when you go to see a film by this filmmaker. Woe to the viewer who doesn't. And if there are still some people out there who think that there is such a thing as an "objective" documentary, wake up! The very nature of film precludes this possibility--the filmmaker has to make choices. His/her P.O.V. is inextricably entwined in those choices. That said, what Herzog's film did was really just confirm my pre-existing impression that Timothy Treadwell was quite thoroughly demented. Treadwell is, in my opinion, a true "tragic hero". His fatal flaw (hubris) brought about his downfall (not to mention his girlfriend's and that bear's, to boot). It seems to me that Treadwell was so disenchanted with what life was dishing out to him (as if he didn't have a part in that) that he wanted to abandon his own humanity and "become" a bear. Life was much "simpler" with the bears, as he pointed out. In my opinion, what this man needed wasn't to run off to Alaska to "protect" these animals but, rather, some serious psychotherapy. Treadwell's own film footage is both wonderous and self-defeating. I mean, he got some remarkable footage of life with the bears and foxes in Katmai Nat'l Park, but he also showed us how egomaniacal he really was. And Herzog's interviews with Treadwell's friends gave me the impression that they were as phony and self-absorbed as Treadwell was, himself. I think this is a fine film from one of the most interesting filmmakers working today. Expand
  12. Pam
    Aug 17, 2005
    10
    Extraordinary footage from a unique character made Herzog's job a lot easier, but he still makes the film his own, with a delicate balance of humor and horror. A superb, thought-provoking film.
  13. mandy
    Aug 17, 2005
    8
    An enjoying film to watch. Herzog's voiceovers are the low point in the movie. He spells out his interpretation without giving the viewer time to see the full picture and form their own conclusion. Also, Herzog takes cheap shots at those he interviews. One example: he films the father of Treadwell in his home wearing his glasses absurdly. Surely a film maker of Herzog's An enjoying film to watch. Herzog's voiceovers are the low point in the movie. He spells out his interpretation without giving the viewer time to see the full picture and form their own conclusion. Also, Herzog takes cheap shots at those he interviews. One example: he films the father of Treadwell in his home wearing his glasses absurdly. Surely a film maker of Herzog's experience is well aware of how this comes off on screen. Also, many of the interviews are cut so that people sound dumb. A director should be kinder to those helping him. Finally, while I was unimpressed with Herzog, Treadwell's footage and humor was so delightful that they shone through Herzog's poor direct. Herzog is to be commended for his idea to compile some of Treadwell's best work. Expand
  14. Aaron
    Aug 20, 2005
    10
    This is Herzog's best film in years. It fits in nicely with recurring theme of the idealist at odds with nature. Herzog does an amazing job assembling Treadwell's footage into a fascinating, coherent film. And I don't believe Herzog's narration took any cheap shots at all. He offered interesting insights into Treadwell's character and yet, allows the view to make This is Herzog's best film in years. It fits in nicely with recurring theme of the idealist at odds with nature. Herzog does an amazing job assembling Treadwell's footage into a fascinating, coherent film. And I don't believe Herzog's narration took any cheap shots at all. He offered interesting insights into Treadwell's character and yet, allows the view to make up his/her mind regarding the man's motives. Great movie, be sure to check it out. I'm sure it will appear on a great many ten best lists later this year. Expand
  15. KateW.
    Aug 20, 2005
    9
    This is a very interesting, touching, and sad documentary; I was surprised to find it more to be a natural study of psychosis than of a wildlife film. While most critics have labeled Timothy Treadwell's behavior "foolish" or "obsessive", Treadwell's delusions of grandeur, his paranoia, his need for the extreme highs and lows of his mood swings, and his inability to fit in with This is a very interesting, touching, and sad documentary; I was surprised to find it more to be a natural study of psychosis than of a wildlife film. While most critics have labeled Timothy Treadwell's behavior "foolish" or "obsessive", Treadwell's delusions of grandeur, his paranoia, his need for the extreme highs and lows of his mood swings, and his inability to fit in with society really classify him as insane. His life with the bears seemed all rather secondary to his own mental turmoil. Expand
  16. richardb.
    Aug 29, 2005
    9
    I just got home from Grizzly Man, and was mindblown. I have so many questions about every aspect of this movie, and yet I'm so happy to have seen it. How did Herzog get the footage, and were parts of Timmy's story skipped over as a condition of use? How'd he end up in Alaska, how'd he finance his adventures, did he really audition for Cheers? And most of all, how (and I just got home from Grizzly Man, and was mindblown. I have so many questions about every aspect of this movie, and yet I'm so happy to have seen it. How did Herzog get the footage, and were parts of Timmy's story skipped over as a condition of use? How'd he end up in Alaska, how'd he finance his adventures, did he really audition for Cheers? And most of all, how (and when) did he come up with his screamingly fey persona? Wild Kingdom meets the Blair Witch, hosted by Crispin Glover. Expand
  17. MarcK.
    Jan 2, 2006
    5
    I didn't dislike this movie by any means, but this film is nowhere near as good as the great critical acclaim it received. Were the critics just starstruck because it was directed by Werner Herzog? The best documentary in 2005 was "Murderball." This film isn't even close to that.
  18. SimonS.
    Jan 6, 2006
    9
    This is the only film I have ever watched where I was so horrified, I had to turn it off for a while. Lest we forget that the natural world is out to do us harm, we have the enduring images presented us by Herzog; accounts of decapitation, a bear chewing on a human rib cage and four refuse bags of human being removed from the eviscerated bear. Herzog's mastery of cinema is clear, but This is the only film I have ever watched where I was so horrified, I had to turn it off for a while. Lest we forget that the natural world is out to do us harm, we have the enduring images presented us by Herzog; accounts of decapitation, a bear chewing on a human rib cage and four refuse bags of human being removed from the eviscerated bear. Herzog's mastery of cinema is clear, but such a story tends to tell itself. How Timothy Treadwell managed to survive so long is a wonder in itself. Expand
  19. BitBurn
    Jan 8, 2006
    7
    Here's a story of a guy with some mental issues and his incapacity to face them so he runs away to Alaska a couple months every year to live with grizzlies! It
  20. KenK.
    Feb 17, 2006
    9
    I thought Grizzly Man was a brilliantly skillful piece of filmaking which evoked a huge range of emotional responses. However, it does not surprise me that some people found the whole enterprise ridiculous, as I left the cinema I overheard one woman simply state that Thredwell was an 'idiot'. And this is the beauty of the film, he was irresponsible, he was childlike, he was a I thought Grizzly Man was a brilliantly skillful piece of filmaking which evoked a huge range of emotional responses. However, it does not surprise me that some people found the whole enterprise ridiculous, as I left the cinema I overheard one woman simply state that Thredwell was an 'idiot'. And this is the beauty of the film, he was irresponsible, he was childlike, he was a fantasist, but he was also noble, brave and totally unselfish. Herzog provides no pat answers, this is not a Disney film, what you get is a complex, haunting, hilarious (the scene with the Bumble Bee) and absolutely beautiful film drenched in the pathos of one man's mortality. Expand
  21. Jeremy
    Feb 4, 2006
    1
    what a sad, desperate man timmy is, he speaks to the animals like an obnoxious mother talking to her baby: He clearly hates himself, thinks that what he is doing makes him a good person, He talks just to hear himself speak, as though he is this troubled genius. the best part is when he says that if there is a god, god would like him. I cant believe this movie got such good reviews. Use what a sad, desperate man timmy is, he speaks to the animals like an obnoxious mother talking to her baby: He clearly hates himself, thinks that what he is doing makes him a good person, He talks just to hear himself speak, as though he is this troubled genius. the best part is when he says that if there is a god, god would like him. I cant believe this movie got such good reviews. Use your brain people. Expand
  22. ChrisS.
    Feb 4, 2006
    2
    This movie angered me in several ways. The first is that this idiot tries to promote himself as a bear researcher/expert. The bears could tell he was nuttier than a fruitcake and therefore wouldn't eat him. He himself, by getting eaten, is responsible for the deaths of 2 bears. Way to go Mr. Bear protector. Should have saved himself 12 years worth of videotape and us 2 hours of our This movie angered me in several ways. The first is that this idiot tries to promote himself as a bear researcher/expert. The bears could tell he was nuttier than a fruitcake and therefore wouldn't eat him. He himself, by getting eaten, is responsible for the deaths of 2 bears. Way to go Mr. Bear protector. Should have saved himself 12 years worth of videotape and us 2 hours of our lives by smearing salmon all over himself the first year out. Expand
  23. JuleM.
    Feb 7, 2006
    4
    We get it. The animals are dangerous. So WHY, in the name of all things good, are you SHOVING A CAMERA in their faces and talking to them like they are teddy bears? Honestly. I disliked it most of all because the maker of this film really thinks too much of the bear guy, and you KNOW that there is something this guy did that was bad towards these bears, but there is absolutely no mention We get it. The animals are dangerous. So WHY, in the name of all things good, are you SHOVING A CAMERA in their faces and talking to them like they are teddy bears? Honestly. I disliked it most of all because the maker of this film really thinks too much of the bear guy, and you KNOW that there is something this guy did that was bad towards these bears, but there is absolutely no mention of anything but the most glowing of comments! If I were a bear, I would have probably have swatted him early on, just so he'd get the picture; stop shoving that stupid camera in our faces, dummy! Shoulda known he'd come across one in need of anger managment eventually.. Also, the narrator's accent really distracted me. Just saying. Expand
  24. JoeF.
    Mar 3, 2006
    10
    Anyone who rated this movie less than 8 does not deserve life! Treadwell was an amazing man, and this movie is just as amazing.
  25. MatthewB.
    Apr 4, 2006
    6
    The last reader's comment said the "film was real." But here's the problem I have with Herzog, his staging many key scenes, then pretending he doesn't. The coroner for instance, who is obviously reading lines. Not to mention the "actor friend." The scene where Herzog pretends he's hearing the tape for the first time is especially painful, only because it highlights The last reader's comment said the "film was real." But here's the problem I have with Herzog, his staging many key scenes, then pretending he doesn't. The coroner for instance, who is obviously reading lines. Not to mention the "actor friend." The scene where Herzog pretends he's hearing the tape for the first time is especially painful, only because it highlights Herzog's superficial qualities that only point toward his filmmaking tendencies. I had the same problem with this film that I had with his most recent "White Diamond," only moreso, feeling its subject exploited in the name of the filmmaker's thesis. At the same time, the Treadwell footage was in and of itself absolutely fascinating, if not disturbing, in that all too familiar Reality Television kind of way (the confessions to the camera, for instance). All in all, a not very good film from a very problematic filmmaker, whose work leaves me more and more frustrated, often infuriated, as the years go on. Expand
  26. SpankyV.
    May 29, 2006
    4
    Goofball movie. Guy is a nut case. Why is awards go to the "kookiest"movies? Oh yeah, the people giving the awards are kooks.
  27. BrendenB.
    Jul 20, 2006
    7
    Worth watching for the wildlife scenes alone. Too much footage of his ex.
  28. laurar
    Sep 15, 2008
    6
    I am glad that they movie started with the conclusion of Timothy's 13 summers in the Alaskan Park where he camped among Grizzly Bears. He came across as a bit dilusional. However he did mention that they could kill people, it just did not make sense to me why he would try to pet them, and he thought they were friends. it was sad, and disturbing. I am glad they did not play the audio I am glad that they movie started with the conclusion of Timothy's 13 summers in the Alaskan Park where he camped among Grizzly Bears. He came across as a bit dilusional. However he did mention that they could kill people, it just did not make sense to me why he would try to pet them, and he thought they were friends. it was sad, and disturbing. I am glad they did not play the audio tape of the killings. I felt haunted after watching the film and could not sleep aftterwards. Expand
  29. JackG.
    Dec 29, 2005
    4
    Too much whining.
  30. andrewj
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    With the non-critics (i.e. impatient phillistines) this is a polarizing film -- it seems like some viewers decided halfway through that they were either too annoyed or disgusted with treadwell to give this film a chance and discover all the beauty it has to offer. it's their loss -- content and visuals like these are pretty much why camcorders were invented. sure, treadwell is With the non-critics (i.e. impatient phillistines) this is a polarizing film -- it seems like some viewers decided halfway through that they were either too annoyed or disgusted with treadwell to give this film a chance and discover all the beauty it has to offer. it's their loss -- content and visuals like these are pretty much why camcorders were invented. sure, treadwell is annoying, delusional, ridiculously flamboyant, and desperate to make his life important. while he obviously has way more critics than sympathizers, this story becomes universal with the exploartion of one man's pursuit of a legacy. we all want to be remembered for something after we're gone; this emotional man-child thought he had finally found meaning and a goal for his life. herzog did a wonderful job editting the footage and editorializes only at a few key moments when he must draw a line between reality and treadwell's sentimentality. gorgeous ending, awesome film. Expand
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Brilliant, poetic, and utterly unique.
  2. 70
    The results are by turns fascinating, horrifying, and maddening.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    Herzog not only tells an incredible story but implies a dark metaphysic of the natural world that makes this film unsettlingly larger than its human subject.