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
  31. AlexP.
    Oct 8, 2005
    8
    Ranks with Tarnation and Crumb as fascinating-terrifying profiles of psychosis. David Byrne has some interesting stuff to say about this movie on his blog.
  32. NicR
    Aug 10, 2005
    10
    This is one of those films that makes you think, "Wow! This is amazing!" And that's only compounded by the fact that you eventually grasp the fact that it's real.
  33. NielC
    Aug 15, 2005
    4
    Herzog's insertions are deeply troubling. His careful editing and voice-over underscore a condescension and mocking self-aggrandizement that belittle all the participants in his film, especially Treadwell.
  34. JamesW.
    Aug 28, 2005
    8
    The film left me emotionally off-balance. This response (I believe), is due to the schizophrenic nature of Treadwell's footage. The raw material has a majestic beauty leavened by the natural danger which stands at odds with Treadwell's mercurial behavior. Herzog's narration is at times, vital to telling the tale, while his opinions give the viewer a point of view to The film left me emotionally off-balance. This response (I believe), is due to the schizophrenic nature of Treadwell's footage. The raw material has a majestic beauty leavened by the natural danger which stands at odds with Treadwell's mercurial behavior. Herzog's narration is at times, vital to telling the tale, while his opinions give the viewer a point of view to consider while reaching their own conclusions. The overlay of human fraility on a view of the natural world rarely seen in such intimate detail, makes for provocative viewing. Expand
  35. FloG
    Sep 14, 2005
    4
    I found the movie very disturbing in the sense that Herzog uses the life of a man who appears to be bipolar while filming in an amateurish style, as if it was a last hommage to a lost friend. People who are interviewed have seen too many reality or talk shows and try to "overexplain" their emotions. The movie is more about filming people, showing the power of the camera, how it makes an I found the movie very disturbing in the sense that Herzog uses the life of a man who appears to be bipolar while filming in an amateurish style, as if it was a last hommage to a lost friend. People who are interviewed have seen too many reality or talk shows and try to "overexplain" their emotions. The movie is more about filming people, showing the power of the camera, how it makes an ordinary person believes his or her 15 mn fame is up and choosing what you want to show the public, than the life of the deranged Treadwell. The way Herzog films the coroner, the girlfriend, the ceremony of the ashes is made to make us laugh. The only time he is truly objective is when he shows us the comment of a true [inuit?] person to remind us that we are not supposed to approach bears. Expand
  36. M.Keo
    Jan 10, 2006
    8
    One of the funniest movies ive seen in a while--i could not stop laughing through many parts---for those who didn't get it, watch it one more time--pay attention to the shots,dialogue and characters--- so brilliant that i almost thought it was real--in fact my girlfriend swears it was real to this day---a funny and tragic joke.
  37. GrantN.
    Jan 17, 2006
    9
    Excellent movie about the character studies of both a man bordering insanity and a group of Alaskain bears. Thrilling, insightful, romantic, sad, and funny at times. The doctor who talks about Treadwell's death is horrible though. It seems like he is just happy to be on screen and does not care for the man whose dead remains they are talking about.
  38. JakeN.
    Jan 31, 2006
    0
    Bears are not cute and cuddly. I am boycotting hollywood until they stop pushing the bear agenda. I got your back Stephen, don't watch this movie!
  39. miker.
    Jan 3, 2006
    7
    Interesting story, and I really didn't mind that he was an annoying human being. I think it's all the acquaintances, friends and lovers speaking about him as if he was a person of great importance that was the most irritating aspect of the movie.
  40. D.Georges
    Jan 5, 2006
    8
    Very good documentary, although Treadwell was a complete idiot. The photography, the editiing and damn it, how could no one no mention the awesome soundtrack by Richard Thompson. Anyway, I'm still a bit dissappointed there wasn't any additional footage of the scene of the crime or a bear autopsy, or an audio snippet of the bear eating Treadwell.
  41. JonathanH.
    Feb 12, 2006
    8
    Those who have given this film low marks seem to have done so in disdain for the the protagonist Treadwell rather than the film itself. Following this logic any film about "bad" people (Downfall [Hitler's last days] for example) would be ipso facto rubbish regardless of good screenwriting and directing. This is of course an utterly proposterous line of critique. This film deserves an Those who have given this film low marks seem to have done so in disdain for the the protagonist Treadwell rather than the film itself. Following this logic any film about "bad" people (Downfall [Hitler's last days] for example) would be ipso facto rubbish regardless of good screenwriting and directing. This is of course an utterly proposterous line of critique. This film deserves an eight because it examines the relationship between an extraordinary (misguided certainly) individual and his relationship to nature, to life and the universe at its most Hobbesian. The meeting of two distinct characters - the mixed up, paranoia and largely harmless Treadwell and the wry, philosophically erudite Herzog leads to a narrative that is both hilarious and tragic. I would recommend this movie to all those interested in a diet of the profound, the funny and the sad. It reminded me of just what an extraordinary condition being human is. Expand
  42. JohnS.
    Feb 25, 2006
    1
    I gave this movie a 1. The only reason it didn't get a 0 is because it achieved it's goal of being a movie. The story of Tim Treadwell is a terrible, terrible thing. The people that actually allowed a mentally handicapped person to venture out alone with wild animals (especially such a deadly animal as the bear) should be tried for murder. If this man was locked up in an I gave this movie a 1. The only reason it didn't get a 0 is because it achieved it's goal of being a movie. The story of Tim Treadwell is a terrible, terrible thing. The people that actually allowed a mentally handicapped person to venture out alone with wild animals (especially such a deadly animal as the bear) should be tried for murder. If this man was locked up in an institution like he clearly needed to be, he, his girlfriend, and two bears would not be dead. Shame on the people that called themselves his "friends." They were nothing more than fools trying to get this man killed so they could make a movie. I am truley disgusted. Expand
  43. MattB.
    Feb 25, 2006
    9
    Another in a long line of great Herzog films about madness, death, and man's place in a cold and chaotic world. Those children among you who are reviewing Treadwell himself and not the film...uh. Get a grip. You probably wouldn't like Aguirre, Wrath of God because Aguirre is "too weird."
  44. NickS.
    Mar 17, 2006
    10
    Those who rate this film very low and simply dismiss Treadwell as a "fruitcake" are the true fruitcakes, systemic examples of the proud ignorance that not only ALLOWS the social world of man to remain the chaotic and indifferent power game it has evolved into but further REINFORCES these same harmful machinations that drove the weak-hearted Timothy Treadwell into his tragic existence Those who rate this film very low and simply dismiss Treadwell as a "fruitcake" are the true fruitcakes, systemic examples of the proud ignorance that not only ALLOWS the social world of man to remain the chaotic and indifferent power game it has evolved into but further REINFORCES these same harmful machinations that drove the weak-hearted Timothy Treadwell into his tragic existence alone in the wilderness. The natural world (and hence all the things existing within it) is an ethically crazy and mixed-up thing, and it saddens me to see people trashing the work of a man (Herzog) who is simply attempting to make honest sense of it all and share his findings with us along the way. The film is not "flawless" or "perfect," but on a sliding scale relative to the vast majority of things that daily barrage my periphery, it easily deserves the highest endorsement. Expand
  45. TimD.
    Mar 24, 2006
    8
    This film contains come fascinating momnents. Timothy Treadwell is such a perverse and captivating character that he manages to steal the attention in a film that should be about some of the most stunning wildlife footage ever shot. Treadwell iks a character that no other country could have created. A man who goes from a Gulllivers' Travels themed restaurant to living with bears and This film contains come fascinating momnents. Timothy Treadwell is such a perverse and captivating character that he manages to steal the attention in a film that should be about some of the most stunning wildlife footage ever shot. Treadwell iks a character that no other country could have created. A man who goes from a Gulllivers' Travels themed restaurant to living with bears and foxes, via Cheers auditions. There is a chilike innocence to him that is both endearing yet demanding of sympathy. He is a true eccentric of film, and not in a 'look, i've put marshmallows in my ears, aren't i wacky?' sort of way. The film however lacks a bit of direction. Herzog's footage is spliced together in a somehwat discombobulating order that, while covering a lot of ground, gives us the impression that we aren't moving anywhere. His commentary can also be sometimes be condescending. Which is a shame, because Grizzly Man could have been one of the greatest documentaries put to film. Expand
  46. Selina
    Aug 6, 2009
    10
    Undoubtly, this film was AMAZING. Grizzly Man shows the ideal footage of a man whose courage and determination got him his calling. He proved that bears are not killers, and brought some brilliant footage in the making. This truly is a beautiful nature film, and I recommend it for any nature lover. Although, yes, Timothy was somewhat loony, but I respect his decision in life. I know that Undoubtly, this film was AMAZING. Grizzly Man shows the ideal footage of a man whose courage and determination got him his calling. He proved that bears are not killers, and brought some brilliant footage in the making. This truly is a beautiful nature film, and I recommend it for any nature lover. Although, yes, Timothy was somewhat loony, but I respect his decision in life. I know that there's a one and a million chance that someone will survive thirteen years without weapons among one of the most dangerous animals on this planet. I enjoyed this film and admired Treadwell's skill, devotion, and humor. This film is truly a masterpiece. The stuff he captured is simply wonderful. HOWEVER, I do not respect Herzog. I think he twisted it around a bit. Some directors do that. He probably made Tim look more than he was. We don't care about his opinion- at least I don't. I wish that this movie was more about the nature and beauty Treadwell captured rather than the stupid opinions of Herzog. Expand
  47. HolidayI.
    Nov 22, 2005
    0
    There is nothing to take away from this movie, except that Timothy was a disillusioned idiot. Major disappointment.
  48. WillowP.
    Aug 22, 2005
    3
    This film has been highly overrated. There were times I thought it was satire. There is nothing in Treadwell's character or actions that warrant acknowledgement. The fact that he succumbs to the bears is hardly surprising given the chances he took. For Herzog, I am embarrassed.
  49. Phil
    Sep 11, 2005
    3
    This movie is laughable at times, and definitely far and away overrated. I really don't get why this movie is getting so much praise.
  50. PeterT.
    Sep 17, 2005
    8
    The quixotic Treadwell stands for all who can only tolerate life if it is on the edge - and there's a bit of that in many of us, not least director Werner Herzog (think of the controversy over the production of Fitzcarraldo). Whether Treadwell did bears more harm than good, he tried to live a life true to his heart, and things went wrong when idealism clashed with reality. A typical The quixotic Treadwell stands for all who can only tolerate life if it is on the edge - and there's a bit of that in many of us, not least director Werner Herzog (think of the controversy over the production of Fitzcarraldo). Whether Treadwell did bears more harm than good, he tried to live a life true to his heart, and things went wrong when idealism clashed with reality. A typical Herzog scenario. Herzog has never let me down, although he came a bit close with this one. Expand
  51. KevinA.
    Sep 19, 2005
    2
    One of the weakest documentaries I've seen in a long while. Herzog spends more time on his own opinions on Treadwell and company than actual facts (How did Treadwell finance these expeditions? What did he do in the offseason? Etc). Meanwhile, the movie seemed to be about Treadwell's complexity, when after 10 minutes, it seemed quite obvious: A distrubed man who wanted to feel One of the weakest documentaries I've seen in a long while. Herzog spends more time on his own opinions on Treadwell and company than actual facts (How did Treadwell finance these expeditions? What did he do in the offseason? Etc). Meanwhile, the movie seemed to be about Treadwell's complexity, when after 10 minutes, it seemed quite obvious: A distrubed man who wanted to feel important. I spent an hour and a half of having that forcefully explained to me, while suffering through prepared "interviews", where the subjects lacked any sort of genuiness whatsoever. A strange, bad movie. Watch only to be confused by the filmmaking. Critics were influenced by Herzog's stature, apparently? I have no idea. Watch Murderball instead. Collapse
  52. GregT.
    Jan 24, 2006
    5
    Odd and somewhat interesting documentary in which a man develops a touching relationship with a fox, but a death wish fascination with grizzly bears. At least 20 or more times in this movie, Treadwell relates, over and over again, that his endeavours in Alaska with grizzlies are dangerous, that this could lead to him being seriously injured or killed. So, he fulfilled his own prophecy and Odd and somewhat interesting documentary in which a man develops a touching relationship with a fox, but a death wish fascination with grizzly bears. At least 20 or more times in this movie, Treadwell relates, over and over again, that his endeavours in Alaska with grizzlies are dangerous, that this could lead to him being seriously injured or killed. So, he fulfilled his own prophecy and what other point did he have to make? Expand
  53. GregH.
    Feb 17, 2006
    8
    Without wanting to be a snob, isn't it interesting that the people who gave this film a high score offer considered and erudite opinions of the movie and its makers/protagonist, while those who deride it are the type of people who confuse the word 'disillusioned' with 'deluded'.
  54. SeamusS.
    Feb 26, 2006
    10
    This is argubaly the greatest documentary i've ever seen. i'm basing this opinion on the fact that I've never once been moved/haunted/scared by a documentary ever. Poetic and Beautiful An incredible and manditory viewing experience
  55. MichelG
    Nov 26, 2007
    10
    This is a great film, it combine unintentional humor with deeply touching footage. Tims love for nature should be praised, along with this movie.
  56. Mithyus
    Apr 16, 2007
    10
    Looking through everything the movie is said to be, the polemics and the opinions, you will see one undeniable truth - Grizzly Man shows the history of a man whose love, ideal, and the perseverance in defending them gave him a meaning in life. Timothy Treadwell shows us the most raw essence of the conscious human in search for happyness, disregarding the common limitations of human Looking through everything the movie is said to be, the polemics and the opinions, you will see one undeniable truth - Grizzly Man shows the history of a man whose love, ideal, and the perseverance in defending them gave him a meaning in life. Timothy Treadwell shows us the most raw essence of the conscious human in search for happyness, disregarding the common limitations of human behaviour and going beyond. And even if Herzog sometimes blurs this focus, the inspirational story of this admirable man and his love for animals and nature are presented in a perfectly solid way. Truly, a masterpiece of real life. Expand
  57. O.C.H
    Sep 14, 2008
    0
    Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" is a comedy for the ages. His brilliant writting, witty portrial of an insane maniac and hilariously bad interviews all add up to a very memorable experience. Wait, what? This isn't a comedy? Sure fooled me. Grizzly Man truly did have me up in stitches, and it wasn't until I realized that it was trying so desprretly hard to make a morale point Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" is a comedy for the ages. His brilliant writting, witty portrial of an insane maniac and hilariously bad interviews all add up to a very memorable experience. Wait, what? This isn't a comedy? Sure fooled me. Grizzly Man truly did have me up in stitches, and it wasn't until I realized that it was trying so desprretly hard to make a morale point that I decided this was one of my least favorite films of all time. To be honest, I was laughing at how bad the film was - so I had already pegged Grizzly Man as an awful film. Maybe I shouldn't put this all on Herzog. After all, Timmothy is a truly bizzare person that just comes off weird and no amount of directorial talent can save that- but then I remember that Herzog picked him, not the other way around. Frankly, you've really, really, really got to read between the lines to get any sort of social commentary out of the movie. In all senses, Grizzly Man fails at what it sets out to do. Expand
  58. mikem.
    Dec 29, 2005
    10
    Rare that a documentary allows the viewer to focus on a person so intimately. we learn things about him that nomrally would only come through in a biopic, but he is SO interesting. and his story is SO compelling, and SO tragic that this is something so special, rare, and almost unthinkable that it will never happen again. this is one of the all-time great documentaries.
  59. JimG
    Dec 29, 2005
    6
    Wonderfully shot picture of how some people save themselves with obsession. Rather than substance abuse, they lock onto a thought or cause (think, "I never want what happened to my [wife, son, whomever] to happen to someone else"). The thought provoked--do the great things obsessed people achieve outweigh the consequences? Fascinating. Sure, there are opportunities for petty complaints -- Wonderfully shot picture of how some people save themselves with obsession. Rather than substance abuse, they lock onto a thought or cause (think, "I never want what happened to my [wife, son, whomever] to happen to someone else"). The thought provoked--do the great things obsessed people achieve outweigh the consequences? Fascinating. Sure, there are opportunities for petty complaints -- might be a bit overlong, Herzog's omnipotence is a little too omnipresent, while simply photographing the choices obviously tell the story Herzog's way (for example, seems he ridicules the parents a little bit by focusing on innocent household kitsch). But solid winner here. Expand
  60. MattB
    Nov 21, 2006
    8
    Half way through this film I thought it was the funniest mockumentary since Spinal Tap- if it wasn't for the bear footage. The fascinating thing about this documentary is that all the participants are hilarious, overblown, and larger than life. Christiphor Guest et al would be hard pushed to CREATE characters and lines as funny as these. Do people like this really exist? The ex Half way through this film I thought it was the funniest mockumentary since Spinal Tap- if it wasn't for the bear footage. The fascinating thing about this documentary is that all the participants are hilarious, overblown, and larger than life. Christiphor Guest et al would be hard pushed to CREATE characters and lines as funny as these. Do people like this really exist? The ex girlfriend recounting her and Timothy's meeting in a restaurant and the macabre coroner talking about body parts, not to mention the helicopter pilot's complete lack of emotion and Treadwell's mania are some of the elements that lend themselves to one of the most bizarre documentaries I have ever seen. Bravo! Expand
  61. aveiwer
    Dec 29, 2007
    1
    This "movie" is disturbing at its core. I have watched other documentary's filmed by Treadwell, and thought highly of them. This film shows him as nothing more than a very disturbed young man, who had little reguard for his own safety, or that of the bears he professed to love. I am truely upset by this and will never be able to watch his documentarys again.
  62. Apr 29, 2014
    8
    This was a great documentary. It was very interesting watching this film knowing that, in the end, these animals that he loved so much wound up being the thing that killed him. However, throughout the film, we get to see his great interactions with the bears and foxes he encounters, while we also see a lot of comedy from Treadwell, which was unexpected. In spite of how tragic the film isThis was a great documentary. It was very interesting watching this film knowing that, in the end, these animals that he loved so much wound up being the thing that killed him. However, throughout the film, we get to see his great interactions with the bears and foxes he encounters, while we also see a lot of comedy from Treadwell, which was unexpected. In spite of how tragic the film is at its core, there was enough humor to not bum you out with how Timothy's life ends. On top of this, Herzog's gentle direction really allowed the tapes made by Treadwell to speak for themselves (with a little narration from Herzog) and overall, it leaves you realizing that this man simply loved the grizzly bears and while he may be a little odd, he is oddly endearing and admirable. Expand
  63. Jwv
    Jan 22, 2014
    9
    I must be frank; I didn't appreciate Werner's (the documentary makers) narration in the beginning. There is little intonation, his sentences are somewhat chopped and he has an unusual accent. During the whole journey however, we get to know Werner better because of his very personal opinion, sharp analysis and sensible and intelligent commentary. Near the end, I even viewed him as aI must be frank; I didn't appreciate Werner's (the documentary makers) narration in the beginning. There is little intonation, his sentences are somewhat chopped and he has an unusual accent. During the whole journey however, we get to know Werner better because of his very personal opinion, sharp analysis and sensible and intelligent commentary. Near the end, I even viewed him as a companion with whom I was delving deeper into the mind of Timothy. Werner does an extremely good job of complicating Timothy's character with sharp analysis and good footage selection and arranging. I like the honesty of the selection process too; he both incorporates the opinions of Timothy's confidantes and of critics. The honesty and plainness with which the interviewees speak also touched me.

    Like with the narration, I also adopted an opinion about Timothy polar to the one I ended with and for Werner to achieve this is a great feat. In the beginning, I thought Timothy was a great guy. Due to the directness and authenticity of his footage (this because of his own shot camera footage and the lack of social control thereabouts), the enthusiasm and pure, passionate love is tangible (and adrenaline too), even through the obstacle the medium is. You cannot but sympathize when Timothy talks about his life and how he found purpose in his lifestyle. He reminded me of Cesar Millan in the extreme, someone with a pure love and one vision. His genuine and childish enthusiasm and affection for nature is truly heart-warming, this man is all passion for his job. What's also great is Timothy's respect for the majesty of these grizzlies and his knowing that the only thing that keeps him from death there is the bear's tolerance that he wins by his own mental strength. He is a person to be admired because he lived the way he wanted, even in the face of danger and opposition. Sadly enough however, I don't admire him for his work because I feel from watching that Timothy was at fault in invading the bears' lives and playing their unwanted protector.

    The documentary does a great job of complicating our initial image of Tim as a fighter for good. Timothy's diaries also reveal a flawed side, a side very hungry for recognition and being rebellious for the sake of it. It is quite disturbing to see Timothy talk to the bears as if they were humans, his long periods of loneliness may account for this, but it is still remarkable and strange. After finishing the documentary, the question of how Timothy actually helped these animals in doing what he does remains vague, and it doesn't help that the narrator explicitly states in the beginning of the movie that the bears filmed actually already live in a wildlife park. These and other facts suggest that Timothy might have actually lived among these bears not with the primary goal to better their lives, but that it might have been a solution for a broken man that was done with society and needed some time to figure himself out. I strongly suspect that his living in this wild, primordial nature might have largely been a therapy for him, a way out of the complicatedness and disappointments that human society brings. I'm convinced the bumblebee-footage answer our question about why Timothy wishes to die there of any places. Timothy liked living on the edge (as his childhood story suggests too), and I think he kicked on the adrenaline and tension that comes from the knowledge that to fail mentally in this wilderness is to die. It was a challenge to him to survive every day and every hour, of which each moment he lives works life- and character-affirming; each moment is a celebration of his mental strength. I believe he didn't want to die the way the bumblebee supposedly did, quite unexpected and in a very non-heroic and meaningless way. Therefore I believe that while his friends talk about his death being tragic, Timothy is delighted in the fact that he died in this way, always fighting with something greater than himself. This is the second reason why I think Timothy was there more for himself than for anything else. Another problem comes in his revering of the poop of one of the grizzlies. He absolutely sees them as divine, which makes us again question if we should search more meaning behind his death than someone dying because he was enchanted by a crazy ecstasy. His direct interference in nature and crazy pleading for the help of higher powers also reinforce the belief that Timothy's problem was mainly a personal problem. Timothy seemed to have had appropriated this piece of Eden for himself and any offense to it he may have seen as offense against his person, which makes his fight too personal and vicious for what it should be. He has a way of wildly dramatizing the importance of his self-imposed and self-created mission and his narcissism. In the end, you do ask yourself whether this is a documentary on nature or a documentary on a troubled human psyche.
    Expand
  64. Sep 16, 2014
    9
    A HUGE return to form for Werner Herzog. Like Klaus Kinski before him, the crazy/tragic life of Timothy Treadwell brings out the best in the idiosyncratic director, and no one else could have done him justice.
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.