Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Darkness is based on a true story. Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews
    as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha’s conscience. The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as these men, women and children all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger. (Sony Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 23, 2012
    In Darkness is an extraordinary movie, and somehow good art creates its own uplift.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Feb 15, 2012
    The elephant in the room of any discussion of Poland and the Jews is that country's less-than-glorious record of betrayal and collaboration with the Nazis. Holland, who is half-Jewish and whose mother was active in the Polish Resistance, doesn't shrink from that legacy.
  3. Reviewed by: Paul Bradshaw
    Mar 16, 2012
    The film never hides its uncomfortable truths in the shadows.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 14, 2012
    Based on actual events, this claustrophobic epic is as emotional as they come: a Holocaust story shot through with a layer of darkness both literal and figurative
  5. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Feb 17, 2012
    Though the conclusion is foregone, Canadian screenwriter David F. Shamoon's script manages to extract suspense out of Poldek's ruthless, calculating nature.
  6. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Feb 6, 2012
    Watching the movie, you feel the constriction and the disgust of the life below, but Holland, pacing the film well, knows when to come up for air. Each time she does, the daylight seems like a benediction. [13 & 20 Feb. 2012, p 120]
  7. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Feb 6, 2012
    It's the rare film that should not introduce new story elements or characters past its first act. In Darkness, a garbage movie applying for unlimited credit on the most meager collateral, is that film.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Lyn
    May 26, 2013
    Hmmm, I don't recall Anne Frank's group engaging in so much frantic sex while they were in hiding. But with so many angles of the Holocaust horrors having been covered in so many other dramas, I found this one different and gripping. The lead actor's extraordinarily expressive face fills us in on his emotional and moral journey; he starts out self-serving and mercenary, but becomes invested in the desperate people who depend on him. If you are interested in this period of history, "In Darkness" will be a worthwhile addition to what you know about it. Expand
  2. Dec 12, 2012
    While certainly not the only film to touch base on the horrors of the holocaust,
  3. Apr 22, 2012
    A taut thriller about a true story of a dozen jews hiding out in a sewage system under Warsaw in 1944-45. Their savior is a Catholic Pole who starts off as your usual anti semitic Polish peasant type yet develops, against his own fear and biases, into a true hero, warts and all. His motivation starts off as greed (they pay him in cash and jewelry) but grows from that to humanitarian concern, in part due to his more liberal wife. The characters are well developed and show an honest diversity of humans all dealing with imprisonment, terror, and starvation. A well crafted movie that tells itself without undue drama or pity. I'm not sure how well it will play out in Poland, a country well known for it's depravity and soullessness to it's own Jewish citizens. Expand
  4. Nov 17, 2012
    It is the hallmark of a good quality foreign film that reach a point where you overlook that fact that you are reading the dialog. This is that sort of film. The story is compelling and the pacing is excellent. Well worth your time. Expand
  5. Jun 29, 2012
    There is a certain poignancy to this film but that lays within the story and nothing else. There's little connection between the viewer and the story unfolding. There is little connection between the watcher and the characters. It misses. The empathy is there but there's no connection. Expand
  6. Mar 10, 2012
    In Darkness is aptly titled. This film is incredibly dark, both in a lighting sense and its subject matter. Based on the book, In the Sewers of Lvov: a Heroic Story of Survival from the Holocaust, In Darkness joins a long line of films which document Jewish ghettos during World War II. The story follows an individual group of Jews who evade the Nazis once the ghetto massacre begins. The group dug a hole from one of their small apartments which leads down into the murky mess of the Lvov, Poland sewers. The resident lord of the sewers is Lvovâ Collapse