Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 17, 2011
    A shapeless collection of encounters with Texas prison inmates and their victims, what could have been a well-aimed examination of the most troubling contradictions of capital punishment instead becomes a maudlin, unrestrained wallow.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. May 4, 2012
    Excellent documentary from Herzog. But it is important to keep in mind that this isn't The Thin Blue Line, and instead of turning this documentary into some kind of television crime drama, Herzog simply explores the crime, and the minds of those involved and affected by it. Excellent documentary. Full Review »
  2. Apr 21, 2012
    Interesting and sad, but not very thorough. Is it just me, or does Herzog never challenge either of the convicted killers on their versions of the story, which is that they didn't kill these people? It feels like he avoided the issue and just let them tell their story, and let everyone else tell their story, and left it for us to figure out. But the big payoff that never occurs is that these two convicted murderers are never forced to face the ugly thing they did. If Herzog is taking the stance that they were innocent, then he should have pushed harder against the authorities. But he doesn't do that either. The effect is just a huge letdown of a movie, where we hear account after account of a needlessly brutal crime occurring, and being bragged about. And then we see the alleged perpetrators claim they didn't do it. The real question of this movie: 'why would they commit these terrible acts to steal a car?' - is never even posed to either of the two people convicted. This seems to me to be too laid back an approach for a story that begs for larger answers. Full Review »
  3. Nov 29, 2011
    I really did not get much why out of this film than I would from a television show. . Why did they kill? Stupid? Why death in one case and life in the other? Money/jurors? Maybe it is all unexplainable. I did not think Herzog delved into any of it enough to offer a case or documentary with a passion. The most interesting part was the death row groupie but even there the ball was dropped. She was obviously as nutty as the murderers but why. Again, no real insight. Don't go out of your way to see it. Full Review »