User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24

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  1. Nov 29, 2011
    6
    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. Expand
  2. Apr 21, 2012
    5
    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. Collapse
  3. May 4, 2012
    9
    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.
  4. Mar 22, 2012
    2
    When compared to the First 48 series this documentary is very weak. The storyline is weak and meandering. The film appears outdated as this genre has much better offerings on TV. Can't see why he made this.
  5. Apr 5, 2012
    9
    Into the abyss is one of the strongest documentry's i have ever seen. Herzog know's where to look what button's to use and which camera angles and shot's to use at the right time, The film has a haunting vision that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
  6. j30
    Apr 29, 2012
    7
    Werner Herzog's fascinating social documentary about the controversial death penalty, is both refreshingly unbiased and heartfelt throughout. Herzog asks all the right questions and leaves it to the viewer to decide.
  7. Dec 12, 2011
    8
    Another great documentary from Herzog. To those who are disenchanted with it's spiraling out and choice to not answer questions, in response to this critique, this is where it's important to remember the title. This film takes you into the abyss where answers do not exist and everything becomes complicated and unclear. Would expect nothing less from Herzog.
  8. Jul 2, 2012
    9
    How you are likely to feel about this film depends on your past experience with its director, and your need for resolution. In this film, Werner Herzog, who
  9. Apr 24, 2012
    9
    A phenomenal documentary that tells both sides of the story well. Never really favouring one. Herzog wisely never puts himself in front of the camera as to make it all about the story being told. This documentary will have you doubting if capital punishment is right.
Metascore
74

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: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 29, 2012
    60
    It is a sombre, thoughtful, restrained and often powerful piece of work.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Mar 19, 2012
    80
    Herzog's tapestry testifies to life's light from death's darkness. Its honest humanity and sideways-on character bare his illuminating imprint.
  3. Reviewed by: Philip Wilding
    Feb 20, 2012
    80
    A haunting portrayal of people who are neither completely innocent nor wholly evil, and the terrible price of killing, whether in the pursuit of a sports car or in the name of justice.