• Release Date: Mar 30, 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 10 out of 31

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    Just as "The Velvet Underground & Nico" spurred wannabe musicians to actually go forth with their dreams, "Killer of Sheep" opened up the door to independent filmmaking to anyone with a camera and the vision. As a film, the 'story' relies on a series of episodic scenes (accompanied by an incredible soundtrack) to depict poverty in the Watts ghetto. This is both the film's greatest strength and weakness, because even though the neorealist style forces the viewer to experience the hardships with authentic intimacy, the lack of character development or plot makes the impression somewhat empty, (though not without a profound effect) Expand
  2. Sep 26, 2010
    I get that this movie is a quiet serious look at poverty and all that, but in the end it is just plain boring. I don't mind slow paced movies, but this is too much, heavy handed and bad.
  3. Feb 15, 2011
    After watching this movie twice, I have concluded that (1) the emperor wears no clothes and (2) if you think highly of this movie, you are PRETENTIOUS. Please, be honest for a moment. You read all the critical acclaim this movie has garnered (it's the only reason you saw it in the first place) and you don't want to seem like the person that "doesn't get it." Permit me to help you feel better about yourself: this movie was unwatchably bad. You know it; I know it; and now I give you license to be truthful.
    Imagine for a moment if this movie was filmed in color. The "artsy" feel is instantly removed. All that is left is intolerably bad acting and no story. People have written that this movie has a nontraditional storyline. If you want a nontraditional story of life in an impoverished neighborhood, drive to an impoverished neighborhood and hang out for a while. You would never do this for two reasons: it's a stupid idea and you would be insanely pretentious to do this. That's all this movie has to offer.

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Shot on a year's worth of weekends on a minuscule budget (less than $20,000), this remarkable work--conceivably the best single feature about ghetto life that we have--was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry as one of the key works of the American cinema, an ironic and belated form of recognition for a film that has had virtually no distribution. It shouldn't be missed.
  2. 80
    Burnett used many kinds of African-American music on the soundtrack, and the movie itself has the bedraggled eloquence of an old blues record. The amateur actors, who occasionally burst into fury, combined with the black-and-white cinematography, bring the poverty of Watts closer to us emotionally.
  3. 100
    Killer of Sheep is an urban pastoral--an episodic series of scenes that are sweet, sardonic, deeply sad, and very funny.