Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Feb 16, 2012
    90
    This coldly compelling film doesn't try to explain Michael's behavior or analyze his disease. As if doing penance for Michael's sins, it eventually metes out unequivocal punishment, but it is small consolation.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 9, 2012
    80
    Writer-director Markus Schleinzer's exceedingly dark drama -- guaranteed to make audiences squirm in their seats -- is emotionally unsettling.
  3. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Feb 27, 2012
    80
    As horrifying and hard to watch as you'd expect a paedophile's-eye view of life to be. It's neither sensationalist nor trite, and the questions it asks are intelligent and thoughtful.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 14, 2012
    80
    Brace yourself and go see it.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 15, 2012
    75
    It's a chilling film about the routine business of unspeakable acts.
  6. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Feb 14, 2012
    75
    Dreadful as the subject matter is, the authenticity of the performances and the skill of Schleinzer's filmmaking are difficult to deny in this portrait of a monster as the bland guy next door.
  7. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Feb 14, 2012
    70
    Illustrating the banality of evil in an impressively controlled and sometimes darkly humorous fashion, Michael takes a coolly nonjudgmental, non-psychological approach to a disturbing topic.
  8. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    May 12, 2012
    50
    A film that's hard to watch and hard to recommend.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Feb 21, 2012
    50
    It's hard to make a movie about a pederast without being exploitative, and Michael eventually comes to feel like an art house stunt.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Feb 16, 2012
    40
    A strange and troubling little film, a hermetically sealed creep-fest that seems to have no desire to be anything more than just that.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Feb 14, 2012
    40
    Not everything that is human is naturally interesting, and Schleinzer approaches his subject not as an investigator, but as though covering up a crime scene and scrubbing it of anything that might provide insight or empathy or psychological traction.
  12. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Feb 14, 2012
    38
    A (relatively) tasteful and restrained approach to potentially lurid subject matter isn't necessarily any better than one that gives in freely to what might be seen as a filmmaker's baser impulses.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Dec 18, 2014
    8
    I really liked the way the story was told, from the placement of the disease to the journey of a mad man. This film contains amazingI really liked the way the story was told, from the placement of the disease to the journey of a mad man. This film contains amazing performances, especially by the young kid, and a great screenplay. Full Review »
  2. Aug 21, 2012
    10
    Impressive use of cinema I must say. Nothing too visually shocking; rather, it will mentally shock you to your core. However, this movie wasImpressive use of cinema I must say. Nothing too visually shocking; rather, it will mentally shock you to your core. However, this movie was perfection, as far as movie making goes. I can't think of a thing I would change to make it better. Additionally, the lead actor is magnificent! He nailed it, so to speak (no pun intended). You really feel like you're there. You have the opportunity to spend a month (or some time period I can't remember) in the life of a mentally deranged person. Sad story, but very well made and worth your time. The thing is- this stuff happens in real life, so deal with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haneke (director) is a genius - try REC or Funny Games if you haven't already.... Full Review »
  3. Jun 16, 2012
    6
    I expected more from this movie. It wasn`t bad, but when it started to get exciting it suddenly ended. They should have gone deeper into theI expected more from this movie. It wasn`t bad, but when it started to get exciting it suddenly ended. They should have gone deeper into the issue of pedos... Full Review »