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64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Michael, a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. Michael is aMichael, a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. Michael is a masterfully executed study of a monster with rich cinematic detail and unnerving insight. (Strand Releasing) Collapse
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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    May 12, 2012
    50
    A film that's hard to watch and hard to recommend.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. 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.... Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2012
    6
    I liked that flat, matter-of-fact style juxtaposed with the horror of what was happening, but the director went a little too far with theI liked that flat, matter-of-fact style juxtaposed with the horror of what was happening, but the director went a little too far with the boring scenes. You feel like someone might be making fun of you when they've got you paying to watch people put jigsaw puzzles together. Expand
  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... Expand

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