Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23

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Critic Reviews

  1. Its best moments offer a sense of motion-picture poetry that will lift receptive viewers out of their seats.
  2. Filmmaking at its purest and most visceral – a tale full of sound and visual fury, signifying, if not exactly nothing, then something not so readily articulated in words.
  3. There are extraordinary collisions of image and music here that make for some breathtaking sequences, but when that portentous, Gregorian-chanting chorus kicks in with its repetitive mantra of the film's title, it sure sounds a whole lot like they're saying "narcolepsy," not "naqoyqatsi."
  4. Images wash over you like wind-blown rain, fierce and beautiful at the same time, largely shaped into themes by the haunting music of Philip Glass, who is here joined by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  5. 75
    Who needs mind-bending drugs when they can see this.
  6. 75
    I have problems with Naqoyqatsi as a film, but as a music video it's rather remarkable.
  7. 75
    Reggio, who is sufficiently eager for a large audience that he has allowed his film to be distributed by Miramax, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co., surely one of the villains in his piece, is neither so honest nor so bold (as Moore's "Bowling for Columbine").
  8. Passionate visual indictment of the perilous state of our high-tech world.
  9. The film is a disturbing and frighteningly evocative assembly of imagery and hypnotic music.
  10. Much of this is involving, although the pace is so relentless that it leaves little time to breathe or grasp precisely what Reggio is attempting to say.
  11. If Microsoft and Nike ever merged into one corporate megalith (MicroNike?) and commissioned Leni Riefenstahl to direct its visionary new Super Bowl commercial, the result might look something like Godfrey Reggio's Naqoyqatsi.
  12. 63
    A movie that seems to have been made mostly on the hard drive of a Power Mac G4. But whatever, we get it: Technology destroys everything.
  13. Feels like a bloated mass of data without much coherence.

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