Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Apr 11, 2013
    90
    Add one more extraordinary survival tale to the canon of Holocaust documentaries: No Place on Earth.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 18, 2013
    75
    Perhaps the most amazing thing about this story is that it would have been lost to history had not American spelunker Chris Nicola happened across mundane relics -- buttons, shoes and the like -- while exploring the cave complex in the 1990s.
  3. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    The film is built from moving, frank interviews with survivors from two families who hid, speaking over and around extensive re-enactments. Passages from the memoir of one family matriarch, Esther Stermer, in many ways the heroine of the tale, also are used as narration.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 8, 2013
    75
    A well-crafted documentary variation on "Defiance," Ukrainian Jews saving themselves by going underground -- literally.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Apr 3, 2013
    67
    This story isn’t untold, just largely unknown. It’s a minor point, perhaps, but a sticky one, a needless elision that blurs the all-important question of how memories, and history, must be recounted to endure. One telling is not enough.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 21, 2013
    65
    Although the story is told with narration rather than dialogue, Tobias relies too much on reconstruction. A more inventive melding of documentary and docudrama would have benefited the film, whose most moving scenes all involve real members of the families. A bit more historical and geographic context would also be useful.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    The first-person remembrances hit you where you live, while everything else (including a bland musical score by John Piscitello) often creates the opposite of the intended effect: It keeps you at arm's length from an extraordinary story.
  8. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    May 2, 2013
    60
    The film is not without its flaws, but the story it tells is both terrifying and inspiring.
  9. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    The bare facts of the feat seize the imagination, even if Ms. Tobias’s competent documentary doesn’t quite rise to the challenge.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    May 9, 2013
    50
    Fascinating but frustrating.
  11. Reviewed by: Leah Churner
    May 1, 2013
    50
    Some chronicle is better than no chronicle, but the past exists only in the retelling; how history is written is as important as the story itself. Don’t these survivors deserve better?
  12. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    The film indulges in sentimental and sensational tropes. The manipulative touches do more than dis­­­­­­tract, they irk. This story could have been retold without resorting to all the unfortunate formulas used in prime-time and cable fare.
  13. Reviewed by: Tina Hassannia
    Apr 2, 2013
    50
    A remarkable story made almost unremarkable in the hands of lazy filmmaking.
  14. Reviewed by: Lily Janiak
    Apr 2, 2013
    40
    The stats relayed at the movie's end...almost have more impact than the narrative.
  15. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 2, 2013
    40
    This story is both uplifting and awe-inspiring. It deserves to be told better.

There are no user reviews yet.