Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 5, 2012
    It is the kind of experience you simply sink into.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 6, 2012
    The word 'samsara' means 'continuous flow of life' in Tibetan, and Fricke and company surely experienced that sensation in making the film, which took them to 25 countries in a span of five years.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 7, 2012
    With a title taken from an American Indian word for "life out of balance," Godfrey Reggio's wordless documentary lured dreamers into the sacred cave of cinema, where they ingested the serial music of Philip Glass and the time-lapse imagery of cinematographer Ron Fricke.
  4. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Aug 22, 2012
    Simply put, Samsara tells the story of our world, but onscreen, it is so much more than that.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 20, 2012
    My review is based on my own thoughts. Please respect my opinion, as I do respect yours.
    I have to start by saying I loved Koyaanisqatsi. On
    the other hand i did not like Baraka. My problem with this STUNNINGLY beautiful and very MEANINGFUL movie is that: it becomes preachy about the "western civilization" in a very negative way. Yes our "western civilization" is FAR from being perfect or even good. I do not like what happens in our world either!!! "We" have many problems, (and some very bad and negative tendencies we should keep an eye on, and do against these), but Ron Fricke always portrays it as overcrowded, artificial, imperialistic, bad. Ron Fricke never show the good things about it. He portrays our civilization as a doomed civilization. I sincerely hope we can CHANGE for the better. On the other hand he portrays more far away places, that are not part of that "western civilization" (Tibet, Africa etc.) in a very positive way.Of course there are no problems in these African tribes, like in our countries where millions live. I think every coin has two sides. I do recommend this movie to everyone, because it is an important movie. I hope it inspires people to think about the world, and the way we and others live! Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2012
    Samsara is an incredible collection of moving images, a poignant portrayal of human life in the third millennium. It covers the humorously absurd, the depressingly cruel, and stunningly beautiful traits of being a human. Almost every shot in this film is something you've never seen before, even if it's a shot of a local Costco, or highway. The camera's lens captures what the human eye can't see. I'd agree that sometimes it is a little didactic, and relentless with its social criticism, but you won't mind because you'll be too busy soaking up everything you're seeing. The human subject is never treated as a pawn in the filmmaker's argument, instead every pair of eyes is allowed to exist in front of yours. A spectacle in every sense of the word. Full Review »
  3. Oct 23, 2012
    This film is billed as a "guided meditation", and it really is one. If you approach it as such it's absolutely wonderful. But you have to stay with it, and like in meditation, allow your active pursuit of patterns and connections to fall away. Full Review »