Samsara

Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Aug 21, 2012
    80
    A darker and more ambitious meditation on impermanence, Samsara relies on blunt force and unforgettable imagery, overcoming the hazy logic of Fricke's editing to earn your awe.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 5, 2012
    100
    It is the kind of experience you simply sink into.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 6, 2012
    75
    Samsara is gorgeous. And sometimes, depending on expectations, looks are enough.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 31, 2012
    75
    What does it all mean? I'm not convinced that Fricke's movies are much more than exalted travelogues, but you certainly feel as if you've been somewhere after you've seen one of them.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 21, 2012
    75
    Achingly beautiful and visually transfixing, Samsara offers a transporting vacation from the usual multiplex fare. It's a movie to get lost in.
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Aug 23, 2012
    63
    The drawbacks to this often rhapsodically beautiful film lie not in the journey itself, but in the preachy detours taken along the way.
  7. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 6, 2012
    83
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 25, 2012
    80
    It demands to be experienced on its own terms or not at all, which creates a significant level of resistance in the contemporary media marketplace – but may also be a source of counterintuitive appeal.
  9. Reviewed by: Budd Wilkins
    Aug 21, 2012
    75
    Ron Fricke's film is a brightly hued bauble, fit for rapturous contemplation.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Sep 7, 2012
    100
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: Phelim O'Neill
    Sep 1, 2012
    80
    It may be just more of the same from Fricke, but with his unique process, another incredible-looking lap around the world is more than welcome.
  12. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 23, 2012
    80
    A spool of arresting, beautifully composed shots without narration or dialogue, Samsara is an invitation to watch closely and to suspend interpretation (another notion Sontag might have approved).
  13. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Aug 22, 2012
    100
    Simply put, Samsara tells the story of our world, but onscreen, it is so much more than that.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Dec 20, 2012
    7
    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
    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
    9
    Samsara is an incredible collection of moving images, a poignant portrayal of human life in the third millennium. It covers the humorouslySamsara 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
    10
    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 stayThis 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 »