Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. The movie's ending at the train station and the modern-day epilogue feel protracted and indulgent...Apart from the ending though, this is Spielberg's most articulate movie ever.
  2. Spielberg does an uncommonly good job both of holding our interest over 185 minutes and of showing more of the nuts and bolts of the Holocaust than we usually get from fiction films. Despite some characteristic simplifications, he's generally scrupulous about both his source and the historical record.
  3. 100
    What is most amazing about this film is how completely Spielberg serves his story. The movie is brilliantly acted, written, directed and seen. Individual scenes are masterpieces of art direction, cinematography, special effects, crowd control.
  4. 100
    What is surprising is how well Spielberg captures the horror, moving his camera with the fury of a combat photographer on the run. [17 Dec 1993]
  5. True, traces of his bad habits show through at certain moments, especially near the end, when a long and lachrymose scene plunges into Spielgerian sentimentality of the gooiest kind. But before that unfortunate point, Schinder's List serves up three full hours of brilliant storytelling. That's as humane and compassionate as it is gripping and provocative. [15 Dec 1993]
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    100
    Overall this film is truly a triumph, its greatness being revealed in its tiny moments - the close-up of a swastika badge that introduces Neeson or the bungled defiance of Fiennes at his hanging.
  7. Spielberg restages the Holocaust with an existential vividness unprecedented in any nondocumentary film: He makes us feel as if we're living right inside the 20th century's darkest-and most defining-episode.
  8. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    100
    The other key part is Schindler's Jewish accountant, played with self-effacing brilliance by Ben Kingsley, who gives the movie just the touch of warmth and sanity it needs.
  9. Quietly devastating. [15 Dec 1993]
  10. 100
    Because this film touches us so deeply, the catharsis has a power that few -- if any -- other moments in film history can match. And that's what establishes this as a transcendent motion picture experience.
  11. 80
    Schindler's List, despite blatant compromises, is a rending historical document. But the film's near-certain victory is based less on merit than on the marketing of its ambitious intentions. The academy doesn't judge movies, it weighs them by subject matter. On that basis, Spielberg's epic tips the scales.
  12. By any measure, the horrifying yet powerfully uplifting Schindler's List from director Steven Spielberg is a milestone in the art of filmmaking. [15 Dec 1993]
  13. A powerful and affecting piece of work.
  14. And Ben Kingsley--O rare Ben Kingsley!--is the Jewish accountant whom Schindler plucks from a condemned group to run his business and who combines gratitude with disdain, subservience with pride. (Actors who want to study the basis of acting--concentration--should watch Kingsley.) [13 Dec 1993]
  15. But the film Schindler's List, directed with fury and immediacy by a profoundly surprising Steven Spielberg, presents the subject as if discovering it anew. [15 Dec 1993]
  16. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    100
    Few American movies since the silent era have had anything approaching this picture's narrative boldness, visual audacity, and emotional directness. [20 Dec 1993, p.129]
  17. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Epic cinema, tragic drama, it is also an act of remembrance and conscience that ultimately transcends the ordinary critical categories.
  18. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Director Steven Spielberg has achieved something close to the impossible--a morally serious, aesthetically stunning historical epic that is nonetheless readily accessible to a mass audience.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    With flawless precision, the movie flows seamlessly between a virtual newsreel approach (to chronicle senseless, arbitrary atrocities on the people) and a slightly more direct narrative technique that characterized the film's three dominant characters - each one cast to perfection. [15 Dec 1993]
  20. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Evinces an artistic rigor and unsentimental intelligence unlike anything the world's most successful filmmaker has demonstrated before.
  21. A movie that falls outside the ordinary, or even the extraordinary. There is enormous passion and artistic integrity throughout this film. [11 Jan 1994, p.A10(E)]
  22. This heavy-hitting fist lands with calculated deliberation. Despite Spielberg's obviously genuine commitment, "Schindler's List" feels strangely controlled -- more than impassioned. It's officially artistic, an engineered project of pride, Little Stevie's growing-up project, rather than an organically brilliant masterpiece.
  23. 60
    A ruthlessly unsentimental portrait of a German war profiteer's epiphany that inspires neither sorrow nor pity, but a kind of emotional numbness.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 546 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 137
  1. Mar 6, 2011
    10
    Steven Spielberg's greatest film. Powerful, emotional, thought provoking and a perfect film all around. Liam Neeson's acting is one of theSteven Spielberg's greatest film. Powerful, emotional, thought provoking and a perfect film all around. Liam Neeson's acting is one of the best I've seen around and its directorial work is masterful. Essential. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2011
    9
    Although the story's a little biased towards the Jews, The sad, realistic WW2 masterpiece "Schindler's list" succeeds seducing the audienceAlthough the story's a little biased towards the Jews, The sad, realistic WW2 masterpiece "Schindler's list" succeeds seducing the audience with sensational performances from Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes and marvelous directing from Steven Spielberg. Full Review »
  3. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    The black and white was used to eliminate any trace of glamour that critics could potentially accuse Spielberg of showing in his '93The black and white was used to eliminate any trace of glamour that critics could potentially accuse Spielberg of showing in his '93 masterpiece. Something as awful as the Jewish Holocaust doesn't need glamour; nay, it needs not to have glamour. The film shows a unique telling of one of the darkest chapters in human history; from the enemy's point of view: in that, it shows that everyone has a limit, including Nazi Profiteer Oskar Schindler. The only color in the film is the red coat that the protagonist sees for only two brief moments in the film, and so appropriate was the one color choice to be blood red; a coat on an innocent girl, whom everyone is ignoring, just like a blood stain ignored (or insufficiently acknowledged) on human history. Brilliant work overall, and one of my favorite pieces of art. Full Review »