Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's an account of what helplessness does to a man whose philosophy of life has been founded on decisive action.
  2. Wrenching on both personal and political levels.
  3. 90
    In some ways Shake Hands With the Devil hits harder than either "Hotel Rwanda" or the recent HBO film "Sometimes in April."
  4. 90
    Though it includes plenty of footage from those terrible days, this wonderful, devastating documentary is as much Dallaire's story as it is the story of a whole continent abandoned by a cynical world.
  5. 83
    Gripping, outraging documentary.
  6. This is a deeply engaging portrait of a remarkable man and a brutally frank indictment of the West's moral cowardice in the face of a tragedy it could have prevented.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    The overall effect makes for a far more resonant film than that offered by concurrent narrative feature "Hotel Rwanada."
  8. 80
    Its title an acknowledgment of the reality of evil, Shake Hands With the Devil touches on the unanswerable hows and whys, but its ultimate subject is the terrible burden of command.
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The complete absence of world leaders is a bewildering sign that the world still doesn't care much about small African countries with no exploitable resources to speak of, and a troubling indication that such atrocities can, and no doubt will, happen again.
  10. 80
    The value of Shake Hands With The Devil is in Dallaire's detailed recollections of what he observed: the anatomy of a mass murder.
  11. Dallaire is not only the protagonist of Shake Hands, he is a compelling reason to see it.
  12. A fascinating account of its subject's self-torture over his inability to stop one of the 20th century's greatest tragedies.
  13. 80
    For a gripping, thoroughly involving account of a flawed but inspiring real-life hero, audiences need look no further.
  14. A compelling, compact story about a country that was left to destroy itself while one man presided futilely over the carnage.
  15. 75
    The filmmakers follow this compassionate and articulate man as he returns to Rwanda a decade later to revisit his demons.
  16. Other than a tortured apology from Bill Clinton for having misunderstood the gravity of the situation, there isn't a peep of remorse heard from the normally sanctimonious West. And Dellaire's final bit of self-abuse is to blame himself for his failure to shame the world to action.
  17. A respectful portrait of General Dallaire, now retired, who comes across as a thoughtful, resolute but profoundly shaken man, more philosopher than warrior.
  18. Blunt, somewhat artless, but very effective.
  19. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    Dallaire's tragic story is a fascinating chapter in a sad history.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. M.Edison
    Jun 22, 2006
    This documentary is a perfect accompaniment to the book, the General is a personal hero, and I applaud him for what he's done. Humanity This documentary is a perfect accompaniment to the book, the General is a personal hero, and I applaud him for what he's done. Humanity faced a test with Rwanda and we failed it but in his refusal to allow us to forget Rwanda, General Dallaire has not. Full Review »