User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29

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  1. Jun 18, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Outside the train car, on a platform, a mysterious blonde woman lights Bennett Marco's cigarette, then says, "Maryland is a beautiful state." The sound of Rosie's voice makes the major her hostage. He would eat earthworms; he would vomit up an apple. Similarly, in Sound of My Voice, Peter becomes a Manchurian Candidate of sorts, when Maggie lights a cigarette, and asks him to commit a crime. Her followers aren't formally brainwashed like the infantry platoon in the 1962 John Frankenheimer film, but it's close. This supposed time-traveler, when coaxed into singing a popular song from 2054, chooses The Cranberries' "Dreams". Rather than point out the incontrovertible fact that the Dolores O'Riordan-sung hit is, in fact, an oldie, Maggie's adherents join in the sing-a-long, with the exception of Lam, who is through with magical thinking, and pedantically points out to his guru the era in which "Dreams" came out. Angered by being put on the spot, Maggie ousts the skeptic from the "cult". The challenge to her validity as a futurist agitates Maggie, and in that instant, the mystique she had imposed on the group is lost, thereby reducing the charismatic time traveler into a dangerous flake. As way of explaining the gaffe, Maggie explains that "Dreams" had been made popular again by a performer from her time. Without any CDs or MP3's, presumably destroyed in the alleged civil war, it's plausible that she wouldn't know the 60-year-old song(for her) was a cover, or plagiarized. Singing a well-known song from the nineties either makes Maggie a dumb blonde, the charlatan that documentary filmmakers Peter and Lorna purport her to be, or the real McCoy, a woman from a dystopian future, who, in all likelihood, is on a mission that has something to do with the preservation of the time line. If Maggie was a fraud, wouldn't she have anticipated such an occasion, and prepared an original, or obscure song, to prove herself? In The Manchurian Candidate, Rosie says, "I was one of the original Chinese workmen who laid the track on this stretch," making her sound like a time traveler. Is she preparing Marco to be the next terminator, in the event that Raymond fails? Unfortunately, Sound of My Voice ends before things get interesting, just when the film reveals itself to be a feminized version of James Cameron's The Terminator. Maggie's mother, the little girl whom Peter, a teacher, kidnaps during his class field trip to the museum, needs protection from some nefarious force that doesn't want Maggie to be born. It's a variation on the premise from the 1984 thriller, in which Reese, knowing that the fate of his post-apocalyptical world depends on Sarah Connor's survival, shadows the buff cyborg, as man and machine fight over conflicting potentialities: the making or unmaking of John Connor, the future's only hope. First-person narration aside, susceptible as it is to fallibility, nevertheless, Maggie's story begins in a bathtub, submerged in water, without a stitch of clothing, which just happens to be the state of dress for Reese and the Terminator unit when they manifest themselves on the street in a downpour. Captured by police, Reese explains to the criminal psychologist in an interview that "nothing dead will go through" the time-displacement machine. Silberman wants proof, just like Lam. Maggie, stricken with amnesia upon her arrival, has no artifacts to orientate her, since, apparently, the quantum physics that is applicable to this diegesis shares the same properties as Reese's world. But Maggie has a memento, a tattoo. The ink on her ankle is intrinsic to projecting what the film leaves to your imagination. The 54 inscribed on Maggie's skin stands for the year 2054, references The Terminator(in addition, the anchor could be a Titanic denotation), in the sense that 27, as in 2027, the year of the rebels' victory and subsequent cyborg's revenge, numerically connects the two films through a proper factor. Without Reese's protection, Sarah becomes an easy target for the hyper-violent android. If she dies, the machines win. In Sound of My Voice, the climax suggests that Maggie is a revolutionary, not your garden variety cult leader, who, by the look of things, completes her mission. But what is that mission, exactly? If the Cameron film is a template for understanding the film, there must be a terminator who wants the mother dead. When Lorna plays informant for the black detective, she leaves the girl exposed, as Maggie, her adult daughter, gets dragged away in handcuffs. But is this woman really the law? We only see her in the field. There's no one to verify Maggie's alleged crimes and aliases. Arguably, the black detective is the terminator. Although Maggie, lies, it's a white lie; she's not hiding from the sun; she's hiding from her enemy. Labeled as a "militia" by the detective, Maggie's group could better be described as a resistance. The black detective will be back. Expand
  2. Nov 8, 2012
    5
    This is a well-acted but ultimately disappointing film, that leaves one too many significant plot questions unanswered. Also, at times the pacing gets painfully slow. Of course it is not necessary to resolve every issue raised in a plot, but leaving so many loose threads can be indicative of weak writing, rather than an effort to create mystery.
  3. Nov 16, 2012
    9
    Have to admit I'm fascinated by Brit Marling and how she wrote 2 scripts at the same time to produce 2 very intriguing films. She's quite mesmerizing on screen. I loved how the viewer is slowly drawn into this mystery and its trippy sc fi element, where you're never quite sure what's going on until the end and then ? Very impressive little indie movie. I wonder what she will come up with next.
  4. Aug 25, 2013
    7
    Sound of My Voice is a decent execution to a rather intriguing premise that does have some tense, a nice pace and good acting from Brit Marling as the enigmatic Maggie. It was an enjoyable film that sadly feels like a TV-movie and could have provided a little more, but overall Sound of My Voice is good.
  5. May 29, 2012
    2
    Is Maggie (Brit Marling) a 23 year old woman from the year 2054 or is she a scam artist on the run from the FBI? Is 8 year old Abigail (Avery Pohl) her mother? And why, and with what, does her father inject her foot with every night? Does each member, of what might be a cult, really have to learn that handshake that is so complicated were the actors chosen only by those who couldIs Maggie (Brit Marling) a 23 year old woman from the year 2054 or is she a scam artist on the run from the FBI? Is 8 year old Abigail (Avery Pohl) her mother? And why, and with what, does her father inject her foot with every night? Does each member, of what might be a cult, really have to learn that handshake that is so complicated were the actors chosen only by those who could accomplish it?

    Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) are a young couple in California who are would be filmmakers. They are planning to join a cult and make a film exposing it to the point that Peter swallows a radio transmitter to make recordings of what is said. They, and supposedly 7-8 others are put through a ruse each time they come to the meeting of being blindfolded, driven for 20 minutes, get naked and shower and then putting on robes before they get into that handshake and taken to a room where they meet Maggie. She wears a robe with a shawl and hoodie, is attached to an oxygen machine, eats food grown by her followers and has their blood sent into her body via various tubes for protein. At other times there is no oxygen tank in sight.

    At the beginning we go through psychology 101 where she has them vomit up, literally, their problems followed by, maybe, Peter being drawn in by her and foolishly agreeing to doing something that can cause him all sorts of problems. Peter seems to be more taken in by Maggie than Lorna is which causes them problems as a couple.

    Out of nowhere the camera moves to a woman (Davenia McFadden) on an airplane coming into Los Angeles, checking into a hotel, carrying all sorts of paraphernalia and then we go back to the cult meeting. In another 10-15 minute sequence there is a woman showing Lorna how to shoot a gun which, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with the movie just as Peter stopping his car to urinate and, as far as I can tell, uses an asthma inhaler means anything except to extend the movie to 84 minutes.

    The director, Zal Batmanglij, who wrote the screenplay with Brit Marling, doesnâ
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  6. Apr 29, 2012
    10
    My love for this movie is based on the fact that it leaves things very ambiguous, I don't need full story lines explaining every single little detail. I need my imagination to fill in the blanks. It was shot very low budget like the movie primer and it make me love indie cinema. If you like seeing the whole story, and you like having answers, this movie isn't for you. This movie is aMy love for this movie is based on the fact that it leaves things very ambiguous, I don't need full story lines explaining every single little detail. I need my imagination to fill in the blanks. It was shot very low budget like the movie primer and it make me love indie cinema. If you like seeing the whole story, and you like having answers, this movie isn't for you. This movie is a romantic movie about what you believe in, or don't believe in. This is a perfect date movie, you will learn more about your significant other than any other movie. Expand
  7. Aug 10, 2012
    7
    Slowly builds to a climax that flips everything you know on its head, this is a wonderfully mysterious film with understated performances and interesting messages about truth, loyalty, and honesty. Another example of Brit Marling delivering a top-notch story from her writer/actress perch.
  8. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    The single most overlooked film of the year. Not enough people went out to see it (i saw it 3 times in theaters) and those who saw it, could not appreciate Brit Marling's performance. After seeing Another Earth and now Sound of My Voice i know Brit Marling is one of the best actresses out there. A must see for any fans of things like twilight zone as well.
  9. Mar 17, 2013
    7
    A very low key movie, but a very good movie. The concept of a cult leader from the future is interesting and the film plays it at a very serious and somber level.
  10. Nov 13, 2013
    10
    I Love this film! I have done a lot of research about it's meaning and refused to settle for ambiguity". If you want to look deeper research Greenbaum Cult Manchurian Candidate /CIA Mind control. It will explain a LOT about the confusing scenes the little girl Abigail... the Police Officer searching room for bugs.
    Of course interpret how you will. But this movie is very well informed.
    I Love this film! I have done a lot of research about it's meaning and refused to settle for ambiguity". If you want to look deeper research Greenbaum Cult Manchurian Candidate /CIA Mind control. It will explain a LOT about the confusing scenes the little girl Abigail... the Police Officer searching room for bugs.
    Of course interpret how you will. But this movie is very well informed. Very chilling
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  11. Dec 12, 2014
    7
    What I saw on screen was excellent. I am more annoyed at the film for what I didn't see on screen. I was not expecting such an ambiguous ending. I am perfectly happy for a movie to leave some things to the imagination, but I don't think it was executed well enough in this particular case. Aside from the sour taste it left me with, causing it to drop 2 points, I still loved this movie veryWhat I saw on screen was excellent. I am more annoyed at the film for what I didn't see on screen. I was not expecting such an ambiguous ending. I am perfectly happy for a movie to leave some things to the imagination, but I don't think it was executed well enough in this particular case. Aside from the sour taste it left me with, causing it to drop 2 points, I still loved this movie very much and am really forcing myself not to elevate it above a 7 Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 24, 2012
    80
    Open-ended and decidedly un-Hollywood, it is faintly dissatisfying, especially coming on the heels of such as engaging and crisply presented story. But it offers movie-goers a wonderful opportunity to roll it all around in their heads and discuss it, even debate it, as they drive back to that cozy little cult compound they call home.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob James
    Jul 28, 2012
    80
    Like "Martha Marcy May Marlene," this lo-fi psychodrama reaps the benefits of a mesmerising female lead, only this time as cult leader not disciple. Marling continues to impress.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jun 1, 2012
    75
    Denham impressively captures Peter's flintiness, rendering him sympathetic yet not quite likable, and Vicius is just right as the wary Lorna.