Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 100
    Disturbing, analytical and morose. This is not a "political" film nor yet another screed about the Bush administration or the war in Iraq. It is driven simply, powerfully, by the desire to understand those photographs.
  2. Morris challenges us to understand what the pictures show and what they don't show, and to see them in context. And he confronts us with the most important question surrounding them: Do they reveal a crime, an aberration in the system or standard operating procedure?
  3. 100
    With Standard Operating Procedure, the Iraq War finally has its Hearts And Minds.
  4. Morris, using a welter of photographs (many of which we haven't seen), constructs a day-to-day sense of how Abu Ghraib descended into a medieval hell.
  5. 91
    Standard Operating Procedure says that human nature abhors moral vacuums - but sometimes humans get sucked into them.
  6. At this late date there is little that is factually revelatory about his film, but as a human document of what people are capable of in wartime, it's indispensable.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    No matter how slick and questionably appropriate Morris's style may be, the content is compelling.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    It may be the most disturbing film you'll see in a long time.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    In Standard Operating Procedure, Errol Morris does something inconceivable and, at first glance, ill-advised. He gives the US soldiers of Abu Ghraib back their humanity.
  10. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    It's distinctly Morrisean, as it were, and seeing his style applied to subject matter with which one is already somewhat familiar makes one... well, question the style a bit.

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