Metascore
70

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
    88
    No matter how slick and questionably appropriate Morris's style may be, the content is compelling.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    It may be the most disturbing film you'll see in a long time.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    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
    88
    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.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. NatalieJ.
    Jun 27, 2008
    10
    This film makes it apparent that not all movies are made to entertain. This mind-boggling and grotesque account of the military photographs This film makes it apparent that not all movies are made to entertain. This mind-boggling and grotesque account of the military photographs at Abu Ghraib narrates, without bias, the frailty of ethics and morals in the midst of war. It presents the context of the photographs without demonizing the military involved, or even the inmates, and simply reveals the events that took place and how the pictures came to be. The distinct Morrisian style is eloquent and yet simple in showing the interviewees eyes as they make discoveries about the incident as they are being asked. This film is one of the most disturbing that I've seen in my entire life, yet it makes me think days after i've seen it. The end will seem rather disappointing and somewhat lacking conclusion, as it simply tells the truth; most instances photographed were "standard operating procedure" and one of the soldiers involved was not allowed to be interviewed for the film. During the credits, however, it gives a website to investigate further. This is a must see if anyone wants to see a breathtaking Iraq War film that is exceptionally unbiased and profound. Full Review »
  2. DellaA.
    Jun 13, 2008
    9
    It invoked in me a compassion that I didn't realize I could have for these kids. I already KNEW they were scapegoats, but this put It invoked in me a compassion that I didn't realize I could have for these kids. I already KNEW they were scapegoats, but this put everything in a whole different light. Full Review »