User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 72
  2. Negative: 4 out of 72

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  1. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    Great documentary. Shows the twisted state of morality in the mind of all the killers like never before in the cinema. The question how some human can do it has been answered by an intelligent concept.
  2. Sep 8, 2013
    10
    This movie is a great documentary. Disturbing and surreal in equal measure. Watching these psychopaths brag about their atrocities makes me upset, But this movie is about a lot more than the genocide that occurred in 1965. It shows how America has contributed to these murders through culture and financial aid. Exposed as well is the amount of corruption and political oppression around every turn in Indonesia.
    To the person who gave a negative review: a documentary is supposed show the truth. I am surmising the best way for the filmmaker to have these murderers open up like this was to to make them believe that they were being celebrated in a way. Since this documentary gave you such a strong reaction proves that it is excellent. If you can't look at the truth you shouldn't watch a movie like this and give it a 2. I thought your observations were spot on but I guess you can't handle the truth as Jack Nicholson once said.
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  3. Jul 29, 2013
    10
    Terrific and mind bending experience,the experiences of this poor man and the banality of evil, that is the reason for make it a masterpiece and one of the best documentaries of all time
  4. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    Have I sinned?
    Why man we critics and non-critics enjoyed watching your re-created killings!!! You can feel from all the praises your killing movie received in all film festivals.
    Our only question is When will you do the SEQUEL????
  5. Apr 8, 2014
    9
    The opening sequence (which I won't spoil) begs the same question that the entire film does: Are you serious? Is this real? Apparently the answer is yes.

    The film revolves around Indonesia; which despite being an enormous country is pretty much a mystery to most of us. The paramilitary gangsterism described is brutal. The specific individuals being focused on are essentially a group of
    thugs who try to make a movie about their own rise to power, while being followed around by the documentarians. Their apparent lack of insight into their own situation is mind-boggling, and yet they sometimes have a very informative perspective on the rest of the world.

    Besides the disturbing nature of the politically motivated genocide that its subjects participate in, the surprising thing about this documentary is that it subverts Hollywood-driven expectations. These are the bad guys, and they not only admit but flaunt their own atrocities, but they essentially have one. Decades after rising to power they remain figures of influence, and there is nothing to suggest that any of them will ever be held accountable. Their own journey towards (perhaps?) understanding what they did as they make their propaganda film is the only justice they'll likely ever see. This documentary offers a surprisingly intimate picture into that journey.
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Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Sep 13, 2013
    100
    The Act of Killing is exemplary as a history lesson, a character study and a powerful argument for confronting the past.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 16, 2013
    60
    It's also a touch tedious at times, as it's not always clear where Oppenheimer is going.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 15, 2013
    100
    In The Act of Killing, director Joshua Oppenheimer pulls off the impossible: He confronts great, incomprehensible evil and puts a human face on it.