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Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: From the director who scandalized France with "Secret Things" comes a film that will shock you, make you think and turn you on. (IFC First Take)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 75
    Like "Secret Things," the film is ultimately infuriating, subtle, self-indulgent, astute and disingenuous, which makes for great -- if divisive -- conversation.
  2. 70
    One of Mr. Brisseau's subjects is the volatility of desire, the way the path of erotic curiosity can swerve from satisfaction into recrimination and confusion. A porno-philosopher in the venerable French tradition, he blends a frank appeal to the audience's nether regions with some teasing attention to its mind.
  3. 70
    A luminous picture, beautifully made, loaded with symbolism and mystical-religious imagery, about an artist's self-destructive quest for an unreachable grail. It's also a deliberately prurient spectacle designed to be arousing and troubling -- most viewers, I imagine, will have both reactions at various times (and maybe at the same time).
  4. 50
    The film -- buoyed by its cast of excellent actors -- loses its momentum in the final half-hour when it starts to take itself too seriously.
  5. 50
    Brisseau obviously aims to shock - and he does. Now shocking is A-OK with me - but only if it's part of a something bigger. Exterminating Angels is beautifully lensed and acted, but it lacks substance.
  6. Soft porn for people who like to watch - and want to be punished for it.
  7. Exterminating Angels is meant as an autocritique--and yet the director can't get past his notion of himself as a fearlessly transgressive artist-hero, a martyr to the limitations of male gaze.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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