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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)
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. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    70
    Brisseau trains his deft camera on the crescendo of female sexual pleasure and how women can heighten the intensity of already blissful sensations via transgressive flourishes. If exiting viewers could all be asked "Was it good for you?" the likely answer is "Yes."
  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. Soft porn for people who like to watch - and want to be punished for it.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Leave it to the French to take the joy back out of sex. The high-minded erotic drama Exterminating Angels has heat but little light; it speaks of pleasure while treating it as a dirty word. The cast huffs and puffs but the exercise, sadly, remains academic.
  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:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of