Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 14, 2014
    100
    There is no need for Murmelstein to break down here. In The Last of the Unjust, it’s as if the whole world is weeping.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Feb 5, 2014
    91
    The Last Of The Unjust is demanding but fascinating, both as history and as an intellectual volley on the lure of power, the ambiguities of perspective, and the difficulty of claiming moral high ground in a context where matters of life and death are so precarious.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Feb 13, 2014
    90
    The new film may not qualify for masterpiece status, but it's an enthralling portrait of a man — an exceptionally brilliant and articulate man — who personified the courage, complexity and moral ambiguity of his tortured time.
  4. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Feb 7, 2014
    90
    Murmelstein died in Rome in 1989, and having witnessed the terrible dilemmas he suffered and the mass rescues he pulled off, we can only be glad that he escaped the snap judgments of the social-media age.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Feb 6, 2014
    90
    “Shoah” remains a heroic reckoning with the limits of collective understanding, but The Last of the Unjust is something smaller, stranger and more paradoxical: the portrait of an individual whose actions still defy comprehension, and the self-portrait of an artist consumed by the past.
  6. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Feb 7, 2014
    88
    My hunch is that most viewers, whatever their previous views on this fraught subject, will come away not only fascinated but largely convinced by Murmelstein.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 5, 2013
    83
    The Last of the Unjust rewards those willing to invest in Lanzmann's pensive technique with a complex tale that's alternately sad, enlightening, unexpectedly witty and ultimately exhausting, but carried along throughout by Lanzmann's commitment.
  8. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 6, 2014
    80
    The Last of the Unjust, like Lanzmann himself at his advanced age, is ungainly but powerful.
  9. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 4, 2014
    80
    Lanzmann’s feisty exchanges with Murmelstein, a brilliant talker, become an emotional symbol for the pursuit of slippery truth, while the filmmaker’s recently shot footage of Yom Kippur services show a way of life in robust continuation.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Feb 20, 2014
    75
    Murmelstein answers his accusers in The Last of the Unjust. Over a compelling three hours and 38 minutes.
  11. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Feb 6, 2014
    75
    Lanzmann, for his part, begins the interview with a sharp, probing manner; by the end, the filmmaker’s questions and body language are conveying something altogether different.
  12. Reviewed by: Ela Bittencourt
    Feb 1, 2014
    75
    Claude Lanzmann's film doesn't so much strive to elucidate the Shoah as to draw us into its infinite moral complexities.
  13. 70
    The Murmelstein interview didn’t make it into Shoah, and Lanzmann sat on it, saying in a written prologue that he finally decided he had “no right to keep it to himself.” I wish he’d brought it out in Murmelstein’s lifetime. (The rabbi died in 1989.) He deserved the chance to be heard by the people who hated him most — who probably still would hate him but come away with ­respect.
  14. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Feb 3, 2014
    70
    In short, The Last of the Unjust is every bit as quarrelsome as it should be. Murmelstein, recounting the circumstances in which he took mortally serious decisions, dares to ask us if we could have done any better.
  15. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Dec 10, 2013
    70
    There are no simple denials, nor anything simple at all in Last of the Unjust. Only stories, recovered and retold, of a reality beyond their reach.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 6, 2014
    60
    Though it’s more testimonial exhibit than movie, “Unjust” remains a crucial document.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Feb 5, 2014
    50
    It’s a valuable historical document, to be sure; as a movie, however, it’s a dry, grueling experience, lacking Shoah’s monumental grandeur.

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