Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Leigh Clark
    Jun 5, 2014
    80
    The found footage format has been milked to death of late... but here it's used to fully immerse the viewer, ensuring that the characters speak directly to the audience and, with the removal of the third wall, throws them straight into the lion's den to create maximum discomfort.
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Dec 10, 2013
    80
    It’s a film that purists might insist isn’t horror in the strictest sense, though this slow-burning investigation of unseemly goings-on at a rural Christian commune is frightening in any genre language.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Dec 10, 2013
    70
    It makes savvy use of the well-worn found-footage format, modulating its creepy scenario with considerable skill.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 4, 2014
    67
    West is a talented director and knows how to build suspense. But here’s a case where the truth wasn’t only stranger than his fiction, it was scarier, too.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 12, 2014
    63
    West’s film differs from the “Blair Witch” template in that the footage is never actually “found.”
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jun 6, 2014
    63
    West is such a technically accomplished filmmaker, and his cast of semi-regulars so committed to the narrative, that the resultant movie gives enough unsettling atmosphere and upsetting gut-level shock that this viewer didn’t mind too much all the stuff he wasn’t getting, such as intellectual coherence, not to mention any kind of profound insight into the cult hive mind.
  7. Reviewed by: John Semley
    Jun 5, 2014
    63
    The tension fizzles as The Sacrament narrows into predictability, indulging every cliché of found-footage filmmaking and Jonestown-styled cult apocalypticism.
  8. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jun 1, 2014
    63
    With The Sacrament, director Ti West has bitten off more of a premise than his classically modest barebones approach to horror movies can presently chew.
  9. Reviewed by: Rob Staeger
    Jun 3, 2014
    60
    Restaging the 1978 Jonestown massacre for a present-day suspense movie is by most definitions tasteless, although The Sacrament infuses the past with ghoulish immediacy.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Jun 3, 2014
    60
    As with all of West’s work this is a good-looking, well acted film shot through with moments of real power, but its conventionality is troubling.
  11. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Dec 10, 2013
    58
    The tension really is beautifully ramped up in these early scenes and gets an audience well prepped to watch carnage unfold around people you've truly come to care about. Then, when the thing goes off, it's not with a bang but with something more like a a whimper.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 12, 2014
    50
    The first half is a cautiously dread-inducing tour de force as the suspicious interlopers parse the shiny, happy members for signs of a darker version of paradise... The second half, however, when all hell breaks loose a little too quickly, is the disappointment.
  13. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 5, 2014
    50
    Because the film is meant to resemble documentary footage, West is forced to effectively “play dumb,” disguising his craftsmanship behind a lot of intentionally cruddy handheld camerawork. Still, that’d be less of a problem if the material he was gracelessly filming weren’t such run-of-the-mill claptrap.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 5, 2014
    50
    Its skillful execution of a bad idea doesn’t make the bad idea any better; in fact, the scrupulousness with which West and his crew evoke the past make the film that much more unsavory.
  15. Reviewed by: Greg Cwik
    Jun 5, 2014
    42
    The Sacrament is a missed opportunity to further expand West's pallet. Instead of twisting conventions and playing with expectations, West plays into expectations.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Sep 22, 2014
    40
    Ti West's latest feels both more expansive – choppering Vice reporters into a seemingly progressive tropical utopia raises intriguing social themes – and yet a marked disappointment.
  17. 40
    I found parts of The Sacrament more effective than anything else he’s done to date, as it’s probably the least genre of his movies. But don’t tell West that; I’m pretty sure he still thinks he’s made a horror flick.
  18. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 5, 2014
    40
    Mr. West sets the scene reasonably well, ratcheting up a sense of unease with old-fashioned shadows and some nighttime scrambling, but he gets lost once he shifts from fooling around in the dark to recreating mass death.
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 5, 2014
    40
    This sometimes-taut little thriller is sullied by its unnecessary masquerade as a documentary presented by HBO’s gonzo news show “Vice.”
  20. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 3, 2014
    40
    Only Jones seems most at home, striking just the right note of low-key malevolence. You’d follow him anywhere — maybe even into a better movie.
  21. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Dec 10, 2013
    15
    Ti West’s pointless new film The Sacrament, an exercise in talking loud and saying nothing, isn’t just bad, it’s infuriating.
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 4, 2014
    4
    Once again Ti West proves that he is a master of suspense, but a novice at deliverance. The first half of the movie is not bad. It kept me at the edge of my seat until it was time for Mr West to show us what he's got. Unfortunately he just doesn't have it. Good build up to a let down. Very disappointing. Full Review »