Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Leigh Clark
    Jun 5, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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. 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.
  17. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 5, 2014
    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.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 5, 2014
    This sometimes-taut little thriller is sullied by its unnecessary masquerade as a documentary presented by HBO’s gonzo news show “Vice.”
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 3, 2014
    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.
  20. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Dec 10, 2013
    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

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 6, 2014
    Consensus: Superbly acted, violent, sad and intriguing, The Sacrament is one of the best found footage films of the year. 83/100 (B+)

    not a huge fan of Ti West previous work and i was not interested at all in this film, the poster sucks and the trailer sucks but i like the cast, i'm a big fan of You're Next and there are here some members of the cast like Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen and Amy Seimetz. The film left me very surprised Ti West is talented and i enjoyed every second of the film, very well done and well executed, found footage done right.

    I've watched a lot of found footage movies this year and mostly of them suck (Alien Abduction, Delivery and Mr. Jones). But "The Sacrament" is that rare found footage film that succeeds, not as good as "The Den" but still great. Has some flaws especially in the second half, but the violence and the atmosphere make us forget about it. Don't watch any of the trailers and don't read the full synopsis, this film will surprise you.

    The plot is original and refreshing for the found-footage genre, it's a big premise handled by a talented director. It's based on a true stroy "The Jonestown Massacre" i had no idea, well that's a plus for me, that makes the film scarier. The performances during the whole film were stunning, superb and believable, spot light here to "Father" (Gene Jones) and "Sam" performed by the superb AJ Bowen.

    There's a scene with Patrick (Kentucker Audley) and Caroline (Amy Seimetz) that was epic and also sad. It's not too gory it's just tense and looks real. Good character development and chilling scenes. This film hasn't jump-scares and gore. The Sacrament has violence and atmosphere, totally deserves your attention and your time. The setting is awesome, the production is big and doesn't looks cheap.

    Well drawn characters and you care of them. "Father" (Gene Jones) was annoying as hell (in a good way), and he holds the greatest moments in the film, the script helps too. Just WOW! That script is awesome, this is quality filmmaking. During the first half of the film this one makes you think about the way of how we the human beings live today with all the technology and stuff. I mean, has some social commentary very well explained and well grounded. The big twist in the film may be annoying and unnecesary for some people but for me was awesome and sad.

    The found-footage style may be annoying for some people but in this film this one is very well handled and has sense (for the most part, a few plot holes at the end). The Sacrament is one of the best horror films of the year, not perfect at all but it's smartly violent, takes to itself seriously and has some sick kills, sad film and makes you feel pain with some scenes. All the people here are mad, they are smart and the premise is intriguing. Ti West has a new fan. Visit my blog: Twitter: @MemoBosque
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