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Into the Abyss

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Werner Herzog

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Plot Summary

In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man) probes the human psyche to explore why people kill—and why a state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen), Herzog achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” Herzog’s inquiries also extend to the families of the victims and perpetrators as well as a state executioner and pastor who’ve been with death row prisoners as they’ve taken their final breaths. As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 106
  • Fresh: 97
  • Rotten: 9
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Herzog's investigation may not work as an anti-death-penalty editorial, but its findings are undeniably profound. – Peter Debruge, Variety, Nov 18, 2011

Fresh: A disquieting, heartbreaking look at American crime and punishment. – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 18, 2011

Fresh: The abyss here isn't capital punishment, the ostensible subject of the film; it's the seemingly unending capacity for causing and enduring pointless misery that humans seem to have. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Nov 18, 2011

Fresh: Herzog is pursuing no agenda with Into the Abyss, despite his opposition to extreme judicial measures. He's seeking to answer the question of why people kill, especially in a situation such as this where the reason for the murders was so meaningless. – Peter Howell, Toronto Star, Dec 9, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A great capital punishment commentary

Disturbing and wonderful. Herzog is a master.

I love documentaries, but this one was awful.

I do not understand how this movie received such high reviews. I think Herzog has a lot of friends.

good, not great

i am a pro-death penalty person who has meandering thoughts of moving to a no capital punishment system. this movie didn't really sway me either way….it was more a commentary on how senseless crimes are committed and how uneducated a large segment of the US population is.

Into the Abyss
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  • $19.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings