(2007)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
The great Polish director Andrzej Wajda musters the power of classical filmmaking and personal emotional investment to dramatize a stunning atrocity long covered up.
90
This plays almost like an academic master class, meticulously exploring the event's ramifications but only catching full fire at the end.
83
Wajda makes the murders look horrific and jangled, like something out of "Hostel," then ends Katyn with extended darkness and silence, allowing the audience to mourn for the death of a nation.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
The period sets, costumes and cinematography all superbly recreate the brutal era, grand illusions and everyday suffering of the Poles under both the Nazis and the Soviets.
80
It is filmed with simplicity, a purity of intent, and I wanted to watch the faces of these men in their last seconds of life--not for the sake of history, but because of Wajda's imperative to put his father's death onscreen. He needed to do this. And somehow, sanity is restored.
80
The result is a film with a stately, deliberate quality that insulates it against sentimentality and makes it all the more devastating.
75
Wajda, who lost his father in the purge, gives the film an awful silence and mystery at its core.
70
Chicago Reader
Andrzej Wajda has spent much of his long career dramatizing major events in Polish history, and this poignant feature depicts the circumstances surrounding the Soviet Union's massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the spring of 1940.
70
Village Voice
While never less than fascinating, Katyn alternates between scenes of tremendous power and sequences most kindly described as dutiful. It's as if the artist is never certain whether he is making this movie for himself, his father, or the entire nation.
60
A pensive and searching drama that explores how deep into the national psyche these murders in the Katyn forest went.

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