Film review: ‘In Darkness’

In Darkness is a Holocaust drama, so yeah, bring the Kleenex.

The Details

In Darkness
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: In Darkness
Rotten Tomatoes: In Darkness
Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars (it lost to A Separation), the Polish Holocaust drama In Darkness is exactly the kind of respectable mediocrity the Academy likes to reward. It’s a well-crafted, well-intentioned historical drama that’s long on history and short on truly engaging drama. Based on the true story of a sewer inspector who helped hide a group of Jews beneath the Polish city of Lvov, the movie hits all the familiar beats of the hiding-from-Nazis genre, including the suspense of almost being found out, the benefactor deciding the risk is too great and the deprivation as resources run low. Director Agnieszka Holland, who’s worked extensively in American TV drama, structures some impressive dramatic sequences, but the movie drags at nearly two and a half hours, and it adds very little to the already overburdened cinematic canon of Holocaust stories. It’s the kind of movie that’s valuable for awards shows, but not much else.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story