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The Exterminating Angel

The Exterminating Angel

1962
Comedy, Drama
1h 35m
After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... (imdb)
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The Exterminating Angel

1962
Comedy, Drama
1h 35m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 75.45% from 1920 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1921)
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Rated 24 Sep 2008
93
96th
i'm never entering a room again in my life
Rated 09 Feb 2007
99
99th
Absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Witty and clever and insightful and strange as all get-out, just how I like 'em. A genius concept and Bunuel explores it to such a degree that it never feels gimmicky or forced. This is surrealism at its finest -- going on tangents to reality and raising questions that may or may not have answers, engaging the mind and also tickling the funny bone.
Rated 04 Jun 2018
82
51st
Watchable but underwhelming. By the end of the 90+ minute runtime, we've been told the joke, re-told it, had it screamed at us through a megaphone, then had it tattooed on the inside of our eyelids just in case we didn't get it. Had I actually cared about the characters, I might not have minded, but they remain a bunch of interchangeable elitists up to the bitter end, with Bunuel determined to keep us at arm's length from them. I don't get the hype.
Rated 29 Jun 2009
7
70th
The trapped atmosphere and the satire on the bourgeoisie make this both a horrifying picture of humans at their worst and a comedic take on the idea if the bourgeoisie were separated from the rest of society and trapped in their own tiny limited world. Buñuel utilizes one set for the main part of the film in a similar manner of Hitchcock's Rope but that set is used for a symbolic purpose instead of keeping suspense in one trapped environment.
Rated 24 Dec 2009
100
99th
Guests at an upper-class dinner party find that they cannot leave the room. One of the marvelous things about this film is how this absurd premise is soon accepted--both by the characters and the audience--as a matter of fact, and how the reactions of the characters are treated with complete realism and considerable humor. This is a haunting film, with an unsettling ending.
Rated 04 Sep 2012
3
45th
It's funny, lovely to look at, and there are a number of great set pieces scattered about. It's also cruel and mean-spirited. Bunuel is full of interesting ideas, but the execution lacks nuance and subtlety. The central metaphor is paper thin. There's little in the way of character or actual human content; the large cast is nothing more than one giant bourgeois caricature. It's certainly an entertaining film, but I'm not sure it lives up to its reputation as an unabated masterpiece.
Rated 04 Jun 2013
100
99th
A strange piece of psychological survival-horror that turns the world upside-down as society's safest people are thrown into a hopeless ordeal. I love it for its simplicity-it's horror where the only monster is the madness and paranoia of the victims. The mystery is just that- a mystery that serves to fuel the human drama and social commentary. It needs no solution.
Rated 28 Sep 2007
15
1st
A fatuous, indulgent mess. Sophomoric classroom exercise. Everything you expect (and dread) in Art.
Rated 13 Mar 2011
80
80th
The precursor to reality tv. I didn't really get it, but I guess Buñuel didn't intend me to. Part surrealist drama with religious undercurrents, part social commentary skewering the aristocracy, it does seem to lose direction and pace after a while, but surrealism will get you anywhere with me. You'll be spending most of the film thinking 'What the hell is it' and most of your time after watching this film thinking 'What the hell was it'. The point being: You'll be thinking about it.
Rated 10 Feb 2007
95
99th
It's two hours of surrealist No-Exit-esque heaven.
Rated 19 Feb 2007
93
98th
An great absurdist existentialist movie about a group of rich people stuck at a dinner party. The plot is pretty simple 90% of the movie takes place in a single room but the movie is filled to the brim with social commentary and visual treats.
Rated 03 Aug 2008
75
37th
A completely overrated rehash of Sartre's No Exit. Too preoccupied with divisions of social class, Bunuel fails to look deeper. The ending however salvages what otherwise is a very straightforward satire of the upper class. As a surrealist piece, it is very tame and ultimately fails to move beyond the very conventional genre of the "fantastic" (Todorov's definition) . I am frankly stupefied by the ammount of praise this film has received.
Rated 18 Aug 2008
95
96th
Fascinating. There wasn't a single scene that wasn't a joy to watch.
Rated 15 Jun 2010
80
81st
The premise is fascinating and gave me all kinds of Twilight Zone flashbacks. Exposing the upper class for the selfish and amoral (ab)users they are isn't that shocking anymore, but that doesn't lessen the viewing experience. Some surreal scenes to top it off and you've got an interesting mix of social commentary and weird mystery. My main gripe is that the movie does not really have a strong momentum, and it becomes a little tedious after a while.
Rated 15 Aug 2010
92
95th
I've never seen anything else like this. There is something so inexplicably creepy about these people being unable to leave the room. The movie really got to me. I couldn't stop thinking about it all day. The events are surreal, yet they're wrapped in a layer of normalcy (it's a story about rich friends meeting for dinner, after all), making the film seem exceptionally strange and otherworldly. I don't have a complete grasp on what it all means, but I think that's half the fun.
Rated 11 Jan 2018
84
79th
I once had a similar idea for a show that involved trapping Ted Nugent and Dee Snider in a room until they revealed something profound about the human condition. It only takes time and pressure. Buñuel later expressed a regret that he didn't push these characters to cannibalism - so much foreshadowing stands out with that in mind, the natural conclusion of a dinner party.
Rated 07 Jan 2007
97
98th
WHO IS COOKING DINNER BEAR IS COOKING DINNER HOW CAN THIS BEEEE???
Rated 09 Feb 2007
100
98th
I knew I was going to love this movie the moment I heard the premise, and I wasn't wrong. Definitely one of the most original movies I've seen.
Rated 01 Feb 2009
100
99th
A portrait of the human nature at it's worst.
Rated 11 Aug 2009
96
97th
The concept of The Exterminating Angel is sheer genius. I never found myself to be once bored, I was captivated from begining to end. Now, it has been brought to my attention that Bunuel does not use symbolism in his films, and I don't know if its me just thinking too hard about this film, but the imagery that I witnessed was truly one to behold. It felt like there was a lot of symbolism, but that being said, if there is no symbolism, than there is something in this film I don't know about.
Rated 06 Dec 2009
10
97th
Buñuel sticks it to the upper class in this highly accessible and engaging surrealistic delight.
Rated 20 Apr 2010
80
82nd
an intriguing take on the bunch of people in a room genre.
Rated 29 Nov 2010
100
98th
Buñuel in his most cryptic mood: no clues and no clarifications. He hardly gives pause to the puzzle aspect of the thing, but rolls up his sleeves and digs into it, in mercilessly realistic detail, as though it were a Crusoe survival problem. He has almost never had a merrier time unearthing the private perversities, shames, and squeamishnesses of the human race. And the cumulative sense of claustrophobia, of frayed nerves, of stench and decay, and of shadowy horror is quite overwhelming.
Rated 17 Nov 2011
70
65th
The absurd elements are fun. But ultimately, and I'm sure that I missed some allegory, it struck me as sort of thin.
Rated 20 Jan 2012
92
96th
Buñuel takes a classic surrealist plot and executes it to its logical conclusion. His old favorite target, the bourgeoisie, take a ribbing, but the ending reveals Buñuel is going deeper, railing against social divisions and reminding us of the dangers of walling yourself off from the world, in whatever form it may take. His skill with humorous deadpan surrealism is as excellent as ever. Claustrophobic, in a good way.
Rated 24 Jul 2013
5
73rd
this is ingeniously staged and some of its observations are piercing, but it's also a bit of a one-dimensional stunt, and bunuel's blunt profanations can seem like edgy trolling next to, say, the generosity and moral complexity of renoir, or resnais' labyrinthine abstractions. it doesn't help that these fruits hang much lower nowadays, but regardless i think perhaps i've outgrown these righteous acts of war, these figuratively apocalyptic bloodbaths. i admit it, i'm a slut for nuance.
Rated 18 Aug 2014
92
94th
I've been intrigued by this movie's story ever since I first heard of it, and continued to be as I watched the film, and still am now. This sort of situation sets itself up to be very allegorical, but it isn't explicit in any way. The impressive absurdity of the film is how silly and ridiculous the conflict is, yet how empathetic the film is to the characters. Its vague surrealism ventures more deeply at the appropriate times, especially the killer ending.
Rated 18 Oct 2014
80
79th
phenomenological surrealism is the style of that movie and that puts the movie nearer to dreams unlike the raw surrealist movies which become fantasy by exaggerating the "unreal" aspects of the life. "phenomenological" because there isn't any logical explanation for them not quitting the room, "surrealist" because that very irrationality gives the movie its dreamlike (or nightmare) quality.
Rated 03 Jun 2015
89
72nd
Buñuel's devastating return to surrealist form, Angel is a nasty little slice of Hell that recalls Sartre's play, No Exit. A party of upper-crusters arrive at the big house just as all the help inexplicably slips away, leaving only one servant. After dinner, the party finds they cannot bring themselves to leave. Civilized manners soon give way to baser instincts, nightmarish visions, and...sheep. A last-minute escape is only a reprieve, as the paralysis begins to spread, and more sheep arrive.
Rated 04 Feb 2016
93
99th
Fascinating and sneakily hilarious work that turns the absurd vanities and hollow facades of the percieved elite into a delightfully surreal survival mystery. Despite the underlaying weirdness and some completely out-of-the-blue wackiness it stays enjoyably economic with style and substance while never slipping into overbearing or forced territory. It's distanced and sigle minded but also nuanced within its irrational premise. Brilliant idea brilliantly handled.
Rated 08 Mar 2017
5
91st
I admired more than loved this - that is, until the double-whammy of the cathartic, "false" ending (in which the guests realize the only escape from their predicament is to rigidly adhere to the strictures of high society) and the incisive, bitter "real" ending moments later. At which point, I laughed, and laughed, and couldn't help but actually applaud at Bunuel's clever masterstroke. (I do wish he had thrown in a few more of those bold surrealist touches, such as the purse full of feathers.)
Rated 01 Jan 2018
83
95th
The original concept film about bourgeois insularity, The Exterminating Angel is a clever satire where the absurd premise works because the cast plays it relatively straight, which enables the obstacle the guests face to take on the character of realism if not the appearance. A lesser director would have resorted to farce, but Bunuel wisely presents the breakdown of this hermeticaly sealed world from the inside out, which magnifies the humour and the tragedy of their predicament. Seminal.
Rated 28 Jul 2007
40
27th
The premise is interesting, but the human content of the film is all malicious caricatures of high society. It's neither realistic nor funny, it's just a display of Buñuel's hatred of the upper class and for me it's tedium.
Rated 28 Aug 2008
70
53rd
Here's a new one - surrealist high concept. Compellingly lucid nightmare but has some scenes that don't work.
Rated 19 Oct 2008
90
92nd
Strange, but compelling and beautiful.
Rated 21 Mar 2009
35
86th
"Bunuel's ultimate cosmic joke against meaning itself."
Rated 04 Dec 2009
100
93rd
Fascinating surrealist fantasia on themes elaborated with even more panache in _The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie_. Nevertheless, one of its director's key films.
Rated 30 Jan 2010
60
16th
Conceptually I really like this movie, and I like the fact that it goes off in directions that are more interesting than one would think (clawing in to the walls for water for instance). Still, I ultimately found the film lacking. Most of this has to do with the ending, which even now I can't wrap my head around. It's not that it's a bad movie, I just never really felt engaged with it.
Rated 22 Jun 2010
93
91st
Sometimes you just get stucked somewhere, because you are unabel to do something in purpose not to be stuck. Circle of nothing. Great movie with suspense. And the final solution was easy as the solutions are in the life (actually).
Rated 09 Dec 2010
100
99th
Strange, intense, claustrophobic, layered with subtext. Another gem from the master of the surreal.
Rated 25 Mar 2011
93
98th
This exceptional surreal Twilight Zone-esque film explores and criticizes the rich and the spoiled while rewarding the viewer with an endless supply of memorable and all around captivating imagery. The acting is top notch as well as the ending scene, which is truly chilling.
Rated 28 Oct 2011
100
97th
The first Buñuel film to grab me completely. Its idea - a group of dinner guests unable to leave a room just because they mentally can't - is ingenious, managing to balance itself between an understandable and sharp anti-bourgeoisie/authority message, and a bizarre and drastic depiction of people becoming insane in a 'caged' environment. The result is special even in 2011.
Rated 17 Nov 2011
85
91st
Fuck you, Franco.
Rated 09 Apr 2012
55
21st
A mild disappointment. The concept is ingenious of course but I didn't find the way Buñuel handled it rewarding at all. It needed a lengthier set-up and a smaller cast, so that all the characters could be established properly, and better writing during the entrapment scenes, so that the film would be more engrossing and the "message" conveyed more effectively. So the film owes almost every morsel of its power to the brilliant initial idea, and hardly anything to Buñuel's storytelling.
Rated 12 Apr 2012
8
76th
I just can't stop watching this movie, I just can't.
Rated 17 Apr 2012
70
46th
Imaginative, but pointless. By his own admission, its basically a hodge podge of unused ideas thrown together.
Rated 07 Jun 2012
95
99th
A fantasticly absurd, sureal and funny movie.
Rated 10 Oct 2012
75
77th
An unflinching, if somewhat blunt, satire on the upper classes and the way they become trapped (and eventually damned) by the restrictions placed on themselves by social constructs. Sort of like a bourgeois Lord of the Flies. Surreal, original, amusing, but a little unfocused at times.
Rated 09 May 2013
81
84th
It would be interesting to see how far this movie would have gone if it had no content restrictions whatsoever. I hear Buñuel originally wanted there to be a part involving cannibalism, and I was actually surprised that this wasn't already in the movie. Even with these limitations, the point of the movie is very well illustrated.
Rated 25 Aug 2013
90
96th
Bunuel's allegorical language places him a cut above other directors.
Rated 02 Jul 2014
92
98th
I am not sure I can adequately explain why I like this film, but I really enjoyed it. It is surreal, baffling, amusing and infuriating all at once, and some of the interplay between the assorted characters is wonderful. A lot of the questions go unanswered, but trying to figure them out is fun. Definitely worth checking out - gets better on rewatching as well.
Rated 11 Nov 2016
39
35th
The Rules of the Game just got a lot weirder...
Rated 26 Mar 2018
50
37th
This is something I need to re-watch. I know there is something people see in this that I just didn't get. I found this boring and I couldn't stay engaged with it.
Rated 08 Sep 2020
100
99th
Utterly fascinating intellectual (and philosophical) provocation from Buñuel is an object lesson in first clearly establishing a thought experiment without explaining its underpinnings (or loading up on unnecessary exposition ala Nolan). Performers are all fine, but Buñuel prefers to present them as a yammering indistinguishable mass (much like the plebs they hold their noses to). Taken at face value, a charming, witty and stimulating piece of entertainment.
Rated 26 Mar 2007
10
17th
I'm sorry, but I'm just totally not thrilled
Rated 28 Jun 2007
90
72nd
A scathing satire.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
97th
Probably Buñuel's greatest movie.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
94
90th
# 124
Rated 26 Jun 2008
75
89th
An excellent concept but the version I have seen had really poor subtitles and this made the dialogue somewhat hard to follow.I will watch it again when I get a better copy of the film and perhaps adjust my rating.
Rated 03 Jul 2008
92
98th
Great
Rated 07 Dec 2008
96
96th
Pretty much brilliant. Taking a simple idea - what if a bunch of bourgeoisie couldn't leave their dinner party? - and elevating it to its gleefully (il)logical political and sociological apex. An explanation does not have to be given. God bless Bunuel.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
94
88th
120
Rated 18 Apr 2009
90
89th
Terrific satirical take on the bourgeois lifestyle of society's so-called 'elite.' Bunuel deftly sends up all variety of individuals, including those who claim to be gentlemanly to all. Either powerless to change their situation or completely consumed with their own personal pursuits and pleasures, the guests become lower than animals within days. It's a bitter, bitter film, but its barbs are well-aimed.
Rated 12 Jun 2009
47
14th
A group of dinner guests are unable to leave the room... Not what you might expect from the title.
Rated 27 Aug 2009
94
94th
One of the most rewarding film experiences I have had in a long time.
Rated 23 Oct 2009
85
88th
The concept of the film is completely surreal, but great. Luis Buñuel does your criticism of the society in situations comically bizarre.
Rated 30 Oct 2009
80
85th
Its surrealism just didn't catch me. But I find this a very compelling statement about the fragility of bourgeoisie.
Rated 08 Nov 2009
85
94th
Great premise, very well done.
Rated 22 Nov 2009
40
6th
Didn't get this.
Rated 13 Jan 2010
94
88th
117
Rated 28 Apr 2010
90
79th
Absurd and great. Kind of hard to keep track of all the characters though. Probably needs 2 viewings.
Rated 14 Aug 2010
90
84th
This probably deserves another viewing before I can try to wrap my head around it. Bunuel has offered a provocative and very funny thematic piece.
Rated 30 Nov 2010
40
97th
"If not necessarily Buñuel's greatest film, this unclassifiable creation must count as one of the most twisted stunts ever mounted for the screen." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 19 Jan 2011
90
92nd
Weird but immensively exciting.
Rated 24 Apr 2011
85
84th
Creepy and funny, a great criticism of the rich in a surrealistic style. The premise is interesting and Buñuel offers up some great imagery. It's like an amazing Twilight Zone episode, and I'm glad nothing is really explained. I can't say that I consider it a masterpiece, but it's definitely an excellent film.
Rated 29 Jul 2011
88
92nd
A genius concept in one of Bunuel's most accessible films. Take that bourgeoisie.
Rated 20 Aug 2011
80
91st
With most filmmakers, this concept ends up mimicking a boring, overwrought stage play. Bunuel, however, imbues the film with no artistic pretense whatever, opting instead to inject some pretty vicious humor any time things start to become a little serious. Probably Bunuel's most effective attack of the bourgeoisie.
Rated 21 Nov 2011
90
92nd
As expected you never know what to expect next. I like that.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
94
88th
#127
Rated 13 Jan 2012
85
83rd
Perfectly balanced social commentary. It's sense of humor and surrealism -- as is typical of Bunuel -- are used harmoniously to bring the film to life. It's a cold film by it's nature, but overall it's a brilliant concept with even better execution.
Rated 21 Jan 2012
75
81st
It was good. It has nice commentary and criticism on the rich, and how they treat each other when put out of their comfort zone. The dream sequences in particular were amazing. This is really not surprising when you know it's from the same director as the astounding short film, Un chien adalou (1929).
Rated 24 Feb 2012
82
85th
Rather interesting; wonderful layers of symbolic social commentary and metaphor (despite the opening message trying to tell us that there was none!). The only (and rather disappointing) shallowness came with the photography and (lack of) mood. For all its cleverness, comedy and biting set pieces, it was rather flat and impersonal. I think it was an opportunity missed for a true masterpiece.
Rated 19 May 2012
60
36th
I felt a little bit betrayed when we cut out of the room, to the police and children waiting outside.
Rated 05 Jun 2012
80
81st
watched: 2012, 2023
Rated 26 Jun 2012
50
12th
ev, aksam yemegi, misafirler, oldugu yerde kalmak, bulundugu yeri terk edememek, fiziksel bir engel olmaksizin salondan cikamayan bir grup insan, üc koyun, bir ayi, sürrealist, rüyalar, cok diyalog, az mekan, az haraket,(Finalde cikan mesaj: ziyaretin kisa olani makbul, Küp filmi bu filmden esinlenmis. Basladiklari pozisyona dönünce isler yoluna giriyor.)
Rated 11 Jul 2012
92
96th
I think I just fell in love with Bunuel
Rated 15 Aug 2012
82
72nd
One of those create your own interpretation movies. Definitely gave rise to some interesting thoughts, but films like this typically leave me wanting something concrete to latch on to.
Rated 11 Oct 2012
65
6th
Não gostei muito deste filme: me senti até um pouco burro por achar que eu tivesse perdido algo(e talvez tenha). É que essas críticas ao comportamento da nobreza são generalizados por mim: só consigo imaginá-los como seres humanos ricos e idiotas; mas isso ocorre em qualquer classe da população. O que mais me afligiu foi imaginar-me naquela situação animalizadora. Tem aquela crítica aos hábitos de se exaltarem dos ricos, que é legal; mas eu vejo isso como algo baixo/idiota, mas de todo humano.
Rated 08 Jan 2013
95
96th
Now, you see--this--this is how you properly hate rich people.
Rated 27 Jan 2013
31
1st
I'm a staunch hater of surrealism. I'd say that this movie is art for the sake of art, but in reality it's art for the sake of getting away with calling it art and people who think themselves posh enough pretend to like it. Maybe I'm a little too straight forward, but I'm not surprised that those people couldn't leave the room, if nobody tried walking out. Even if Bunel didn't try, he did end up making some sort of statement about the upper class, but I'll only deduct points for him not knowing.
Rated 16 Apr 2013
90
85th
It took me three attempts to watch this film. Holy shit am I glad I finished it. Besides the obvious bourgeois satire, and possibly having the best payoff in film history, Exterminating Angel serves as an excellent examination of the role of code and ritual in society.
Rated 19 Apr 2013
80
71st
My struggle was figuring out whether this film was an indictment of high society or just human nature in general. Either way it's oddly unsettling and humorous, a symbiosis of tones that only a great artist can make well. It certainly takes a genius to present a group of characters who suddenly find that their will is not their own, a frightening prospect, and then just proceed to make jokes at their expense and experiment even further with this unprecedented expression of reality.
Rated 25 Jul 2013
81
76th
The moral is, always be polite at a dinner party.
Rated 31 Jul 2013
90
80th
When to leave a party goes from a question of ettiquette to a surreal nightmare in Bunuel's 1962 classic. It's a brilliant premise because it's so simple you could sum it up in 8 words, yet it's full of meaning and comedy and general filmic goodness.
Rated 04 Aug 2013
65
41st
No more surreal than a Twilight Zone episode if you ask me, even less so than many of them. It's a very nice but overrated film.
Rated 20 Dec 2013
6
83rd
a bunch of rich dinner guests get mysteriously trapped in a room for weeks, find their living conditions deteriorate and turn on each other. quite amusing satire on the upper classes and human nature.
Rated 12 Aug 2014
85
68th
There's an ahead-of-its-time sense of humor to The Exterminating Angel, as it looks to be lampooning the disaster genre before it even became entirely recognized.
Rated 26 Jan 2015
92
76th
Cynical little chamber drama. Classic premise.
Rated 18 Jul 2015
85
89th
Supposedly convenient sets of rules, be it etiquette or faith, establish a wall seperating pleb from elite. That, eventually, the lack of being earnest traps them, leaving no exit for those other than those not merely existing insofar others recognize them as existing.
Rated 29 Nov 2017
20
9th
I hate surrealism.

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