New York Times - 06/13/2008
"Few filmmakers make the end of days seem as hauntingly beautiful as Werner Herzog does..."
Film Comment - 05/01/2008
"In ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD we are offered a glimpse into a dynamic terrain, one whose landscapes are in environmental flux due to global warming..."
Rolling Stone - 06/26/2008 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Herzog is one of a kind. His new doc is an event you watch in awe as you marvel at its wonders."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/20/2008
"The stunning images aren't enough for Herzog....He wants us to see how these quirky researchers, in their lust to explore, are acting out a drive as primitive as nature: the need to break away from the world in order to find it." -- Grade: A
Los Angeles Times - 06/27/2008
"The images captured by Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger are dazzling all on their own, finding the disorienting psychedelia that is nature at its weirdest."
Total Film - 08/13/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "Herzog imparts an infectious awe at nature's wild wonder."
Werner Herzog returns to the non-fiction world once again with ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, his latest exploration into the dangerous beauty that exists in nature. This time, Herzog travels to Antarctica in order to deliver a funny, visually arresting, dreamlike glimpse into Earth's most mysterious continent. Herzog begins by interviewing the many bizarre and unique individuals who have chosen to live and work in the secluded, frozen McMurdo Station. These characters aren't far removed from Herzog's quirkiest narrative features; as he interrogates them, it is clear just how amused he is by their off-kilter personalities. After a while, he leaves the humans behind in order to focus on the creatures that populate the continent--most notably, seals and penguins. In one unforgettable sequence, a lone penguin breaks off from the pack and ventures off into the distance, never to be heard from again. Herzog's subsequent questioning of an expert, in which he contemplates a penguin's ability to become deranged, is the director at his most overtly humorous--but there's a sincerity to his questioning that keeps it from sarcasm. The film builds to a gorgeous, haunting conclusion, in which producer/composer/cohort Henry Kaiser takes a camera along with him deep into the sea, under all of that ice, at which point we are exposed to magical visions that feel downright otherworldly. Deftly balancing humor and seriousness, ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD is another gem in Herzog's already legendary canon.
Description by Image Entertainment:
In the most hostile, barren, alien environment on the planet - you meet the most interesting people.
Welcome to Antarctica - like you've never experienced it. You've seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning, iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) to be the first to explore the South Pole's most fascinating inhabitants...humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, "professional dreamers" who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty - perhaps the last frontier on earth.