While Sound of Metal doesn’t venture to unexpected places, director Darius Marder — working from a script based on a story by “Blue Valentine” director Derek Cianfrance — keeps it all rooted in a heartfelt reality.
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Here’s a film so quietly visceral it can sear through metal, “quietly” being the keyword. Don’t come in expecting a no-holds-barred assault on the senses. Nor is this a metal music extravaganza. The bulk of the film is silent, deliberate. We are thrust inside Ruben’s mind to hear what he hears, a pulsating, muted nothing, which is then jarringly contrasted with everyday sounds when we’re yanked back out of his head. The sound mixing and editing are nothing short of phenomenal in Sound of Metal.
A movie perfectly engineered for home viewing. Particularly with the best set of headphones that you own.
Marder believes devoutly in the power of actors and acting, preferring to get out of the way and let them show their stuff. Ahmed returns the favor by delivering career-best work by a wide margin.
Darius Marder’s film captures, with urgency and tenderness, just how enticing the residue of the past can be.
[A] mesmerizing debut ... Sound of Metal injects visceral, edgy circumstances with remarkable sensitivity.
This is a very personal story to Marder and it shows in the intricate ways he uses sound to place us within Ruben’s plight.
A film about the sudden onset of deafness that is too attentive to specifics of character and setting to ever feel like a rote disability drama.
An experiment of sound design paired with a stellar lead performance makes for a captivating film.
This remarkably assured debut ... uses the medium of cinema to its fullest extent, both visually and aurally.