films seen
15
average score
2.36*
nationality
Germany - 79 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Herzog is a remarkable figure. Famous for his spats with Klaus Kinski, his illustrious documentaries, his signature voice and the occasional acting performance. His oeuvre is all over the place, but it has something for everyone.

Solid pieces

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2009 / 122m - USA
Genre
Drama, Crime
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans poster

The inoffensive

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2016 / 98m - USA
Genre
Documentary
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World poster

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

by Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov
Specifics
2010 / 90m - Germany
Genre
Documentary
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga poster

Lessons of Darkness

by Werner Herzog
Also known as
Lektionen in Finsternis
Specifics
1992 / 54m - France, UK
Genre
Documentary
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Lessons of Darkness poster

Herzog documents the Kuwait war, but not in a very traditional way. There are few interviews and little in the way of context, even Herzog's trademark voice-over is largely absent. Instead, he shows us hellish landscapes that often reminded me of fancy CG shots out of Hollywood disaster flicks.

Lessons of Darkness is a rather poetic documentary, with a heavy focus on aesthetics to get its message across. I can only applaud that and I readily admit that the film looks quite stunning. I did find the grandeur of the music less fitting, and the interplay between audio and video a little lacking.

The film would've been ever better without the two or three interviews, which I felt detracted from the mood Herzog was trying to create. There are quite a few impressive scenes that linger well beyond the end credits and Herzog's approach deserves some praise, the execution could've been better though.

Worthy but flawed

Rescue Dawn

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2006 / 120m - USA, Luxembourg
Genre
War
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Rescue Dawn poster

The Wild Blue Yonder

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2005 / 80m - Germany, France
Genre
Sci-fi
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
The Wild Blue Yonder poster

Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet

by Kaige Chen, Víctor Erice, Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki, Spike Lee, Wim Wenders
Specifics
2002 / 92m - Spain, UK
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet poster

La Soufrière - Warten auf eine Unausweichliche Katastrophe

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
1977 / 30m - West Germany
Genre
Documentary
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
La Soufrière - Warten auf eine Unausweichliche Katastrophe poster

Herzog's documentaries are always worth a shot. They don't always turn out great, but Herzog himself is such a peculiar figure that there's always a chance of some fun quotes or interesting angles. The same goes for La Soufrière, a somewhat haphazard doc about a volcano about to burst.

When Herzog hears a volcano is about to go off on Guadeloupe, threatening to destroy the island, he gathers a crew to document the event. He finds a deserted island, except for one man who decided to stay behind. That sounds like a great story, sadly, it turns out to be somewhat less exciting.

Not so much that in the end the crisis is averted (the volcano never erupts), but the guy they find isn't really all that interesting. He becomes the primary subject of the documentary, but he just goes on about God and whatnot. Still, Herzog shoots some very nice pictures of the island and the deserted towns are pretty haunting. Decent.

Dubious filler

Into the Inferno

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2016 / 104m - UK, Germany
Genre
Documentary
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Into the Inferno poster

Fitzcarraldo

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
1982 / 158m - West Germany, Peru
Genre
Drama, Adventure
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Fitzcarraldo poster

Heart of Glass

by Werner Herzog
Also known as
Herz aus Glas
Specifics
1976 / 94m - West Germany
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Heart of Glass poster

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner

by Werner Herzog
Also known as
Die Große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner
Specifics
1974 / 45m - West Germany
Genre
Documentary, Sport
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner poster

Herzog has always alternated between narrative films and documentaries. So far, I hadn't seen much of his older docs, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner is the first I've seen and heralded by Herzog himself as one of his most important films. Can't say I understand why though.

Steiner is a famed sky flyer (pretty much the same as ski jumping, only they go a lot further still) who broke several records in his time by crossing the farthest posts on the slopes. Herzog follows him around, detailing the dangers and appeal of the sport while underlying the often amateurish organization of the events.

While the close-ups and slo-mo footage of the jumps are quite nice, in the end it's still a pretty basic documentary about an athlete. One whose records have long since been beaten. Herzog makes the best of it and his enthusiasm makes sure that even people who don't care for the sport get something out of it, but in the end it's really not that special.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

by Werner Herzog
Also known as
Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Specifics
1972 / 95m - West Germany
Genre
Drama, Adventure
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Aguirre, the Wrath of God poster

Plain forgettable

Family Romance, LLC

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2019 / 89m - USA
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Family Romance, LLC poster

Herzog goes to Japan to make a film about a company that hires out actors, who become hired friends and/or family members for a day. It's not really a novel concept, but Herzog's documentary-style offers a new approach and the fact that the lead actor is also doing this job in real life adds a little intrigue.

Sadly the film itself is quite poor. Herzog feels lost in Japan and apart from some template shots (like Shibuya Crossing) ends up giving off a very touristy vibe. The film looks quite ugly, the music is ill-fitting and because of the form I expected Herzog's voice to pop up and give commentary on the story.

The performances are quite poor too and the fragmented setup doesn't really add much. It's a failed experiment that might've worked better as an actual documentary rather than a feature film. It's weird that Herzog didn't see this himself, as he's quite fond of making documentaries. Not good at all.

Grizzly Man

by Werner Herzog
Specifics
2005 / 103m - USA
Genre
Documentary, Biography
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Grizzly Man poster