Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Perhaps the elusive, uncanny soundtrack of Tangerine Dream brings this about, or maybe it’s Friedkin’s juxtapositions of close-ups and stark long shots of the tiny trucks lost in jungle or desert landscapes, but Sorcerer eventually seems to be happening someplace not of this world. Not hell, exactly; maybe Limbo.
Slant Magazine
Rather than a fleeting image of violence, however, Friedkin’s cyclical, almost Kafkaesque insistence that politics revolves around now globalized, corporate power delegating hired guns to do under-the-table bidding across national boundaries announces itself through the soundscape, with Tangerine Dream’s electronic basslines substituting for bloodshed. No one escapes the suffocating corrosion of Sorcerer’s polysemous diegesis—not even Friedkin himself, as audiences and industry would have it.
A defiant, mad gesture of a film that features some of the most exhilarating sequences in movie history.
Time Out
By the time Sorcerer gets around to its rain-soaked, rickety-bridge set piece, you’ll either be obsessed or fully checked out. Give yourself a chance to pick sides.
Friedkin's Sorcerer is just as gripping and spine-tingling an adventure film as The Wages of Fear and, at times, surpasses the original film with breathtaking photography and a superb use of sound (the scene on the bridge is truly amazing). The musical score by German electronic experimental band Tangerine Dream is brilliant and haunting. The eerie electronic music adds immeasurably to the overall effect of the film, complementing the exotic imagery perfectly.
Though there’s gunplay, and more than a few explosions, the focus of this grim jungle odyssey is on the prevention of carnage, the heart-in-throat attempts not to blow something up.
This lean, hard, ruggedly acted film is hardly ingratiating, but its clenched power has a cruel and compelling beauty. [04 July 1977, p.77]
William Friedkin's remake of the French thriller Wages of Fear represents an above-average effort by the director of The Exorcist—meaning it's marginally watchable. Friedkin senselessly complicates the simple story—four men drive a truckload of nitro through a South American jungle—with a lengthy exposition and some unfortunate existential overtones. The rhythms are all off—it's either too fast or too slow—but most of the set pieces are effective.
William Friedkin's Sorcerer is a painstaking, admirable, but mostly distant and uninvolving suspenser based on the French classic The Wages of Fear [from the novel by Georges Arnaud]. Friedkin vividly renders the experience of several men driving trucks loaded with nitro through the South American jungle, yet the characters are basically functional. 'Sorcerer' is merely the name of one of the trucks.
Time Out London
Friedkin hints at political themes, but the film suffers most from condescendingly over-emphatic direction, and a generally tedious, relentless grimy realism in the opening half hour

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