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Based on 9 Reviews
critic reviews (9)
fan reviews ( )
  • 60
    Frank Scheck The Hollywood Reporter

    Although it sketchily touches on many provocative issues -- the inhumanity of this form of incarceration, the relationship between the artist and subject -- Herman’s House fails to explore them in a fully satisfying manner. show more

  • 65
    Mark Jenkins NPR

    Herman's House would benefit from more background material on Wallace, notably about the alleged weakness of the murder rap against him. In the end, though, neither Sumell nor the film is concerned with that. Their goal is to make palpable — and palpably horrific — the fact of living 23 hours a day in caged isolation. show more

  • 88
    Farran Smith Nehme New York Post

    Bhalla’s advocacy gets its force above all from the oddly similar personalities of the two main subjects — Wallace and Sumell — zealous reformers possessed of astonishing optimism, even as Bhalla closes by noting that there are 80,000 prisoners in solitary in the US. show more

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Herman's House is conventionally produced, but it does right by its two uncommon subjects. show more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine

    An involving documentary that doesn't offer a convincing argument against solitary confinement for those who may not fully realize what's objectionable about it. show more

  • 60
    Time Out New York

    It’s an absorbing, prickly tale, which Bhalla doesn’t tell as coherently as he could have — oddly fitting, considering this is a story about frustrated ambitions and unfulfilled potential. show more

  • 80
    Zachary Wigon Village Voice

    Herman's House coasts on the strength of its portrait of two systemic outsiders. show more

  • 80
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Although this documentary has a powerful political subtext, it is best described as a conceptual art piece about confinement, attached to a dual biography of the artist and the prisoner. show more

  • 70

    A portrait of an invisible man, Herman's House is a raised voice in the constitutional debate over solitary confinement. show more

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