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Michael (Michael Fuith), a seemingly meek insurance agent, has a secret: he's holding 10-year-old Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) captive in a locked room in his basement. Chronicling a five month period, director Markus Schleinzer reveals a tense portrait of how seemingly mundane lives can hide the darkest secrets. Michael is a masterfully executed study of a monster with rich cinematic detail and unnerving insight. -- (C) Strand

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Another full unfaltering performance by a child. This time it's in a horror film."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"What interests Schleinzer is putting us inside Michael's head, even though we're repelled by his activities, and his no-frills approach works."
‑ Alonso Duralde, TheWrap
"Objective, analytic, clinical, dispassionate-these are not words often used to describe something so engrossing and gripping."
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"Intentionally unnerving from the first moments, it's a hard movie to watch, but it's also fantastically, agonizingly suspenseful."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Michael has been forged in the Haneke mould, treating its incendiary material with an aloof, banalising calm and withholding any overt judgment or moral standpoint."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"A strange and agonizingly engrossing drama despite its repellent subject."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Like its protagonist, Michael is deliberate and very discreet. It shocks by suggestion, not by display."
‑ Mark Jenkins, NPR
"Michael does have undeniable moral purpose. It forces us to ponder the way society chooses - another easy option - to comfortingly reclassify such perpetrators as monsters."
‑ Donald Clarke, Irish Times
"Mostly the picture is blank, a credible series of scenes that invite us to make of it what we will."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"I can't recommend anyone shares 90 minutes of their life with Michael."
‑ Grant Rollings, Sun Online
"There are no easy conclusions here - no explanations. Events unfold with a random, even black comic abandon."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"It's a chilling film about the routine business of unspeakable acts."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Haneke without the soul, and if you've seen enough of that man's pictures, you can maybe perceive how unsettling the idea of a soulless Haneke sounds."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"A brave, unavoidably distressing debut from Markus Schleinzer, sensitively acted and directed."
‑ , Film4
"There is a film to be made, grim and explorative, about paedophile abduction. Michael isn't it."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
More reviews for Michael on Rotten Tomatoes

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