Cave of Forgotten Dreams

In this spellbinding documentary, filmmaker Werner Herzog offers an unprecedented examination of Chauvet Cave, a cavern in southern France that contains the oldest human-painted images yet to be found on Earth.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.7
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 96%
Critics' score: 96   Audience score: 76   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

It is our tour guide that makes Cave of Forgotten Dreams an often thrilling experience. full review

Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail

The overall effect, aided by Ernst Reijseger's score of rising choral harmonies and lush strings, is rapturous. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

"Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is another lovely stanza in the epic poem of humanity that Herzog has been writing for half a century. full review

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

To call "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" a great movie isn't just an understatement, it's a wildly inaccurate way to describe an experience that, in its immersive sensory pleasures and climactic journey of discovery, more closely resembles an ecstatic trance. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Art history lessons don't get much better: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" presents the world's oldest paintings captured by one of film's great visionaries. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

We're never going to be allowed in this place, so thanks, Werner, for inviting us along. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

What we come to love about Herzog's documentary is Herzog's love itself. full review

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

It was the birth of the modern human soul, and cinematic explorer Werner Herzog's fantastic "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is the delivery-room video. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Herzog's voiceover is, as always, more entertaining than most film soundtracks. The film has a touch of that gray fuzz which still afflicts 3-D, but the Chauvet cave is a perfect candidate for such technology, because it stashes its secrets in a recess. full review

Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Herzog is reaching for ways to comprehend what he imagines to be the emblems of the birth of the modern soul. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

The result is a journey to prehistory that's simultaneously wondrous and tedious, profound and completely nuts -- which is to say, quintessential Herzog. full review

Working with extremely limited lighting, Herzog not only gives a sense of the caves as a sinuous, tactile environment, but focuses on the movement suggested by the paintings. full review

Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Director Werner Herzog's latest cinematic mind trip blows you away with its beauty, though not necessarily due to its exquisite use of 3-D. full review

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

The unknowable or the mysteriously ambiguous in human behavior is what sets Mr. Herzog's synapses to firing with singular intensity. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

If you're interested in the history of the human race -- if you're a member of the human race -- you owe it to yourself to see this movie. full review

Dana Stevens, Slate

The director is excellent at contextualizing these venerable wall paintings, at discussing them with a variety of scientists in a way that allows us to think about them with a perspective we otherwise might not have. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

What a gift Werner Herzog offers with "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," an inside look at the astonishing Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc - and in 3-D too. full review

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

See this film. It takes you to a place you won't soon forget. full review

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

This is one of the few films to use the [3D] format for intellectual, even philosophical ends: the added depth parallels the deeper understanding of humanity that the paintings inspire. full review

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

To the degree that it's possible for us to walk behind Herzog into that cave, we do so. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
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