A Sacrifice (2024) Movie Review – Not worth sacrificing your time for

Not worth sacrificing your time for

This latest movie from director Jordan Scott (Cracks) focuses on two key characters, Ben (Eric Bana) and Mazzy (Sadie Sink), a father and daughter who reunite when the teenage Mazzy goes to stay with her pa who is living in Berlin following the break-up of his marriage. 

Ben is a social psychologist who is researching the power of group consciousness for his latest book. As part of his research, he looks into a mysterious group suicide, wherein members of a cult killed themselves by taking cyanide. 

At the scene of this gruesome discovery, Ben meets a woman named Nina (Sylvia Hoeks) who works as a criminal profiler. It’s not long before the two of them get into a relationship – a plot point that would be ridiculous were it not for a twist towards the end of the film. 

Ben begins to investigate the cult in Berlin, little knowing that his daughter Mazzy has fallen in with a local environmentalist group who – surprise – is the cult that he is looking into. Mazzy is taken to this group by a handsome young man named Martin (Jonas Dassler) who has been tasked by Hilma (Sophie Rois), the cult’s charismatic leader, to recruit her.

When Ben eventually discovers what is happening with his daughter, it’s the usual race against time wherein he must hurry to find her location before something terrible happens. Unfortunately, by the time you get to this point in the plot, you might have stopped caring about the film. 

While there is potential for a thrilling story about a father’s attempt to rescue his daughter from the clutches of a crackpot cult, the film we are given is a mostly leaden affair. For one thing, it’s bogged down with too many conversation scenes between Ben and Nina, with dialogue that is rarely interesting to listen to. When they’re not talking, they’re having sex, in scenes that prove annoying because they take us away from Mazzy’s storyline which is more involving than that featuring her father. 

Movies about cults are often quite fascinating because it’s interesting to learn of their crazed motives and sinister ways of attracting people to their cause. The same is partially true of this film though it’s nowhere near the calibre of such similarly themed films as Split Image and Faults because the events that unfold in A Sacrifice lack proper explanation. There’s some mumbo jumbo about (literally) dying to oneself to save the future of the planet, but you’d be wise not to think too hard about the cult’s sinister practices as they make little-to-no sense.

The biggest fault of this film is that it’s just so boring. The direction is flat, the performances lack energy, and there are far too many scenes where nothing very interesting happens. The film occasionally springs into life when it heads into darker territory, with one scene of a forced suicide that is particularly memorable. But for the most part, the film plays out like an extended episode of a crime procedural, with a great deal of waffle to endure before we get to the occasional good bits. 

There are a couple of plot twists in the film that might make you stay awake before the closing credits roll. There are a handful of gruesome scenes that might also jolt you from your slumber. But overall, A Sacrifice is pretty much a waste of time. It’s adapted from the 2015 novel Tokyo by Nicholas Hogg which has had some good reviews online, so I can only assume something has been lost in the adaptation from the page to the screen.

A Sacrifice might not be the worst film you’ll see all year but it will likely be one of the most disappointing. With a good cast, a talented director, and a subject that many find fascinating, this could have been a pretty decent picture. But for all the reasons we have mentioned, Jordan Scott’s new feature is – and please forgive the pun – not worth sacrificing your time for. 


Read More: A Sacrifice Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 4.5/10

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