A lot of people find The Zone of Interest to be a powerful, unsettling movie. Five Oscar nominations, including Picture, International Feature, Director, and Adapted Screenplay (as well as Sound, which I think is appropriate). Winner of four awards at Cannes, 43 wins and counting overall. A 91/100 Metascore at Metacritic.
I didn't care for it.
The subject matter is important (banality of evil in Nazi Germany). The approach is intriguing (the commandant at Auschwitz and his family live next door to the camp). The use of sound is brilliant (the family might ignore what's going on over the wall, but we can always hear noises). Clearly, much of the audience is getting something from the movie. But I found the insistence on banality to ultimately be so banal that it was boring. And that might be the point, but it's always hard to portray boring on screen without succumbing to being a boring movie. The Zone of Interest isn't boring, because it's about Auschwitz.
But some of Glazer's decisions are puzzling. On occasion, the picture turns into a kind of negative image ... it looks almost like rotoscoping ... and I guess I'm dense, but I never understood why Glazer did that. Maybe I'm just not on Glazer's wavelength ... I hated his Sexy Beast, and didn't care for Under the Skin. As I once wrote, "I found little to like as I watched Under the Skin, although afterwards, I felt more kindly, blaming myself for not liking it instead of blaming the movie for being bad." The Zone of Interest is not bad, but I'm less ready to blame myself, having now seen three of Glazer's movies and not liking any of them. I've now seen 9 of the 10 Best Picture Oscar nominations, and I liked the other 8 more than I liked The Zone of Interest (to say nothing of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Boy and the Heron, or Godzilla Minus One).