Chicago Sun Times
"Cries and Whispers" is like no movie I've seen before, and like no movie Ingmar Bergman has made before; although we are all likely to see many films in our lives, there will be few like this one. It is hypnotic, disturbing, frightening.
It envelops us in a red membrane of passion and fear, and in some way that I do not fully understand it employs taboos and ancient superstitions to make its effect. We slip lower in our seats, feeling claustrophobia and sexual disquiet, realizing that we have been surrounded by the vision of a film maker who has absolute mastery of his art. "Cries and Whispers" is about dying, love, sexual passion, hatred and death - in that order.
The film inhabits a manor house set on a vast country estate. The rooms of the house open out from each other like passages in the human body; with the exception of one moment when Agnes, the dying woman, opens her window and looks at the dawn, the house offers no views. It looks in upon itself.