Werner Herzog only managed to watch 30 minutes of ‘Barbie’: “Could it be that the world of Barbie is sheer hell?”

Legendary director Werner Herzog has weighed in on the ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon, revealing that he only managed to watch the first 30 minutes of Barbie.

During a recent appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored, the German filmmaker was asked by host Morgan whether he was “in the Barbie camp or the Oppenheimer camp” as the 2024 Oscars approach.

“I have not seen Oppenheimer yet, but I will do it. Barbie, I managed to see the first half-hour,” Herzog responded.


“I was curious and I wanted to watch it because I was curious. And I still don’t have an answer, but I have a suspicion – could it be that the world of Barbie is sheer hell? For a movie ticket, as an audience, you can witness sheer hell, as close as it gets.”

He continued: “I don’t know yet, Piers Morgan. Give me a moment to watch the whole thing. I have to watch the whole thing first.”

Herzog appeared to be saying that the Barbie Land location in the Greta Gerwig-directed film was “sheer hell”, rather than criticising the movie itself. However, he did not elaborate further on his views.

[embedded content]

Morgan responded: “Trust me, let me spare you the horror. I watched the whole thing and it is hell. I completely concur with your initial assessment after half an hour. And I would definitely recommend you don’t put yourself through the rest of it.”


You can watch the conversation at the 39:30 point in the YouTube video above.

Barbie is up for eight Oscars this year, with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer in the running for a huge 13 awards. Both films are nominated in the prestigious Best Picture category.

The 2024 ceremony is due to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 10.

In other news, Oliver Stone recently said that Ryan Gosling was “wasting his time” making films like Barbie.

Stone (Platoon, JFK) criticised the film in a resurfaced interview with City A.M. from last year, hitting out at a “ridiculous” joke suggestion from Mattel’s boss that he could direct a Barbie sequel.

Margot Robbie in 'Barbie'
Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’. CREDIT: © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

He later posted an apology on social media, saying that he “had little to no knowledge” of Gerwig’s Barbie when he made the remarks. Stone said he had since watched the movie and “appreciated the film for its originality and its themes”.

“I found the filmmakers’ approach certainly different than what I expected. I apologise for speaking ignorantly,” he added.

John Carpenter (Halloween) also shared his thoughts on Barbie, saying that parts of it “went right over my head”. However, he did praise Margot Robbie for her “fabulous” lead performance.

Last summer, Francis Ford Coppola called the dual box office success of ‘Barbenheimer’ “a victory for cinema”. Both Barbie and Oppenheimer were released on July 21 in the UK and US.