Prime Video movie of the day: Sound of Metal will teach you how to hear without listening

Riz Ahmed sitting at a drumkit in Sound of Metal
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Sound of Metal is a stunning cinematic achievement. Many of us take our senses for granted: sight, taste, touch, smell and of course, sound, which is at the forefront of this drama. For protagonist Ruben Stone, the loss of his hearing causes his life to spiral out of control.

Movie of the Day

Every day, we cut through the bottomless list of streaming options and recommend something to watch. See all our Prime Video movie of the day choices.

As a drummer in the avant-garde metal duo Blackgammon alongside his girlfriend, he relies on his hearing every single day, and when he realises it’s deteriorating rapidly, his sense of self starts to suffer. After all, when your livelihood and your relationship is propped up by your ability to hear, what happens when that suddenly disappears?

Riz Ahmed shines as Ruben, who struggles with his diagnosis and tries to continue performing, even though his concerned girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) tries to stop him. It is an intimate portrayal of a person getting to grips with a life-changing thing, one that’s difficult to look away from.

The sound design is the most impressive thing here, though, as it is the absence of sound that is as impressive as the music itself. It gives viewers the opportunity to experience what Ruben is, an experience that can be upsetting, jarring and eventually, hopeful.

A standing ovation 

Sound of Metal received largely positive reviews at the time of its release, with many critics praising the filmmakers for making a story that really balanced the different tones to give us deeper insight into Ruben’s life. 

Mark Kermode said in The Guardian: “A film that deserves to be seen by the widest possible audience, reminding us of cinema's unique ability to challenge, entertain, uplift and unite.”

“Darius Marder's film is just as much the story of an awakening – a man's learning to listen, and to value a certain kind of stillness – as it is about the surface-level crisis of being suddenly struck deaf.” The Telegraph’s five-star review added.

Finally, Entertainment Weekly said: “As Ruben's fear and rage begins to open itself to the unknown, the movie reaches toward something profound – finding real, furious power in the spaces between the sound.”

You might also like

Want a TV upgrade? Our top 3 picks for all budgets

Lucy Buglass
Senior Entertainment Writer

Lucy is a long-time movie and television lover who is an approved critic on Rotten Tomatoes. She has written several reviews in her time, starting with a small self-ran blog called Lucy Goes to Hollywood before moving onto bigger websites such as What's on TV and What to Watch, with TechRadar being her most recent venture. Her interests primarily lie within horror and thriller, loving nothing more than a chilling story that keeps her thinking moments after the credits have rolled. Many of these creepy tales can be found on the streaming services she covers regularly.

When she’s not scaring herself half to death with the various shows and movies she watches, she likes to unwind by playing video games on Easy Mode and has no shame in admitting she’s terrible at them. She also quotes The Simpsons religiously and has a Blinky the Fish tattoo, solidifying her position as a complete nerd.