Steve Sandberg’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was able to watch this movie fully streaming its audio to my cochlear implants because technology is amazing.
I will never forget the fear, confusion, and helplessness I felt when I awoke one morning over 10 years ago and found I couldn't hear anything. At all. Sound disappeared. I will never forget how hard and how long i cried when I learned this was something that could not be fixed. I used to be a musician, I used to write songs. That was the vital way I had of truly and comfortably expressing myself. And it was gone.
Sound of Metal really, really gets that. The panic, the rage, the sadness. It's perfectly captured. Even the disappointment Ruben feels when activating his implants for the first time. Cochlear implants are not perfect replacements for actual hearing, but given time they are amazing. They can always be limited, frustrating, and sometimes even alienating, but I'd rather have them than not hear at all. I can still hear and appreciate and marvel at music, I can hear the voices of the people I love.
I've long been aware of the Deaf community's disdain for hearing implants, and I understand it completely. I just can't fully get behind this movie's attitude that opting for implants is the desperate act of an addict, settling for a shitty unnecessary substitute rather than gaining the serenity to accept the reality of Deafness.
This is a beautiful movie in many, many ways. Riz Ahmed, man. I just don't think I can give it a star-rating.