Senses of Cinema says it "is a passionate yet restrained story of sin and guilt, and much of its power lies in its reserved approach." The Guardian says this director "stands among the greatest, most profound, artists of the 20th century." FilmRef.com says, "Day of Wrath is a harrowing portrait of ideological persecution - the tragic consequences of a misdirected cruelty borne of intolerance and repression."
Bright Lights Film Journal says,
Critics of the time read the film as an anti-Nazi allegory, but modern viewers will see more timeless effects in Dreyer’s Rembrandt-like compositions and lighting, his fluid camera movement, and above all, the sexually supercharged performance of Lisbeth Movin as Anne, whose sensuality is equated by the narrow minds around her with satanic power.DVD Talk says,
The spiritual horror film Day of Wrath seems to be a condemnation of the inquisitors of the Holy Office and a criticism of religion... at first. ... this tale has no villains, only people playing their pre-ordained roles in a repressed society where the church seems to rule all. Absalon may be pitiless but he is also sincere to the bone, and willing to be ruthlessly merciless with himself when made aware of his shortcomings. The cruelest torturer is a man with a soul trying to do his best.Rotten Tomatoes has a 100% critics score.