Return to Paradise Reviews

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Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
It's a painful prospect, to be sure, and Sheriff, in particular, insists he's no hero, but the next hour or so of handwringing conjures little suspense.
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
April 10, 2003
| Original Score: 1/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 1, 2000
...It all seems to be a predictable formula-driven film instead of one filled with an unpredictable raw energy.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 11, 2001
What if director Joseph Ruben didn't resort to B-movie suspense tricks? What if the fine cast wasn't saddled with a shamelessly contrived script by Wesley Strick and Bruce Robinson?
Kristian M. Lin
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
The story takes too long to set up, and the movie goes limp despite its eight-day time frame that's supposed to create tension.
Madeleine Williams
Cinematter
January 1, 2000
Return to Paradise isn't a bad film. It's just one that doesn't live up to its potential.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Granted, Vaughn's character arc is a wonder to behold, but I can't help but think that these characters just aren't the sort of guys anyone's really going to give a damn about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Paul Tatara
CNN.com
January 1, 2000
This is a major example of a good idea, one that could have worked, being submitted to a Hollywood tag-team makeover.
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
The characters aren't very sympathetic. That's not because of a lack of effort from the cast so much as heavy-handed direction and laughable dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Maitland McDonagh
Film Journal International
January 1, 2000
An eminently respectable effort without ever becoming a compelling one.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
If it's to be experienced at all, Return to Paradise is best seen as a lively piece of pulp, not a profound exploration of the vagaries of the human soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Luisa F. Ribeiro
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
Vaughn labors mightily under the obviousness of the script, while managing to reveal a fragile but profound fear of being an aging frat boy who longs to realize a finer, better self, only to be petrified that quality isn't within him.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 4, 2009
Despite solid performances from the leads, it comes shrouded in a heavy cloud of ethics-class complications that makes it feel like a "dilemma of the week" TV movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Like Sheriff and Tony, we're pulled both ways by the story: We want them to go back and save Lewis, but we're not exactly sure we'd do the same. That's the Prisoner's Dilemma in a nutshell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
The best performance in the film belongs to Anne Heche, who continues to impress with her range. Her work here is passionate, and she effectively conveys the inner conflict of a woman whose divided loyalties tear at her soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Clint Morris
Moviehole
September 18, 2002
Truly Unforgettable. A tour-de-force for Phoenix.
| Original Score: 3/5
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
An intelligent and adult look at people making hard choices in the real world.
Full Review | Original Score: high +3 out of -4..+4
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com
January 1, 2000
Surprisingly effective, if highly unlikely, drama of the soul and the conscience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
January 1, 2000
Discovering that his father's opinion of him is as low as his opinion of himself, Vaughn conveys his dismay and a new self-awareness with a furrow of his brow and a kind of panic in his eyes, an economy of physicality that nevertheless speaks volumes.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide
January 1, 2000
Vaughn and Heche are the keys to giving this dilemma a human face, and both are excellent.
Full Review | Original Score: 81/100
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000
Bob Thompson
Jam! Movies
January 1, 2000
Ray Pride
Newcity
January 1, 2000
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
February 23, 2012

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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