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Out of the Blue (Aramoana)

Out of the Blue (Aramoana) (2007)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,541

My Rating

Movie Info

Out of the Blue, New Zealand writer-director Robert Sarkies' long-awaited follow-up to his 1999 feature debut, Scarfies, recreates the events that led up to and surrounded David Gray's November 13, 1990 mass murder of 13 locals in the town of Aramoana, New Zealand. Sarkies, however, approaches the material not as exploitation nor as an action picture, but -- like Terrence Malick in his 1973 true crime picture Badlands -- as an understated and detached drama. Sarkies uses a contemplative and



Robert Sarkies

Jun 17, 2008

IFC First Take

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (4) | DVD (2)

The usual dramatic affectations applied to such true-life material are largely absent; instead, Sarkies focuses on various quotidian elements that take on weight as the inevitable draws closer.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sarkies avoids the genre's conventional trappings and prefers instead to concentrate on the ways in which the people of Aramoana deal with the unfolding event.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Robert Sarkies' dramatization of that event is as sensitive to its subject as it is stark in its rendering.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Without such thematic resonance, it plays like a more elaborate version of one of the dramatic re-creations seen on any number of true-crime television programs.

October 19, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like Steven Spielberg's historical epics, the film shows the nastiest incidents from a great distance, or cuts away before a bullet's impact to show an onlooker's shocked reaction. The director confronts horror without wallowing in it.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's some nifty soft-focus cinematography and fine performances, but otherwise, not much to resonate on this side of the pond.

October 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice | Comment (1)
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A claustrophobic dramatic reconstruction of a 22-hour shooting spree in the sleepy coastal town of Aramoana, New Zealand, that left 13 people dead.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

Brilliantly directed, thoroughly gripping thriller that is both deeply moving and genuinely terrifying -- this is one of the best films of the year.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

This is not a feel-good movie by any stretch, but it gets amazing marks on almost every front and really needs to be seen.

June 24, 2008 Full Review Source:

Harrowing and heartbreaking, this is the film of the week by many a mile. Despite playing in just a handful of cinemas, I urge you to track it down.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

A strong drama clearly dedicated to exploring its real life events, if not hugely memorable in its own right.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Scrupulously avoiding sensationalism, the film concentrates much less on the killer, than on the other locals engulfed in the tragedy.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source:

The massacre still touches a raw nerve in New Zealand but, filming at a neighbouring town and informed by survivors' accounts, Sarkies manages both a sensitive and excruciatingly taut docu-thriller that's refreshing for the genuine weight of its tragedy.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

In no way an easy watch, but as a meticulous record of a tragedy and the feats of bravery it inspired, this is an excellent movie.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

A haunting, uplifting and never-exploitative portrayal of a terrifying real-life tragedy.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Compelling but flawed.

March 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It's not to say that the filmmakers should have resorted to pulp dramatics, but in correctly straining to not exploit their subjects, they forgot to fill in the spaces left behind.

November 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

With his carefully controlled pacing and superb use of sound, Sarkies draws the viewer deep into the experience of a town caught completely off-guard by a kind of violence they could never have expected, and won't soon forget.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The persistent attack of the lone, merciless gunman is reason enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen.

October 18, 2007 Full Review Source:

Suggests a Folgers Crystals commercial with a body count.

October 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Out of the Blue (Aramoana)

I often sit back to watch a "BIG" film only to end up thinking "What's the point?". Take X-Men Origins: Wolverine for example, a prequel about an indestructible man. We know he lives, we know he can't really be hurt. Then I watch a film like Out of the Blue. All I knew was the title and that Karl Urban would be in it. The film builds up at a nice pace, showing people doing normal daily things. There's one "eccentric" that adds a nervous tone, and rightly so. To say more would be to spoil it. It is based on a true story, but one I hadn't heard of. The film was full of the kind of nail-biting tension and shocking moments that are absent from those big blockbusters. It's shot perfectly and punctuates the one hour set-piece with quick quiet moments. No emotional blackmail to speak of either, and the excitement comes from nerves and not an overbearing, blood pumping score.
May 28, 2009

Super Reviewer

One of the only movies to totally upset me.Based on the true story set in New Zealand about a lone gunman thats go's berserk killing 13 men,women and children in a rurul town in 1990.To make it unsettling is that it plays like a documantry and that the performances are so real that it makes you feel that your there.This is certanly no hollywood movie.There's no heros and no one man army to save the day just a real story with real people and a place in history that your won't forget easy after watching this movie.One stand out performance is from Karl Urban who prove more of a actor here than any of the hollywood movies he as been in lately.
July 29, 2008

Super Reviewer

Disturbing story of a lone gunman on a killing spree in New Zealand which is well handled but offers little by way of explanation for sn increasingly common phenomenon.
July 23, 2008
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

This was a beautiful and disturbing film about a madman in New Zealand. Based on a true story.
August 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

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