Hounddog boasts a distinctive wood-and-emerald look and several crackerjack performances.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Certainly, there is severe unpleasantness afoot, but defining the movie by its most controversial scenes isn't entirely fair.
Fanning is exceptional, anchoring the film with the confidence of an actress thrice her age.
Ms. Fanning's performance alone makes Hounddog worth seeing in this age of child Duses.
Wright Penn evidently helped get the film financed, but her big scenes feel shoehorned in. This is Dakota Fanning's film.
A tasteful cautionary fable and fairy tale for adults.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Fanning puts her entire heart and soul into that may finally earn her that Oscar nomination next year.
| Original Score: 4/5
Fanning projects a strange mix of innocence and awareness. The triumph of her performance is her ability to turn it on and off in the same scene, sometimes even in the same shot.
| Original Score: 2/5
| Original Score: 1/5
The whole distasteful mess is sunk up to its neck in a brew of Southern Gothic atmosphere and hocus-pocus sentimentality.
| Original Score: 0/4
Only Fanning's emotional honesty makes Hounddog watchable.
| Original Score: 2/4
...as discomfiting as you've heard, yet there is one moment near the end that nearly saves it.
Fanning resembles an acting robot: stick a quarter in her head and she'll dial up any reaction in the book, absent the needed gravitas.
| Original Score: D+
We're seeing Fanning in soaking wet white underwear playing in the river, gyrating like Elvis. That's worse that an exploitative rape scene. This is just the filmmakers deciding to depict salacious behavior.
If there's a Southern-gothic cliché (oh, those snakes!) that writer-director Deborah Kampmeier misses, I don't know it.
| Original Score: .5/4
A slow procession of degradation and suffering, Hounddog is like a tall glass of bitter iced tea.
| Original Score: 1/4
It's hard to take this wild mixture of sledgehammer symbolism, period Southern Gothic, race-conscious uplift and cautionary coming-of-age parable seriously, despite Fanning's remarkable poise.
| Original Score: C-
The only lesson is that if you're a child of the south, you better get yourself adopted by Yankees.
| Original Score: C
A handsomely produced but unintentionally risible film that mistakes high grotesquerie for high gothic.