The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) Reviews

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Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 26, 2003
Basically, it's The Big Chill, but more full of itself and not as entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
December 19, 2003
It's quite depressing to find that these self-absorbed people haven't really changed, that they still pontificate about their left-leaning politics, still offer unsolicited advice, still brag about their sex lives and still have a superior edge.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
December 28, 2003
I think before this filmmaker casts his barbarian stones, he should look at himself.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Kent Turner
Film-Forward.com
April 6, 2004
And underwhelming is any film that uses footage of the attack on the World Trade Center for one of its few emotional jolts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
November 18, 2003
The dramatic tangle of family in The Barbarian Invasions is reduced to a bizarre cartoon of name-dropping, smug banter, and straggling sex-rev nostalgia.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 20, 2003
The banter ... is thick enough to rake -- and often way too thick to swallow, even for those who might not mind spending a couple hours with a bunch of baby boomers wasting their time by sorting through wasted time in the past.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jay Antani
Los Angeles Alternative
September 30, 2004
...jerkily paced, dramatically obvious, and seems penned by a self-serious 16-year-old
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
February 27, 2004
...The speeches are so deadening, I thought the projectionist had slipped in the last reel of a John Sayles picture.
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
October 14, 2003
Privileged audiences that swooned for Decline of the American Empire should expect more of the same oh-so-witty jibber-jabber and specious political "noise" exchanged between Arcand's motley intellectuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
January 13, 2004
If there's anything less appealing than movies about gradual death, it's movies where various characters' dialogue is spent espousing a filmmaker's philosophy.
Jeffrey Chen
Window to the Movies
January 11, 2004
[I] felt it was trying to do too much with what looked increasingly like a fantasy premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Audrey Rock-Richardson
Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
February 27, 2004
Terribly long-winded and uninspiring.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 21, 2003
Schmaltzy and contrived.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
November 20, 2003
A bit too neat and calculated to make the emotions ring really true.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jon Popick
Planet Sick-Boy
September 15, 2003
The only thing that separates Invasions from vile tripe like Stepmom and Sweet November is the language its mawkish characters spew.
| Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 19, 2003
I kept wondering how Arcand could have chosen as his generational representative a man not just flawed in his hedonism but one so fundamentally lacking in tenderness for others.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Daily News
November 21, 2003
Death has no sting here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
November 21, 2003
Visually 'The Barbarian Invasions' has a nice surface, but the more one listens to it the more ephemeral and inconsequential it becomes.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 29, 2003
French-Canadian director Denys Arcand revisits the aging intellectuals from The Decline of the American Empire -- and they might be interesting, if they'd ever shut up.
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune
December 26, 2003
Arcand dearly likes his characters, but here's another movie cancer death nearly devoid of mess and stress, with available heroin and a lovably comforting sunset.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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