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The Beautiful Country (2004)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 75
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 17

The plight of Asian refugees is sensitively rendered, and the movie builds, with the help of Nolte, to a wrenchingly poignant conclusion.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 4

The plight of Asian refugees is sensitively rendered, and the movie builds, with the help of Nolte, to a wrenchingly poignant conclusion.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,112

My Rating

Movie Info

A Vietnamese man looking for a better life embarks on a dangerous and eye-opening voyage to America in this powerful drama set during the early '90s. In 1990, Binh (Damien Nguyen) is a man in his early twenties who has never known his parents, though he is clearly of mixed-race parentage, which makes him an outcast in his community. Weary of being treated like an animal, Binh sets out to find his mother, Mai (Thi Kim Xuan Chau), only to discover she works as a servant for a wealthy family who



Sabina Murray, Larry Gross

Dec 13, 2005


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All Critics (82) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (17) | DVD (8)

Its epic tale of two cultures tragically entwined is anchored by deep and elemental emotions.

April 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Conditions for the characters may be bleak, but their perseverance makes the story compelling.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] graceful and yet harrowing drama.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A poignant and affecting portrait of the war's lingering consequences.

August 5, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At times, the movie feels like a manufactured Asian Chocolat, which drives the label 'art house movie' even further into mainstream banality.

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This haunting film casts a wide swath that veers between obvious cliches and intensely visceral truths.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source:

Worthwhile as an informative and touching reminder of the existence of a forgotten set of innocent victims of the Vietnam conflict.

May 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

An ambitious movie made on a modest budget, its intention is better than its execution.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The most stunning beauty comes in human connections, physical touch, unconditional acceptance, familial love - in the treacherous and tender terrain of the human heart.

September 8, 2006
Christianity Today

"The Beautiful Country" touches on many thorny social issues about the way the world works, but it's ultimately Binh's story, a truthful and heartening one.

November 10, 2005 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland's ambitious but bleak social problem film is compelling but never fully satisfies in its clumsy dramatics.

August 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Some of the plotting borders on ludicrous, and newcomer Nguyen is pretty much charisma-free.

August 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

There's little said about what is driving Binh on this journey -- and without that, the trip is nearly as hard on audiences as it is on him.

August 26, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

A well-intentioned but not entirely successful blend of tragic melodrama, social-issue expose and compassionate portraiture...

August 25, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It's beautiful in its simplicity, exhibiting the kindness people are capable of and how profound that can be.

August 20, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

...tells what could have been a bathetic story with persuasive compassion, admirable restraint and a painterly precision

August 19, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

What it badly needs is Terrell Owens; in other words, a reason to pay attention.

August 14, 2005 Full Review Source:

Unlike Oliver Stone's combative ... Heaven & Earth, The Beautiful Country mines peace and serenity from the hurtful, chaotic aftermath of the Vietnam War.

August 12, 2005

Beautiful movie about a young man's search for his past. Vietnam is indeed a beautiful country, but the way this movie is filmed, everywhere looks good.

August 10, 2005 Full Review Source:

The Beautiful Country provides a panorama without insight.

August 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

If the road to hell really is paved with good intentions, cliches and stock characters are the asphalt.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for The Beautiful Country

Slow paced, yet intriguing. I should take away 1/2 a star for the unsatisfying ending, but I just couldn't make myself do it. This was very well done, very moving, and very well casted. No Disney ending here, but nice enough to not get me too mad...
January 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"The Beautiful Country" starts in rural Vietnam in 1990 where Binh(Damien Nguyen) is already an outcast in society for having an American father, but his adoptive mother's possible upcoming marriage may force him out even more into the cold. So, he packs up his meager belongings and heads to Ho Chi Minh City to stay with his mother(Thi Kim Xuan Chau) who works at a mansion as a maid. While there, he meets his much younger half-brother and learns the identity of his father from his parents' marriage certificate. She gets Binh a job at the mansion but an accident forces him to flee along with his younger brother. Their aim is to get to Houston, Texas where Binh's father is from but first they are detained in the purgatory of a refugee camp in Malaysia.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"The Beautiful Country" is a visually stunning and moving film about finding your own place in the world. But too many events take place for convenience's sake, not out of any dramatic logic. And it is sorely lacking in three dimensional characters. The superior "In This World" covered some of the same territory in a more harrowing vein.[/font]
October 26, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Turns into a very gripping movie after a slow beginning. A few unexpected twists adds to the suspense. We get to see both misery and hope when the characters is searching for the American dream. Great acting and photography.
June 26, 2009
Stefan P

Super Reviewer

    1. Steve: We had a boy. He was just a baby. He had the eyes of an old man, even at two months.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Ling: You send all your money to Vietnam. You never get to Texas.
    2. Binh: She have nothing.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Binh: Tam died of a fever. He thought of you until the end. I would give anything to have him alive. How could I fail my little Tam? I beg your forgiveness.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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