Before Night Falls Reviews

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Austin Kennedy
Film Geek Central
May 10, 2013
This could have been a compelling movie about a wonderful writer, but instead it's a tedious, pointless mess. After spending over 2 hours with Arenas, I still knew nothing about him. Javier Bardem's great performance seemed to be a complete waste.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Emanuel Levy
April 30, 2011
One of the first features about Castro's impact on artists and homosexuals, this biopic is well acted by Bardem
Full Review | Original Score: B
Nick Rogers
September 25, 2010
"Before Night Falls" exuberantly portrays a writer whose legacy remains an acutely observant childhood spirit that no perversion of politics could break. Javier Bardem blends the swagger of Robert Downey Jr. and the brooding of a young Al Pacino.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts
June 21, 2007
Schabel's most recent work fails to move me. While the story of Reinaldo Arenas is tragic enough to be interesting (and Javier Bardem's performance sympathetic) the film as a whole simply seems long and indulgent.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 25, 2003
despite a real commitment to Arenas and his work, the film just falls short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
February 17, 2003
Saddled with a wandering opening and an equally listless conclusion, a more fitting name for this two hour-plus biopic might well be Before Night Falters.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
January 8, 2003
The cinematography is beautiful and clearly shows the director's artistic bent, but the storytelling is often disjointed. . . . Ultimately, Before Night Falls is more successful as a Javier Bardem showcase than a movie.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Michael Dequina
December 8, 2002
[Bardem] simply does what the script calls for him to do, which is basically sustain a look of pain for two-hours plus.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 30, 2002
There is something genuinely moving in Bardem's Rabelaisian poet...
| Original Score: A
Paul Salfen
July 9, 2002
Great performances...boring movie.
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
June 10, 2002
no one can say Schnabel doesn't know how to create a marvelous shot when he wants to. Telling a cohesive story, however, is a skill he has yet to master.
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews
January 26, 2002
Un cri de coeur...Julian Schnabel's latest work can only be described as one of those soul-stirring cries.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit
September 20, 2001
Some may find Before Night Falls boring because of its episodic nature and its lack of a single, overriding plot. But Before Night Falls has some great qualities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 4, 2001
In uniting to honor Arenas, Bardem and Schnabel create something extraordinary.
| Original Score: 5/5
Widgett Walls
May 20, 2001
The film, clocking in at a mere two hours, feels much, much longer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Michael Atkinson
April 16, 2001
Avoids many of the tragic biopic pitfalls.
April 2, 2001
| Original Score: 1.5
Jay Stone
Ottawa Citizen
March 23, 2001
It's as if we've flipped through an album of beautifully proportioned photographs from which we must reconstruct a life, helped along by a performance that seems almost unbearably brave.
March 21, 2001
Sencillamente, una de las mejores y más emotivas cintas del año
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dan Lybarger
Lawrence Journal-World
March 20, 2001
Schnabel can take on an apparently spent genre like the biopic and produce a pair of films that ooze vitality as they give their subjects a much needed celebration.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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