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Beyond Borders (2003)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 102
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 88

Beyond Borders is good-intentioned, but the use of human suffering as a backdrop for a romance comes across as sanctimonious and exploitative.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 32

Beyond Borders is good-intentioned, but the use of human suffering as a backdrop for a romance comes across as sanctimonious and exploitative.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 31,942

My Rating

Movie Info

Martin Campbell directs the romantic adventure Beyond Borders. Angelina Jolie stars as Sarah Jordan, a American living with her wealthy British husband, Henry Bauford (Linus Roache), in London during the early '80s. At a charity benefit, she meets passionate relief worker Nick Callahan (Clive Owen), who chastises the rich people for not helping out the needy in war-torn countries. Sarah is quickly compelled to join his humanitarian cause to fight the famine in Ethopia. She then follows him to


Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance

Caspian Tredwell-Owen

Mar 23, 2004


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (107) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (88) | DVD (20)

It all becomes little more than feel-good-about- feeling-bad window dressing, like an issue of Utne Reader in Dolby Surround Sound.

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... an old-fashioned romance.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An unconvincing melodrama that seems more interested in pushing an agenda and preaching than in developing legitimate, compelling characters.

October 26, 2003 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A melodrama with pretensions to humanitarian generosity.

October 26, 2003 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Well-intentioned but astonishingly flat.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The premise of the movie deserves better.

October 24, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Important issues buried in soap opera silliness.

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...brutally haunting images ... in a setting where sappy dialogue evaporates like water.

September 20, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Se abordar os esforços humanitários ao redor do planeta é admirável, colocá-los em segundo plano para priorizar uma história de amor é mais do que frustrante; é imperdoável.

March 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Beyond Borders trivializes the pain and suffering of actual people by reducing them to a backdrop for Hollywood twaddle.

January 1, 2004 Full Review

Affecting moments appear sporadically in Beyond Borders, but they can't amend for the movie's lack of shame.

November 22, 2003 Full Review

"Beyond Borders" is a soap opera with its heart in the right place.

November 17, 2003 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

While most movies insist on having 'plots,' this one boldly proceeds without one, flying in the face of convention.

November 4, 2003 Full Review Source:

Those expecting Jolie's character to end up feeding and clothing every indigent person on the planet might be surprised at the movie's toughness and refusal to compromise.

November 4, 2003
Creative Loafing

Beyond Borders should have been to relief efforts what Schindler's List was to the Holocaust. Or what Saving Private Ryan was to WWII.

November 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

A silly movie made all the more silly by how much it wants not to be a silly movie.

October 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The idea of people from the West, previously indifferent, who immerse themselves in sickness and war in an effort to make a difference has been explored less melodramatically in an ongoing story arc on TV's E.R.

October 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Journal News (Westchester, NY)

It wavers like a child wanting to dive in to the deep end of a pool.

October 30, 2003 Full Review
Talking Pictures (U.S.)

Beyond Borders can be wrenching and vigorously committed, but it's also occasionally tasteless and calculating. Think Doctor Zhivago with landmines.

October 30, 2003 Full Review

It is a rather callous, travelogue look at misery around the world.

October 29, 2003 Full Review

Beyond Borders is one of those rare big-budget films that has something of vital importance to say about the real world, and pulls no punches saying it.

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

This pop nugget of McHistory, for all of its aspirations to sermonize, never elevates beyond a simplistic morality tale of, well, black and white.

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

It would all be perfectly ridiculous if it werenÕt so gosh-darn moving, in that Hollywood way that makes you hate yourself for crying, hand me another Kleenex, dammit.

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

By the time the closing credits come up, you're left with the unshakable feeling that things might have been a tad better off if all involved had scrapped this terrible film and instead donated the multimillion-dollar budget to charity.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The chemistry between Jolie and Clive Owen is close to nil.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Audience Reviews for Beyond Borders

This movie goes where others are afraid to go Show the lives of children in Africa. Clive Owen plays a take no Bull Shi^ from anybody and in the process falls in love with Miss Rich Girl who is married but still Sleeps with the Doctor anyway. Oh thats right its 2010, have so morals. Still all in all a 5 star movie
October 21, 2010
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

It is so incredibly shameful how the well-intentioned and promising first half about the misery in Africa gives place to a ridiculous and exploitative romance in the final act.
January 13, 2010

Super Reviewer

This will take you beyond your view about poverty and social worker matters but surely don't take you beyond your movie expectation!
April 3, 2007
Aliyanto Latip

Super Reviewer

Beyond Borders is an overly political and melodramatic film that doesn't have much of a plot. The film follows a wealth socialite that feels compelled to become involved with a world relief program and starts a torrid affair with an international aid worker. Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen lead the cast, but their performances so overdramatic that everything feels forced. The plot is especially weak and neither the story nor the characters are developed all that well. Unfortunately, Beyond Borders is little more than an exploitative piece of trite that plays on people's sympathies.
August 22, 2012
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

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