Beyond Borders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beyond Borders Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 21, 2010
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
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2007
This will take you beyond your view about poverty and social worker matters but surely don't take you beyond your movie expectation!
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2012
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.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2014
Fear not, foreigners trapped in horrible social and political turmoil, because Angelina Jolie is here to save you, as always! I love how this role of a humanitarian was essentially made for Jolie, and she still got a Razzie nod. I'm sure the Razzie people who just try and find something to pan were the only ones who saw this film, because, wow, this film bombed for a Martin Campbell flick. I can understand why the man did "The Legend of Zorro" right after this, because he need to get his money back, although I don't feel too sorry for him, because he just had to have known that a sequel that features Zorro taking his swashbuckling adventures across the border into America was a stupid idea. Actually, the ultimate Mexican border like that sounds a good bit more interesting than this film, which isn't to say that there isn't something rather intriguing about how this being some kind of a fantasy for Jolie. Star-crossed lovers try to save each other and victims of warfare in a dangerous, foreign land... starring Clive Owen as Brad Pitt, right? I guess Owen doesn't have that kind of star power, because, yeah, this film didn't make much money, and while I am that one guy who thinks that it is decent, I can kind of see places where this film turned people off.

Trite in as many ways as it can be, this film is rich with clichéd dialogue that often falls incredibly flat, much like thin spots in the characterization that ends up supplementing melodramatics, namely those from a romantic angle that does not really gel with the rest of this drama. The focus of the film jars between humanitarianism and hopelessly histrionic romance, and that's awkward enough with it corrupting thematic consistency in storytelling that at least maintains consistency in manipulation. Caspian Tredwell-Owen's script utilizes contrived set and dialogue pieces to supplement a portrait on suffering, while Martin Campbell's direction delivers on overblown plays on score work and atmosphere to beget sentimentality which cheesily dilutes genuineness. The film is nothing if not manipulative, but less in a frustrating way, and more in an ambitious way which reflects this film's good intentions, betrayed by overblown storytelling that tries so desperately to salvage juice from its subject matter than the limitations of the subject matter itself go stressed. This is a story concept whose value can be emphasized as easily as it shortcomings can be, because through all of the themes on warfare and social turmoil is a somewhat simple study on people going from conflicting country to conflicting country to simply help the suffering, and outside of the romantic angles, there's not much meat on the bones of this narrative beyond that, and if there is, then the film takes itself to get to it. The film is too long, and it doesn't have the scope to justify its length that it could have had, superficialized by clichés, inconsistencies and contrivances that wear the final product down as very underwhelming, at best. Still, I don't find the final product to be quite as great of a misfire as many say it is, for as misguided as it is, it does have a gifted team whose talent can be muted for only so long.

For all of its flat spots, Philip Meheux's cinematography has more than a few ruggedly handsome areas in its complimenting the bleak grit of corrupted environments that are built with remarkable convincingness and, of course, captivating sweep. This film has the potential and, in a few ways, the aspirations to be an epic, for although the plot is a touch thin in its happenings, its scale is commendable, and that does play a solid factor in the importance of this film's story concept. Although the film is a whole lot of nothing but helping, when it doesn't jar into a whole bunch of romantic melodrama and other such nonsense, humanitarian themes are worwhile, and they often do go into establishing a sound sense of conflict and consequence into a histrionic and superficial, but still promising story concept. Caspian Tredwell-Owen's script is consistently flimsy in how it handles promising subject matter, but Martin Campbell, as director, has his moments, delivering on subtle stylization and a solid sense of scope in order to immerse you into the distinct environments of this pseudo-epic, until finding realization in his celebration of James Horner's overblown, but solid score, which is either thoroughly sentimental, or genuine enough to resonate, particularly with a surprisingly engrossing final act. If Campbell does nothing else, he manages to keep up solid entertainment value through smooth pacing and an endearing atmosphere, and that should be enough to challenge mediocrity in between the dramatic highlights that are largely guided, not by Campbell, but by a talented cast. When used, Noah Emmerich plays Noah Emmerich, and is therefore very charming and relatable, but this is mostly Clive Owens' and Angelina Jolie's show, and although the two leads aren't able to keep up all that much chemistry with the thin dramatic writing, both deliver on genuine, sometimes powerful emotional range that is more than what this film deserves. There are times - especially when the plot thickens - in which Jolie and Owen carry the film, being capable enough leads to further emphasize the potential that is being portrayed by all of the misguided storytelling, which has enough highlights to secure the final product's decency, no matter how firmly challenged.

Bottom line, clichés are almost as recurrent as superficialities, in thin characterization, trite melodramatics and contrivances which join an excessive length and inconsistencies in emphasizing what natural shortcomings there is to worthy story that is done much injustice, yet is done enough justice by handsome cinematography, sweeping visuals, lively and sometimes resonant direction, and strong performances by Clive Owen and Angelina Jolie for Martin Campbell's "Beyond Borders" to stand as a decent, if flimsy romantic drama and tribute to humanitarianism.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2009
A great romance, that has a beliveable connection between the leading roles.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2007
I'm not a fan of Jolie's but for some reason, this film was a little okay.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2006
Too much pressed into one film. Yet I was moved, the actors are pretty good... A reluctant 3 stars, the film is very faulty. But the good moments are good enough to balance the clichéd and over-burdened script.
½ September 21, 2014
It starts with a gripping scene that aims to grab viewers' attention. Unfortunately, as Callahan (Clive Owen) went to save the world, with Sarah (Angelina Jolie) who suffers from unhappy marriage trailing closely behind, those "malnourished kids" and "war-stricken villagers" serve as nothing more than a huge décor in a white-privilege stale romance story. If you're here for the action and romance, this movie "Beyond Borders" is not too bad. However, if you're here for a well-thought original story, don't waste your time.
March 31, 2014
If anyone says that this movie trivializes human suffering... they've completely missed the point. regardless of a romantic entanglement going on, the depiction of humanity in this film is emotional and powerful. i would like to ask the critics who bashed this movie, what exactly they're doing for society or how they're raising awareness themselves :)
½ February 10, 2013
This a nice movie that stars with a great half hour and make you expect smething greater but then it becomes a little flat but then takes you to the romance part...unless you were never in love you would never understand this movie.

Of course it left me thinking about Ethiopia and why they didnt talk mofe about that...well at least it put some social issues that are still going on nowadays and this is good.

I'll probably watch again.... just because it makes me think of something beautiful.
January 30, 2013
" In a place she didn't belong, among people she never knew, she found a way to make a difference."

Beyond Borders is a supremely inspiring romantic adventure that deals in some very tough, but very important issues. A film that will really touch your heart, Beyond Borders is the real deal, a beautifully shot piece of grand filmmaking that's just a pleasure to watch. Director Martin Campbell (The Mask Of Zorro, The Legend Of Zorro, Casino Royale) had a vast vision and he executed it with utter precision. It's an ambitious and utterly hard hitting endeavor, the entire opening scene is spectacularly heart breaking, but it grabs you unlike anything that I have watched for quite some time. The romance does at ties get overly sappy and drawn out, but everything else within the film is superb inside and out. Pure inspiration, it packs brute force emotion and it's guaranteed to pummel you with it. The images are haunting, but the story needs to be told. A brave, bold, daunting, disturbing, engrossing and beautiful film, two thumbs up for Martin Campbell and company.
Angelina Jolie gives a powerhouse performance, it's one of her best in my opinion. Clive Owen is hypnotizing, he gives this role everything he has and it shows. Jolie and Owen share excellent and unique chemistry all the way through the film. Noah Emmerich never disappoints.
May 9, 2012
This movie tells an amazing story of all the hart breaking realities of the world. It adds in a love story, which may or may not detract from the movie.
November 25, 2011
Critics are right when they say this movie pushes an agenda more than anything else. I didn't realize that was a bad thing. I always thought the best movies inform us and make us feel, and this movie offers plenty of that. It's far from the ranks of "Hotel Rwanda" or "The Killing Fields" in terms of sociopolitical issues turned into feature-length films, but it made for one of the more enjoyable movies I watched in an undergraduate global affairs class, and you have to admire Jolie's clear commitment to the material, which helped jumpstart a life since dedicated to activism and charity. There's the real story.
½ February 22, 2011
The horrors of war were represented effectively if rather heavy handedly, but the love triangle would have been more believable if Clive Owens' character was less obnoxiously self-righteous and more likable and sympathetic. As it is, it was hard to understand Jolie's character's foolish and reckless love for him. Scenic, at times thrilling, and well-intentioned.
January 10, 2011
The people who've given this movie such poor reviews obviously either completely lack any compassion, or they don't possess adequate intelligence to grasp the intention of the film as a whole. This is a very hard movie to watch due to the issues it deals with, but it's also one that SHOULD be seen. We as a human race take far too many things for granted, and this movie illustrates how lucky we are very well.
August 11, 2010
You people on here call yourself "critics" ??? SERIOUSLY, you are a cold, heartless,carcass of a human being if this didn't touch something in you. This movie had a much bigger message that the "silly" love story that you think it is. Yes, the love story was entertaining... but the reality of the movie is incredibly relevant. We need to wake up and look around us. The world is hurting and we can help. Get a clue people, that is what this movie was made for. Awareness. Honestly, I thought Jolie and Owens did a wonderful job in thier roles. My only critique is that I wish thier characters had more time to marinate together and a little more development for the audience. But in the end that wasn't what the movie was about, so I understand why time was spared there.
½ April 4, 2010
The backdrop of human suffering in the midst of a love story is incredibly human and realistic. The movie paints the colors of life vividly, reminding us that we must know sorrow to appreciate happiness.
January 13, 2010
Unlike the "Notebook", Jolie and Owen have a connection on screen. this film was one of the most daring and original Romanctic-Dramas I saw . I thought Jolie had finally turned into the Actress everyone thought she would be and was!

The acting was almost pin-point perfect, but the story was a work of blazing originalty. I felt deeply moved, and almost wanted to shed a tear. I highly reccomend you see this film.
January 6, 2010
It was pretty cool, but a little bit too graphic and over-done. It's cool for seeing different parts of the world, but the plot of Angelina's home life is unsatisfying, to say the least.
December 30, 2009
The fact that I am even writing a review for this crap makes me feel like throwing up in my mouth a little. Angelina's beauty didn't even calm me through this one. It was freaking horrible and completely unbelievable.

- Irena
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