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
January 5, 2010
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.
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.
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 January 27, 2008
Powerful, disturbing....often emotionally painful to watch. It's good, but not something I'll ever want to see again.
½ March 10, 2007
Its a very sad movie. it kind of surprised me a little bit. Also based a bit on a true story. things that UN were going thru at that time. Good couples movie...
½ May 20, 2008
Angelina Jolie palays a verry good role in this movie! i hate that fact she diesin this movie... but i love that this movie is based on helping starvation acroos the glob! this is probaly how she got ispired 2 do so herself!!!!
January 15, 2008
Not really one of those ground-breaking cinemas that keeps and holds your interest, it wanes your interest, in fact. I love Clive's performance, but they seriously could have replaced Angelina. The story was questionable, and I was wondering when they were going to get to the point of all of this background and character development. When it finally turned out that there was no point, I basically left the movie feeling somewhat uncomfortable with sitting through the entire thing. This movie had no meat to it, just a bunch of moral values.
August 19, 2007
If you are like myself and into humanitarian efforts, this movie will touch you. The sentiment of the love story only adds to the eccensiance of the movie.
August 1, 2007
this movie made me cry. i think that it is a movie that everyone should check out. it's really good.
June 8, 2007
This movie didn't especially impress, because so much of it felt forced, that the supposed greater social message was lost.
June 8, 2007
I reallly liked the story. Clive Owen especially does a good job in this film. It made me feel every emotion they felt and they did a wonderful job conveying those emotions on screen to an audience.
½ May 27, 2007
This was the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. My sister and I were changed by it. We sobbed during and after. The stories and images brought to life in this film are haunting - more so because they are real, even. Angelina's acting is epic in this film, but Clive Owen is mediocre at best, as usual, and the film lost half a star with me because him.
May 23, 2007
This is what happens when one wants to do social services in real life, this is a movie but quiet close to all this I've seen as i do voluntery work too:)ummm very good movie close to reality
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