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Beyond Rangoon (1995)



Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 7,977

My Rating

Movie Info

In a role originally intended for Meg Ryan, Patricia Arquette plays Dr. Laura Bowman in director John Boorman's film of an American abroad in a strange country. It's 1988 and Laura is desperate to flee the United States and the memory of her husband and son's murders. Accompanied by her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), she heads for Burma just as the peaceful protests against the country's military government take a more violent turn. Andy and the rest of their party flee in a hurry, but Laura


Drama, Action & Adventure

Alex Lasker, Bill Rubenstein

May 26, 2009

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (20)

In attempting to make its politics palatable as entertainment, the film has grafted them onto a boatload of Hollywood implausibilities whose excesses cripple believability.

August 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As an exercise in art, or even polemics, Beyond Rangoon is beyond redemption, but still works its occasional magic with extraordinary flair.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Yet one more film -- that defines Third World political unrest through its effect on a white liberal.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Boorman's metaphysical musings might work if he integrated them more fully into his film, instead of making them secondary to action sequences.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A rare film, one that is intelligent, emotional and exciting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Because the film is well acted and directed, and the Malaysian locations are exotic and seductive, I got involved even though the story ... was so clearly concocted.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Do artists, and those who style themselves as artists, have the right to lie to further their visions?

November 25, 2007 Full Review | Comments (2)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

An exotic adventure story with a political conscience

June 15, 2007

A disappointing, improbable political melodrama from a good director

November 23, 2004 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A strange misfire with conflicted intent.

July 4, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

A Very powerful film, with a slew of great performances

September 17, 2002

About an American doctor in Burma who discovers the wild woman inside as she squares off against incredible physical and mental challenges.

August 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

This is a perennial favorite because of the scenery (it's set in Burma, shot in Malaysia), because of the strong heroine, and because of the mix of politics and adventure.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Arquette seems out of place, but there's enough quality here to warrant a fair shot.

July 26, 2002

In place of the backstory on Laura Bowman we need to understand why this woman undertakes her dangerous odyssey, the script races forward with action sequences better suited to co-writer Alex Lasker's earlier Firefox.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

It's as if a civil war had been concocted just to take Laura (Patricia Arquette) outside of her not-unjustified misery.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Absolutely typical of the way Hollywood can take a compelling story, full of genuine characters and heartfelt emotion, then hack it to tiny bits and put it back together, Frankenstein-like, into a sappy, overwrought drama.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Seems less about the horror suffered by the Burmese than the inconvenience suffered by an American tourist who has lost her passport.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Get rid of Arquette and this might have been a real movie.

January 1, 2000
Jam! Movies

It's fascinating and rewarding to watch [Arquette] evolve, with much credibility, from her own personal state of immaturity to a state of full growth.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Arquette's central character makes several rather stupid decisions along the way, but the drama of the political events unfolding around her compensates for it.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter

Audience Reviews for Beyond Rangoon

In "Beyond Rangoon," sisters Laura(Patricia Arquette) and Andy(Frances McDormand) travel to Burma in 1988 to help Laura get over the murder of her husband and son. Sleepless one night, Laura stumbles across a pro-democracy protest led by Aung San Suu Kyi(Adelle Lutz). It is there that she has her passport conveniently stolen and is forced to stay behind while Andy continues on to Thailand. While she waits to have a replacement passport made, Laura decides to do some sightseeing, enlisting U Aung Ko(U Aung Ko) to drive her.

If it is true that the road to mediocre films is built on good intentions, then "Beyond Rangoon" is a perfect example. Set at an important time in Burma's history and made at a time when not a lot of information was getting out due to the military junta's total control, then the movie serves a purpose to dramatize these events. However, by working in a highly contrived story that closely resembles an epic psychiatric session, it also manages to trivialize them at the same time. But the cinematography is very lovely. At any rate, it would not be until the documentary "Burma VJ" that we would get the clearest picture of what is going on inside Burma.
June 19, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Good story and performances.
July 7, 2008

Super Reviewer

A beautiful movie!
December 14, 2007
Leo L

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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