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Beyond the Gates (2005)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 62
Fresh: 52 | Rotten: 10

Complex, human characters and on-location shooting give Beyond the Gates palpable tension and urgency.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 6

Complex, human characters and on-location shooting give Beyond the Gates palpable tension and urgency.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 17,504

My Rating

Movie Info

Two outsiders witness an onslaught of bloody Rwandan genocide in this fact-based drama from director Michael Caton-Jones (Scandal). In 1994, Joe Connor (Hugh Dancy) is a British schoolteacher who has volunteered to spend a year at the École Technique Officielle, a school in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Connor's arrival in Rwanda occurs after the nation's Civil War between the Tutsis and the Hutus has dissipated (c. August 1993). Yet despite the official end of this well-publicized struggle,



David Wolstencroft

Sep 18, 2007

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All Critics (63) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (10) | DVD (13)

This is a spiritual drama, not a political one, drawing a thick line between our good intentions and the selfish choices we ultimately make.

January 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though less reassuring and not as dramatically coherent as Hotel Rwanda, it still packs a hard punch.

August 11, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Movies about Africa often fall into this trap. Righteous indignation is the exclusive province of non-Africans.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's little respite from the terrible history that this film retells just a determination (made stronger by the faces we see after the credits) to tell it, to be sure that history doesn't forget.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gripping fictionalized account of a 1994 incident in Rwanda that became a shocking emblem of the Rwandan Hutus' mass slaughter of the Tutsis.

March 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By keeping most of the action contained to the school grounds and immediate environs, director Michael Caton-Jones creates a claustrophobic atmosphere where fear can fester.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beyond the Gates takes an unflinching look at the start of the Rwandan genocide.

July 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

It simply presents, and assumes that we have the inherent morality to understand that what we are watching is evil.

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The film grinds inexorably toward its unsurprising and terrible conclusion with infinite grace but no real suspense.

June 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

An intense and gripping drama that makes you realize that this page in Rwandan history deserves to be told more than once, lest history forget.

June 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Make sure you sit through the credits to learn about the victims who survived and worked on this film ---- extraordinary!

March 30, 2007 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

The film chronicles man's inhumanity to man during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, (where) selflessness and selfishness stand side by side ----

March 30, 2007 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

A compelling drama about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the moral heroism of a compassionate priest.

March 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A gripping, terrifying, profoundly touching human drama that's definitely worth seeing.

March 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Instead of the latest major studio flummery, do yourself a favor and see this brilliant, low-budget independent masterpiece, one that educates as well as entertains.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source:

Director Michael Caton-Jones doesn't go for obvious pathos or simple outrage. He approaches the picture's theme with a documentary realism that, scene by scene, heightens the drama.

March 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The movie does suggest that Joe's ignorance and sense of privilege, however honorable his intentions, make a dangerous combination.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

One of the most remarkable things about Beyond the Gates is its refreshingly positive view of the role that faith can play even in the darkest of times.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Audience Reviews for Beyond the Gates

Thematically similar to Hotel Rwanda this movie about the genocide of 1994 presents an equally hopeless situation as the angry mob gathers outside a school, (only temporarily) protected by UN soldiers, who refuse to do anything more than their mandate tells them. As the situation gets more and more dire, like a noose closing around someone's neck, John Hurt and Hugh Dancy have their moments to shine, just like the whole cast is really convincing. While some Christian analogies are maybe a little over the top, the movie is still extremely thrilling, frustrating and sad. Showing pictures of the crew members who lost someone in the genocide before the end credits basically makes it impossible not to be touched by this really powerful and important film, that would have deserved as much attention as Hotel Rwanda.
May 14, 2008

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]It would be the easiest thing in the world to simply write off "Beyond the Gates" as another tearjerker but it has got more things on its mind than that.(A very unsentimental ending does raise it to another level.) In telling the story about two white Englishmen, Christopher(John Hurt, who is fantastic), a priest who intially believes the situation in Rwanda in 1994 to be no more serious than a coup, and Joe(Hugh Dancy), a neophyte teacher, who give sanctuary to thousands of Tutsi's during the resulting genocide, the movie covers a lot of the same ground that "Hotel Rwanda" and the documentary "Shake Hands with the Devil" have already covered, especially in the impossible situation that the United Nations troops were placed in, under orders not to fire their weapons. But the movie turns a mirror onto its own Eurocentrism. Joe gets Rachel(Nicola Walker), a reporter, to cover their situation by mentioning the Europeans there and later that same reporter confesses her own racism in covering similar atrocities in the Balkans. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]All of which brings to mind the non-action that has been happening towards Darfur the last couple of years. Just as there is no difference between Hutu and Tutsi, there is no difference between black and white. We are all one people on this planet and must come to the aid of those in desperate straits no matter where they are.[/font]
May 6, 2008
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

OUTSTANDING MOVIE!! Here's an amazing movie that depicts upon human tragedy that occurred in 1994 Rwanda. Highly touching story plot. Amazing performances by Hugh Dancy and John Hurt. Definitely a must-see.
July 19, 2008
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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