• PG-13, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Carl Franklin
    In Theaters:
    Feb 22, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Sep 17, 2013
  • Arenas Entertainment

Opening

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67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

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Bless Me, Ultima Reviews

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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reminiscent of Billy Bob Thornton's "All the Pretty Horses" or Lasse Hallström's "The Shipping News" - literary adaptations that got the look right, while lacking the easy flow of the original work.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

February 21, 2013
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

There's a bit of a cable-movie feel to 'Bless Me, Ultima,' but in the end its sincerity and willingness to address big issues...make it an admirable attempt to bring an important piece of Chicano literature to the screen.

Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion | Original Score: B-

February 21, 2013
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Its very existence in a godforsaken marketplace is a minor miracle.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

February 21, 2013
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

The material calls out for a more expressive cinematographic treatment. Had the film been less antiseptic and more bold in its visuals and the emotional depths of its performances, it could have been a classic; instead, it's a rather ordinary indie.

Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 21, 2013
Matt Pais
RedEye

Shamelessly earnest and absurdly shallow ... tiptoes around questions of faith and runs away from any incident that might push someone in the other direction.

Full Review Source: RedEye | Original Score: 0.5/4

February 21, 2013
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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A mostly gentle and tastefully photographed depiction of a young boy's coming of age in rural 1940s New Mexico.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 21, 2013
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Franklin's eye is alert to both the landscape and his ensemble of performers. Call "Bless Me, Ultima" a mixed blessing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 21, 2013
Noel Murray
AV Club
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Lots of films (and lots of books) have charted a boy's path to manhood. Bless Me, Ultima is special because it's about this boy, in this time and place, where his peers and elders are rushing to label him before he can forge his own identity.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

February 21, 2013
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Carl Franklin's film is true to the tone and spirit of the book. It is patient and in no hurry. It allows a balanced eye for the people in its hero's family who tug him one way and another.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

February 21, 2013
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly

Instead of a heartfelt exploration of a vibrant part of American culture, Bless Me comes off like a dull TV movie.

Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 20, 2013
Marjorie Baumgarten
Orlando Weekly

The film won't disappoint fans of the book, although they may regret some of the adaptation's necessary condensation and/or elimination of narrative themes and events.

Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly | Original Score: 3/5

February 19, 2013
Peter Debruge
Variety
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Nearly as sacred as the Good Book itself in some circles, Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima has survived the leap to the bigscreen with much of its magic intact, thanks to a respectful if somewhat wooden adaptation by writer-director Carl Franklin.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 19, 2013
Roger Moore
Movie Nation

Meticulous recreation of a time and place, but this poetic novel becomes all-too-prosaic on the screen.

Full Review Source: Movie Nation | Original Score: 2/4

February 19, 2013
Glenn Heath Jr.
Slant Magazine

The film's interest in social themes remains background fodder within a far more generic good-versus-evil narrative.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 18, 2013
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