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The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 2

audience

47

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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 6,723

My Rating

Movie Info

Cinematographer Michael Chapman directed this John Sayles adaptation of Jean M. Auel's best-selling ode to Cro-Magnon women. The story begins at the moment in pre-history when the last of the Neanderthal men were becoming extinct and the superior race of Cro-Magnons were starting to supersede them. Focusing on a tribe of wandering Neanderthals who adopt a young girl named, Ayla (played as an adult by Daryl Hannah). She grows tall, lithe, and smart. The Neanderthals quickly accept her into their

Nov 9, 1999

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (9) | DVD (1)

This is Reader's Digest prehistory, though at least director Chapman (cameraman on Raging Bull) makes sure the murky caves look nice.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers made no effort to empathize with their prehistoric characters, to imagine what it might have really been like back then.

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

A goofy and ill-made movie that wants to be deadly serious and acts incredibly daft, and the average between these two points is of a joyless, dull nothing.

July 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

As the cave wall says, stay with the book.

November 1, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Imagine a chick-flick "Quest for Fire" that makes no sense.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

A catalogue of second-best decisions

January 1, 2000 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for The Clan of the Cave Bear

Slow and pointless. Lacks great elements like Quest for Fire, which had Ron Pearlman and tons of monkey people fights.
December 17, 2008
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

The perfect movie for Darryl Hannah. She does an excellent job with use her sign languages in her character as a cavewoman by communicating each other.
January 28, 2007
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

I've seen some bad reviews of this and even the author of the book, Jean M. Auel, on which the movie is based evidently didn't like it. I did like it though. The make-up work rivals that of The Planet of the Apes. I thought the minimal use of spoken dialogue and consistent primitive sign language was well done. The subtitles did not distract: they helped because the characters do not use a known language. I identified with the theme of Ayla having to walk alone in the end because she questioned the ways of the clan too much. Critic Roger Ebert says, "[The movie] never quite makes them seem frightened and ignorant and vulnerable and bewildered." In a way the clan is subject to nature and these qualities, especially Brun who's primary fault is the way in which he deals with the feelings that Ebert mentions by being close-minded and macho. But I don't think Ebert has a legitimate critique because most cultures won't show these traits because they think they have it all figured out. The series of books are all about how ancient peoples who lived in caves are not so primitive as we might assume. And so, their culture just like ours and every one in between has a certain pride in their own customs and norms that help them avoid those scary feelings. Ebert also sees the fact that "every one of these people has motives that are instantly recognizable and predictable" as a fault. He misses the point by coming to the movie with expectations that it would perhaps be more like One Million Years B.C.. I think the point of the story is that the books were bestsellers because they are about how human motives have always been the same.
November 1, 2013
hypathio7

Super Reviewer

What did I just watch? This is strange and I really wasn't that interested.
December 27, 2008
Doctor0Quinzel

Super Reviewer

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