A far, far cry from "Lawrence of Arabia," but it has its diversions.
| Original Score: 3/5
This ambitious desert epic may be a bit slow and confusing at the beginning, but I found the exciting second half of the movie worth waiting for.
There's an enormous amount of perverse pleasure to be had here for those who get off on the annihilation of nuance.
| Original Score: 0/4
Pedestrian storytelling and clunky dialogue leaves this would-be epic drama about a power struggle between feuding kingdoms in soon-to-be-oil-rich 1920s Arabia bogged down in the sand
While a plot contrivance late in the day ensures that an opportunity for a climactic battle sequence is not wasted, the film is not really an action epic, but a sweeping story about belief sets in the Arab world.
At 130 minutes, Black Gold does outstay its welcome with too many confused or aborted storylines.
| Original Score: 2/5
'Is there a greater curse than to be a poor king?' Nesib asks sadly early on. Yes: letting a potentially great story slide away into mediocrity.
It's a tepid, timid affair, sexually, dramatically and politically.
A contemporary Lawrence of Arabia ... it is not because it's not beating with any passionate heart ...
It's all very glossy, yet remains an emotionally arid affair.
The real problem is that Black Gold is rather dull, and much too long for comfort.
The clumsy script never really delivers epic drama. Great action scenes, though.
It would be easy to laugh off if it wasn't so clearly a comment on historical reality.
It might look good but it's an anachronism that totally loses its way in the desert. Given the director's enthusiasm, Black Gold should have sparkled.
Black Gold feels like it could have been made in the 1950s; we have come to expect a little more from our blockbusters.
Like a cool oasis, the end credits shimmer tantalisingly on the horizon throughout this punishingly tedious Arabian epic...
| Original Score: 1/5
The screen is as wide as the universe, but the further you go in either direction the more you realise you have been there before.
A distinctly average adventure which has us wishing for more.
The direction drags, the performances are uneven and there's a strong sense that the fictionalised story is less interesting than the reality.
It just goes on and on - the cinematic equivalent of watching sand pouring through an egg timer that takes well over two hours to empty.