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Day of the Falcon Reviews

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December 8, 2013
Annaud wanted to tell a story which had the reminiscence from Lawrence of Arabia... and for God sake he got it.
April 19, 2014
Again, can't believe how such a good movie is so underated! This movie is so good that I had to buy another disc when my first one stoped broken at half the movie. It has action, love, tension and you really get to care for the characters. All of these in the middle of the desert. This movie is far better than some bigger millionaire productions.
January 8, 2014
I am not sure why so many did not like it. I enjoyed it, and want to see it again.
monica s.
December 29, 2013
WTF. why does this movie have such a low score? Maybe it was a bad time for a movie to come out about people in the middle east. i thought the movie was great from beginning to end. the first half is an intense political drama, somewhat like a brit period piece about feuding royal families. the second half is a wartime action/drama. The only legit criticism may be around the casting of European actors in 2 out of the 3 main roles. If the movie was about frictional Arabic leaders you think casting could have found at least 2 leading men that could pass for Arabic descent. However, Banderas and Strong did fantastic jobs.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2013
Not great, not horrible. I can't say it is a must see, but it will entertain. Those that gave the rave reviews must really love "the boy that becomes a hero" theme, despite a lack of deep character development that one would want from a movie like this. Mark Strong was good, as usual, though...
Hamee
October 11, 2013
This movie is entertaining enough, but the story is a little weak. The strength of the actors definitely kept this from plodding into a boring story that you won't care about.
September 25, 2013
produced by an arab, interesting insights.
September 18, 2013
brilliant - how people can't like it beats me - not tedious at all - cunning politics - beautiful desert (been there so I feel its soul) - Arab horse and ancient Arabian town - now I'm going to check out the history seems I missed something out of my history studies -don't we always?
September 1, 2013
This movie is great !!! It's about True Values, Faith, War, Love, Money and God. You will learn 3 things viewing it... What Arabia was before Oil.. How Oil came and how the US made it happen, and finally you'll learn Great lessons about the Holy Qur'an.
July 28, 2013
This movie was excellent. A true jewel in what otherwise amounts to a industry that has been spewing waste for years. The fact that Rotten Tomatoes rated it so poorly suggests that the jury is rigged. Watch this movie and you'll agree. I would rate it a 97% fresh tomato.
July 17, 2013
Guzel bir col filmi, petrolun arap yarimadasina gelisi,yeni duzen, cikar kavgalari vs
July 9, 2013
Not Lawrence of Arabia, but I give it a 6 out of 10. It lacked the sophistication of Lawrence of Arabia. Also, Antonio Bandaras is not exactly Lawrence Olivier. These types of movies should be left to the English and their sophisticated touch. Good story, so so delivery.
June 29, 2013
I'll go through what I like and what I don't as I see the movie for the first time:

Good:
A setting rarely seen in movies today.
A good, if fast-paced montage of a kingdom trying to modernize that could've had much more done with it.
A love subplot that finally doesn't seem shoehorned in.
The following conversation:
SULTAN: Why do you always have to mock everything?
DOCTOR: It's easier.
SULTAN: Easier?
DOCTOR: Than to discuss out true feelings.
A beautiful soundtrack that lacks the cliches usually associated with movies that take place in the desert/middle east.


Bad:
The language is in English, spoken by people with funny but not-altogether-convincing accents.
Casting Antonio Banderas as an Arab is like casting Sean Connery as a Spaniard.
The opening is lightly front-loaded with exposition both through text and clunky dialogue in a way that would be more effectively done otherwise, but the picture unfortunately begins in what is really the middle of the beginning of the movie.
A montage that desperately wants the audience to care for the growing children, but handles a decade within a minute without any appropriate transitions.
The king hears there is oil on his land, but is surprised to hear that it will make him rich.
Obligatory "strong princess that doesn't believe in arranged marriages" lines.
Quick cuts that make scenes seem unnecessarily short.
The Sultan is disappointed by his estranged son and dismisses him, but the son returns in the next scene, doing what they disagreed over with no 'change of heart' transition.
A Sheikh breaks one of the most-valued and important of traditions in Bedouin culture and attacks his guest. (not necessarily a bad thing, but it seemed to come out of the blue)
Obligatory 'dramatic death of a family member' scene.
The King's sudden disdain for his adopted hostage/son.
Obligatory 'villian killed by his own monologue' scene.


This kind of movie is the kind of movie I usually very much like, but they don't come by often and sometimes end up being a disappointment. Day of the Falcon was certainly no disappointment, but if what you seek in a movie is refined direction, it is not for you. It is full of half-finished items and untrained cinematography. The film composition wasn't poor, but the action jumped a lot with many scenes, making it seem like they were cut halfway through. It seems that in post-production, someone told the editors to cut a full hour of the movie out. They left in a lot of good things, but left out most major character development, making the characters distinctly flat on such a vibrant background. The movie gently touched on a lot of character-building opprotunities and just tossed them aside. When Auda arrived with all of the Southern tribes, he was ready to lead them into war, but before this scene, he was vehemently against it and denied being the Mahdi.
without appropriate transition, Auda just seems half-developed. Many people complain that it is too long. The movie is indeed long, and more could have been done in the time allotted with better editing. But I like the length and would even prefer it longer to develop it more. I enjoy long, sweeping, epic movies with good stories. And in that sense, Day of the Falcon just falls short. It stumbles into a few cliches and as I've said a lot before, the characterization needed some work. But what really bothered me was the last-minute assassination of Amar, which let Auda take control of the kingdom without him having to deal with the morally-questionable options available to him before (usurp his Father and adopted father to take the kingdom or yield to both of them and allow the kingdom to remain fractured, without schools, roads, or hospitals). That kind of Deus ex Machina took away what could have been a great moment for Auda's character and, I felt, took away from an otherwise-fine story.
In short, Day of the Falcon is a good movie, but inexpert direction takes off two stars. 3/5
It's still better than most of the crap I've seen come out of Hollywood recently.
June 12, 2013
Loved this movie...can't understand that others didn't enjoy it as much as me...just a great movie I think.
May 27, 2013
I can honestly say that I really liked this film. I had zero expextations for it and I suppose that is a huge plus. However, the acting is really wonderful. The sets and costumes are great and if you can extend your belief just long enough to accept a Spanish actor from the US is playing an arab, then I gurentee you'll love it.
May 16, 2013
Despite the film having such a wonderful cast from various corners of the globe and being filmed on location in North Africa, the final result of Day of the Falcon (AKA Black Gold) is one of boredom. There are some very fine speeches and very good performances, but they're almost hidden by an overly-long and drawn out plot with very little visual flair. Don't get me wrong though. The cinematography is masterful, but there's not a whole lot to look at other than sand. The performances themselves also don't seem to connect well between each actor. They feel distant from one another and never really sync up together. The score is also a bit of a miss for composer James Horner, who doesn't seem to capture the emotion of each moment very well. The film does manage to stop being tedious about halfway through, when some of the action sequences kick in, but they're over in the blink of an eye and aren't really built up well in the first place. The film had its potential, but it just needed to focus on its characters a little more and structure things a bit better. A little aesthetic other than just sandy landscapes couldn't have hurt either.
May 9, 2013
How a movie like this get 13% ? make you qustion the cradability of this website.
This is one of the best movies that was produced latley, it is classic .. not just an iformative but also interesting and visualy stunning.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

February 12, 2013
There's a title card near the beginning that states the story takes place in the early 20th century. Since it is no more specific than that, it is difficult to tell if it takes place in the 1920s or 1930s. I'm also not sure if any of it is based on historical events or if it is completely fictionalized. A bit more context could have helped. The various Arabic tribes are still not united, but how much time has passed since Lawrence and WWI?

Annaud oversees a production with an international cast and crew. In the tradition of Lawrence of Arabia, Banderas, who is originally of Spanish decent, and Strong, who is English, play two Arabic sultans. Strong's Amar is religious and holds on to the traditional ways. Banderas's Nesib is willing to modernize with technology and is interested in becoming wealthy from recently discovered oil in a contested part of the desert. Let's back up. Amar's two sons are given to Nesib about a decade earlier as a kind of peace offering. The older son trying to escape once he has reached maturity and being killed in the process sets a renewed conflict in motion. Tahar Rahim as Prince Auda, the younger son, is really the main character. The movie is filled with characters and events, which are quite cliched, such as Auda wearing glasses to show he is a nerdy librarian and not a warrior, as well as Auda's star-crossed love of Princess Leyla (Pinto). Whenever Auda has a scene with his half-brother Ali though, their interactions are fascinating. Ali, a bastard son of Amar whose modern medical practices are at odds with orthodox Islam is excellently played by Riz Ahmed. Rahim plays the rare sympathetic and introspective character at the center of this war movie fairly well. It is a coming of age story with a few thrilling desert battles as Auda finds he has the skills to lead. Annaud continues to make these international co-productions with English dialog to hopefully benefit from English speaking film markets, however there are several lines, especially at the conclusion, which sound awkward. Between one Dutch and two French writers perhaps something is lost in translation.
April 27, 2013
Thought it was a well done point of view from the Arabian oil discoveries. Makes you think......
April 27, 2013
I liked the story/history.
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