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Fierce People (2005)


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 35

Critics Consensus: Fierce People's premise of a teenager studying rich people like animals is grating and self-satisfied, and Anton Yelchin's smug performance makes the film even harder to agree with.

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 15

Critics Consensus: Fierce People's premise of a teenager studying rich people like animals is grating and self-satisfied, and Anton Yelchin's smug performance makes the film even harder to agree with.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 8,691




Movie Info

Trapped in his mother's Lower East Side apartment, 16-year-old Finn wants nothing more than to escape New York and spend the summer in South America studying the Iskanani Indians, or "Fierce People," with the anthropologist father he's never met. But Finn's dreams are shattered when he is arrested in a desperate effort to help his drug-dependent mother, Liz, who scrapes by working as a masseuse. Determined to get their lives back on track, Liz moves the two of them into a guesthouse on the vast … More

R (for language drug use, sexuality/nudity and some violence)
Directed By:
Written By:
Dirk Wittenborn
In Theaters:
Feb 5, 2008
Lionsgate Films/Autonomous Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Fierce People

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (35) | DVD (5)

Director Griffin Dunne, working from Dirk Wittenborn's adaptation of his own novel, pounds away at the analogy between the inherent cruelty of the tribal rituals of the Iskanani and those of the well-heeled.

Full Review… | December 3, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On balance, it's a movie worth seeing with its artistic inserts, appropriate soundtrack and organic performances.

Full Review… | November 24, 2007
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

There are lots of potent things floating around in it -- sexual initiation, drugs, fantasy-land wealth, brute violence, primitive rituals, Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland -- but the mix just sits there without producing any notable reactions.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Rarely has self-pity become so monotonous so quickly.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A buoyant coming-of-age adventure welded to an amiable wealth fantasy.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

After a promising start, Griffin Dunne's film bogs down and simply turns into a predictable mish-mash of a movie that is shrill and heavy-handed and totally trite.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

divine performances from Lane and Sutherland

April 19, 2008

...the movie's abrupt (and downright graceless) transformation from jaunty comedy to heavy-handed drama strips the proceedings of any momentum it may have had...

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

With a screechingly affected voice (think Nicholson mixed with a sick Chihuahua), Yelchin is all tiring, syllable-pulling raw nerve here; a blinding pitch that holds the film back from needed dramatic expression.

Full Review… | January 30, 2008

Smart-but-grim coming-of-age tale best for adults.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Common Sense Media

Watching the idle rich toy with people can only go so far, then you want more depth and this doesn't have it.

Full Review… | October 12, 2007

Miscalculated at every level, it's a vacant drama full of ineptly drawn characters.

Full Review… | October 10, 2007

Desperate, manipulative.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Contra Costa Times

Fierce People is no ordinary dud. This seedy soap opera is the most outlandish, campy romp through the mud since Showgirls.

Full Review… | September 20, 2007
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The laughs suddenly cease after a brutal rape sequence, and Dunne desperately and vainly tries to re-work the remainder of the movie as a metaphysical coming-of-age story.

Full Review… | September 20, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

There is little in life sadder to see than a film that thinks it has a great deal to say of a revelatory or profound nature, but doesn't

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Killer Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Fierce People

I purchased this from Amazon for something ridiculous like $3 as part of a buy one get other two cheap deal. It wasn't a movie I had heard of or expected much from, but I figured it was pretty cheap and had a younger Kristen Stewart in it, so I would give it the benefit of the doubt and just sell it on if i wasn't impressed. (And I expected not to be).
What a pleasant surprise! This was a really quirky little low budget film - highly original and dealt with a topic I have never seen dealt with in a movie before (I won't say what and spoil it). You see this particular situation in movies with girls all the time, but not boys. It was very well done. This was really a unique film in that it is funny and serious and sad and surreal all at the same time. I have never seen anything else like it.
Anton Yelchin is very good here, as is Kristin in a smaller role.
Definitely one to check out if you like unusual films!

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Intensely stupid movie that I caught on Sundance (they constantly make me question why I still keep them on my cable package, but then they show a Cassavettes marathon and I renew them). I can't believe that talented actors like Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland read this script and think it can work (I was wondering if they owed Griffin Dunne something or just thought he was a nice guy). The movie starts out OK (exposition in dialogue is becoming a curse in film today), but then in the middle becomes a mind fuck of a movie with absolutely retarded twists (some of which you see coming a mile away). I am just glad I fell asleep towards the end and awoke to know exactly how this thing would end. Waste of talent all the way around. This is why people should stop smoking weed when they think it's making them a better writer.

Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

Subject matter turned very heavy about halfway into the film, but ends very nicely. I liked it...

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer


Are the customs of a rich family like those of a primitive South American band of natives? That is the premise of this movie. There are those in the rich family who stop at nothing to protect their interests. The movie is better than most these days.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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