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Fierce People (2005)

tomatometer

24

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

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.

25

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

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.

audience

59

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 8,685

My Rating

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

R,

Drama

Dirk Wittenborn

Feb 5, 2008

Lionsgate Films/Autonomous Films - Official Site External Icon

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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.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rarely has self-pity become so monotonous so quickly.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

divine performances from Lane and Sutherland

April 19, 2008
Moviehole

...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...

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
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.

January 30, 2008 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

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

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
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.

October 12, 2007 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

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

October 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Desperate, manipulative.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times

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

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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.

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
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

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
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!
April 16, 2011
romy861

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.
September 26, 2009
tsigur

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.
July 3, 2008
Redlats

Super Reviewer

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