Gardens of the Night Reviews

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Brian Orndorf
DVDTalk.com
April 30, 2009
Gardens doesn't always hit its desired mark of profundity. It's a wobbly plunge into grotesque acts of inhuman violation, with the patchy acting often blocking the true horror on display.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
December 5, 2008
Do these heartbreaking stories exist in the real world? Yes, yes, they do. Does dramatizing these stories with nothing to add except a certain cruel wallowing in the existence of unspeakable human depravity serve any real purpose? No, no, it does not.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
November 10, 2008
"Gardens of the Night" is a powerful and provoking film about a disturbing and all too real subject. There's a bitterness here that will not go away.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nick Schager
Cinematical
November 7, 2008
The tendency to exploit lurid material for dramatic purposes is something [director Harris] can't avoid.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 7, 2008
Writer-director Jared Harris (and actor and son of the late Richard Harris) claims to have spent 10 years researching this sordid milieu, yet, for all the detail, it ends up playing like an especially lurid '80s TV movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 7, 2008
Gardens of the Night is a harrowing story of kidnapping and forced child prostitution that conjures a world entirely populated by predators and prey.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 5, 2008
Good acting and sincere direction by Damian Harris act as beacons to light the haunting corridors of an underworld spook house.
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
November 5, 2008
A haunting tale which very convincingly conveys the overwhelming sense of helplessness and dread which undoubtedly afflicts impressionable souls unfortunate enough to be sexually exploited while still in the bloom of youth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ed Gonzalez
Village Voice
November 5, 2008
The film never quite recovers from writer-director Damian Harris's dithering way of shooting things.
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
November 4, 2008
Tom Arnold turns in a solid performance as a "nice guy" who abducts children.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Richard Mowe
Boxoffice Magazine
November 4, 2008
An impressive directorial debut.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
November 3, 2008
Gardens of the Night leaves me wondering if it is finally possible to make a non-exploitative portrait of sexual abuse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Garrett
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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