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In My Country (2005)

tomatometer

22

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 81
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 63

A well-intentioned but melodramatic look at post-Apartheid South Africa.

21

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 23

A well-intentioned but melodramatic look at post-Apartheid South Africa.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,257

My Rating

Movie Info

Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators of murder and torture on both sides during the Apartheid era are invited to come forward and confront their victims. Telling the unvarnished truth and expressing contrition may grant them granted amnesty. Can the deep wounds of Apartheid be healed through reconciliation? Langston is deeply skeptical. He tracks

R,

Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Ann Peacock

Jul 5, 2005

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (87) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (63) | DVD (5)

It shows what can go wrong when a good-intentioned filmmaker mixes historical tragedy with Hollywood banality.

June 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ostensibly about the aftermath of apartheid, but the pain of a people serves only as a backdrop for the most contrived of love stories.

April 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Is it a docudrama about South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings? Or is it love story? The problem with In My Country is that it tries to be both.

April 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Black, white and clunky.

April 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Need[s] to be seen, as essential history and as demonstration of a form of social reckoning where compassion triumphs over passion, and the olive branch over the gun.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Failing to get beyond trite Hollywood romantic conventions, sermonizing caricatures and 'I was just following orders' explanations does a great disservice to history.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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In spite of narrative missteps that negate the possibility of an empathetic protagonist, "In My Country" does viably introduce the African principle of "Ubuntu" whereby evil transgressions are absolved rather than revenged.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

A familiar, superficial lesson.

April 22, 2006 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

Points for trying and all, but this particular chapter of South Africa's history deserves a movie a bit more sincere -- and a lot less corny.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

Intelligent piece that does its job as entertainment. More importantly, it should advance public knowledge about the apartheid government's human rights violations.

June 2, 2005

Watching [apartheid victims'] testimony become background noise for Jackson and Binoche's tawdry melodrama is aggravating.

May 13, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

Its star, Juliette Binoche, may be a fine actress, but she's also very French. And no matter how hard she tries to perfect the tricky Afrikaans accent, she's simply not believable playing a South African poet.

May 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

I do not question the filmmaker's sincerity, but he has made a flat, uninvolving movie. The road to boredom is paved with good intentions, after all.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

...the foxhole relationship that develops between Anna and Langston is completely natural -- up until the point where they fall into bed together.

April 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The gripping material is given short thrift in favor of routine melodrama and a love story that has nearly nothing to do with what should be the crux of the story.

April 28, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There is great material here and ample food for thought, but the presentation is lacking.

April 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

You feel insulted you're expected to care about the petty problems of the leads when other characters are dealing with child murder, political torture and genocide.

April 22, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

[E]xhaustingly heartbreaking... An unforgettable film about justice...

April 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

We want to know more about the stories of real-life South Africans, but the Oscar nominees keep standing right in front of them.

April 14, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A really bad movie about a really important subject is twice the artistic crime -- because, however well-intentioned, it trivializes human suffering while squandering a teaching opportunity.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Audience Reviews for In My Country

This movie moved at a snails pace. Its a serious and sad subject, but the way it was presented made it seem secondary to the budding, uninteresting romance.
July 4, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Anderson: When this policeman hurts me, he hurts you. He hurts everyone in this world, but also himself. Nelson Mandela taught us this lesson.
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
    1. Langston Whitfield: Is this the human condition, that men anywhere will willingly commit atrocities so long as the law allows?
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
    1. Anna Malan: When this is all over, we can't jump on a plane and go home, We have to live together.
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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