Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema Reviews

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Sophie Ivan
Film4
July 20, 2010
It's hard not to feel such complex, dramatically rich subject matter merits a less prosaic treatment.
Top Critic
Nick Schager
Village Voice
June 8, 2010
Though South Africa's racial strife is frequently invoked, sociopolitical inquiry takes a backseat to creaky gangster-cinema tropes.
Antonia Quirke
Financial Times
July 7, 2010
A cheerfully violent South African ramble about a gangster unwilling to "sit on his arse waiting for Mandela". Initially intriguing, it collapses in an hour.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
June 11, 2010
The opening credits of Gangster's Paradise note that it was "inspired by real events." It would be more accurate to say that the film was inspired by Brian De Palma's Scarface and similar fare.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
July 8, 2010
Sadly things unwind and the movie loses power with covert special pleading for the wiseguy protagonist, who is supposed to be morally superior to obviously vindictive white cops or evil drug dealer rivals.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
James O'Brien
Daily Mail [UK]
July 8, 2010
Ultimately, like all the best gangster films, it is a story of people, not principles. Actions, not ideas. And it is very nearly a masterpiece.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Alex Critchley
Sky Movies
July 7, 2010
It's a rich portrait made all the more worrying by apparently being based on actual events.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Pete Hammond
Back Stage
June 12, 2010
A riveting look at a side of South Africa that seems to have been swept under the rug.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 10, 2010
Startlingly original, if occasionally overambitious. This is Tsotsi without the feel-good glow, a tale of entrepreneurship's perils and boundless pleasures.
Lee Griffiths
Little White Lies
July 16, 2010
Despite the familiar ground, Ralph Ziman manages to orchestrate an engrossing and energetic film full of memorable characters and a wicked soundtrack.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Mike Hale
New York Times
June 11, 2010
It's easy to overlook the formulas and just enjoy the ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Robbie Collin
News of the World
July 8, 2010
The film pays its dues to the classics. Not only does it lovingly rip off a truck heist from Heat, but Lucky and his gang actually sit down and watch Heat for tips.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Josh Winning
Total Film
July 7, 2010
Jerusalema remains an elegant third venture from director Ralph Ziman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Allan Hunter
Daily Express
July 12, 2010
Issues of race and social injustice add a little grit and texture to an otherwise overlong and over familiar gangster story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Michelle Orange
Movieline
July 7, 2010
Lucky's journey fails to inspire either empathy or a more scrutinizing ethical engagement; he acts simply as a character in a cut-rate gangster mash-up might, and around the time of that first, zany carjacking it ceases to matter where he'll end up.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
July 6, 2010
Writer-director Ralph Ziman strings it all together with slick competence, but given that leading man Rapulana Seiphemo does a persuasive line in moral ambiguity, it's disappointing that the proceedings too often default to glib shoot-'em-up.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
July 14, 2010
Bold, energetic and extremely complicated, this epic thriller is an eye-opening exploration of ... Johannesburg
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
July 7, 2010
rags-to-riches tale cut from the same cloth as City of God, Goodfellas and Scarface.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine
July 6, 2010
A potent, energised slice of South African life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ed Scheid
Boxoffice Magazine
August 27, 2010
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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