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Middle of Nowhere (2012)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,092

My Rating

Movie Info

Winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Middle of Nowhere follows Ruby, a bright medical student who sets aside her dreams and suspends her career when her husband is incarcerated. As the committed couple stares into the hollow end of an eight-year prison sentence, Ruby must learn to live another life, one marked by shame and separation. But through a chance encounter and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to her core, this steadfast wife is soon propelled in new



Ava DuVernay


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All Critics (42) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (5)

A film remarkably true to life's haphazard rhythms.

February 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Made by a black American woman, about a black American woman, it's a study of a culture where the matriarchs are strong by necessity and trapped by circumstance - adrift in the middle of nowhere.

February 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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[A] hushed, tenderly observant drama about a young woman trying to do right by herself and her marriage while her husband is in prison.

November 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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This is a tough-minded story of change that happens in almost imperceptibly tiny increments - as true growth so often does in reality.

October 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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This film is about a particular African-American experience, true, but it's also about the human experience. It will haunt you. It should.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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A sluggish enterprise, not measured or languorous or full of detail, but plodding, with scenes that run too long and others that are unnecessary.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Though writer-director Ava DuVernay avoids any and all cliché right up until the closing titles, I have no qualms ending this review with one: I wholeheartedly look forward to her next project.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

An imperfect film about devotion and crumbling self-respect. Emayatzy Corinealdi is fantastic.

June 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Poignant drama explores the world of dilemmas of a Los Angeles woman who cares for her imprisoned husband while struggling to keep her true self afloat. Director Ava DuVerney is a fresh female voice, with a sharp point of view.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

An intimate, confidently directed and superbly acted humanistic drama utterly at home in the subtle push-and-pull of long-standing family tensions and arguments.

February 17, 2013 Full Review Source:

The title Middle of Nowhere refers to Ruby's state of being as well as the location of the prison where Derek is incarcerated.

February 9, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters

This is a very effective and moving film, which is remarkable given the film's microscopic budget and 20-day shooting schedule.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The fine acting between the two leads is filled with determination and passion for their characters.

December 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's so real we can't help but smile.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

A simple but affecting slice-of-life drama.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Its unadorned simplicity belies the exquisite thought, craft, and heart that only could have made such an accomplishment possible.

October 29, 2012 Full Review Source:

There's also a fine line between meditative and just plain pokey ... It's only the charisma and passion of the film's performers that carries us to the end.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Ava DuVernay won a best director's award at Sundance for Middle of Nowhere, a prize that seems fitting for the sort of film that has the kind of gravity and authority that sneaks up on the viewer.

October 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A heartbreaking but teachable story about love and the morbid sacrifices we make to find it.

October 18, 2012 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Middle of Nowhere

"Middle of Nowhere" starts with Ruby(Emayatzy Corinealdi), a nurse, visiting her husband Derek(Omari Hardwick) at the prison in Victorville. While he is pessimistic about his chances, she reminds him that with good behavior he can get out in five years. Four and half years later, her hope has not diminished a bit, as she still makes regular visits to the prison, on top of her hospital rounds and babysitting for her sister Rosie(Edwina Findley), with their disapproving mother(Lorraine Toussaint) looking on. And then Ruby gets news that Derek may be getting out sooner than even she had thought possible...

"Middle of Nowhere" is a well-acted, modest and understated movie. So much so, that even the grandstanding comes off as subtle. As the movie drops pieces of information throughout, some may find Ruby more than a little naive when in fact she had been dropped into an unfamiliar world where so many women have to regularly endure the emotional and economic hardships that she now lives with. In any case, how could you not like a character who likes foreign films?(In this case, "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.") And, yes, people do ride the bus in Los Angeles.
October 23, 2012
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Ruby: You're coming home.
    – Submitted by James P (22 months ago)
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