Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Reviews

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
May 5, 2010
Like a Mike Leigh film on steroids, situations don't dawn slowly on these characters, they come crashing down on their heads.
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
April 14, 2005
The title and the music suggest a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, but the setting and characters would be more at home in a Mike Leigh film.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 29, 2005
...a wry and likable movie that contents itself with the petty concerns, complications and conflicts that compose modern life.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
December 8, 2004
Clever and generally successful attempt to present a British domestic drama with comedic overtones, all in the style of a Sergio Leone western.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Matt Kelemen
Las Vegas CityLife
April 1, 2004
The top-notch cast makes this movie work. Carlyle is born to play the hard-to-resist rogue, and Henderson conveys a sexy vulnerability ...
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
January 16, 2004
Once Upon a Time in the Midlands gets off some rapid-fire comic shots. . . . a daffy, charm-your-pants-off kitchen-sink comedy.
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
November 16, 2003
In the end, Meadows' film lacks the bite it needs to make us care about this oddball trio, endearing though they are.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
October 31, 2003
Put in Shirley's shoes, most women would be hunting around for a Door Number 3, and that's where Midlands ultimately fails to connect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly
October 24, 2003
The cast fleshes out Meadows' thin storyline with some comically rich character work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
October 17, 2003
It's safe to say that Leone has never in his career made anything as goofy -- or as sweet -- as this comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune
October 17, 2003
Only Ifans, with his hangdog expressions and dithering double-talk, generates any laughs or sympathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 10, 2003
The family dynamics are intriguing, and the performances mildly diverting.
| Original Score: 3/5
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
October 10, 2003
It's never as funny as we'd like, and the characters seem too cartoony to hook us.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 10, 2003
What Leone did for cowboys and crime, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands does for a more contemporary genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
October 9, 2003
Some strong performances make it go by fairly painlessly, but inconsistencies involving plot and character keep it from ever being more than marginally involving.
| Original Score: 2/5
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 9, 2003
At its best, the new film by Shane Meadows suggests works by British social realist Ken Loach and Scottish social satirist Bill Forsyth, with a through-line from Mike Leigh's dysfunctional family tale Life Is Sweet.
| Original Score: 3/4
Laura Kelly
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
October 9, 2003
Once Upon a Time in the Midlands has great comic potential but misses the mark.
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 9, 2003
Largely unintelligible romantic comedy about a couple of annoying losers and their personality-free love interest.
Oz
eFilmCritic.com
October 6, 2003
A weak concept with a weak script where even great actors can't seem to rise above the mediocrity surrounding them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 2, 2003
The movie is so busy being quirky that it's hard to relate to it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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