• R, 1 hr. 43 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Shane Meadows
    In Theaters:
    Aug 29, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Feb 10, 2004
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
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66% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

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Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Reviews

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Empire Magazine

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

December 30, 2006
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...a wry and likable movie that contents itself with the petty concerns, complications and conflicts that compose modern life.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: B

January 29, 2005
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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 Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 8, 2004
Matt Kelemen
Las Vegas CityLife

The top-notch cast makes this movie work. Carlyle is born to play the hard-to-resist rogue, and Henderson conveys a sexy vulnerability ...

Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

April 1, 2004
James Verniere
Boston Herald

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: 3/4

February 2, 2004
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands gets off some rapid-fire comic shots. . . . a daffy, charm-your-pants-off kitchen-sink comedy.

January 16, 2004
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly

The cast fleshes out Meadows' thin storyline with some comically rich character work.

Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 24, 2003
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It's safe to say that Leone has never in his career made anything as goofy -- or as sweet -- as this comedy.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Original Score: 3/4

October 17, 2003
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The family dynamics are intriguing, and the performances mildly diverting.

| Original Score: 3/5

October 10, 2003
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What Leone did for cowboys and crime, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands does for a more contemporary genre.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

October 10, 2003
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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

October 9, 2003
Jason Anderson

If you ever wondered what High Noon might be like if Gary Cooper had a weakness for bangers and mash, now you know.

Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY | Original Score: 3/5

October 1, 2003
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Always predictable in its outcome, but it still retains a certain charm.

September 26, 2003
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies

A keeper.

Full Review Source: Jam! Movies | Original Score: 3/5

September 20, 2003
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
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A movie that just barely avoids sickening sentimentality with its sudden swerves into anarchic comedy.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

September 20, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Evokes the atmosphere of a Sergio Leone Western, sneaking up under the movie's human comedy and adding a smile.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

September 19, 2003
Loren King
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Meadows clearly has a flair for working with actors and for depicting the rough-and-tumble of ordinary provincial lives. If he could go just a bit deeper, the truly great Midlands movie just might surface.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 18, 2003
Gregory Weinkauf
New Times

This movie's just so-so, but at its heart lies a true leading lady.

Full Review Source: New Times

September 17, 2003
Shannon J. Harvey
Sunday Times (Australia)

. Meadows keeps things simple, adding a few flashes of music or cinematography to recall the B-western. .

Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia) | Original Score: 3/5

September 15, 2003
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] charming family story.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

September 12, 2003
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
January 26, 2006

Houston Chronicle
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July 21, 2005
Matthew Bond
Daily Mail [UK]
December 15, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
November 7, 2003

Boston Phoenix
September 13, 2003

Sydney Morning Herald
September 12, 2003

October 2, 2002

September 10, 2002
Neil Norman
This is London
September 9, 2002
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
August 21, 2002
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