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South of the Border (2010)



Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 12

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,610

My Rating

Movie Info

There's a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn't know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America, while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Néstor


Documentary, Special Interest

Tariq Ali, Oliver Stone

Oct 5, 2010


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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (27) | DVD (6)

What's frustrating about the film is that even though it's clear Stone is making a number of valid and important points about both media manipulation and America's untoward political influence, he's also so obviously biased in his reporting.

October 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
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Stone has a crucial, overlooked viewpoint to impart, but as a documentary filmmaker, his content and technique are not terribly engaging.

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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It looks like raw notes and impressions for a future novel.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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South of the Border offers valuable historical, social and political context, particularly if you aren't an international-news junkie.

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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Oliver Stone might not be the ideal reporter to send on a truth-seeking mission to South America, but if nobody else wants to do it, we have to take what we can get.

July 15, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
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A personal, maddeningly blinkered travelogue through Latin America that, for all its willful naivete, offers a valuable glimpse of historical and social change.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Having been conquered, liberated, invaded, beaten, killed and 'Christianized' for centuries, it is cheering to see the collective progress made by most South American countries in mapping their futures by governing themselves.

January 3, 2011 Full Review Source: JWR | Comment (1)

There is much still to uncover South of the Border and Stone has only sold us one side of it...with so much left to uncover South of the Border is missing it's edge.

November 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

SOUTH OF THE BORDER points to the need of a good contemporary study of South American political movement rather than actually filling that vacancy.

November 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

Worth watching, while keeping its bias in mind, as an introduction to the political events in South America during the last decade.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The DVD is chock-a-block with 90-minutes of extras [that] make a value-added package worth renting.

October 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

While it may sound dry on the surface, Stone packs his movie with enough provocative insights to keep the audience invested.

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

The film is one-sided, but it's a side rarely seen by U.S. audiences, most of whom get their news from sources including FOX, CNN and even The New York Times. (Stone skewers the lot.)

October 26, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

A missed opportunity to tell us more than Fox News is bias.

October 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Oliver Stone proves himself to be the anti-Michael Moore; he speaks softly, understanding that it must be the voices of Chavez, Morales, Castro, et al, that resonate most profoundly.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source:

Like the best of Stone's narrative fiction, South Of The Border is packed with big characters and epic storytelling. That this is non-fiction makes it all the more gripping.

August 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4

[Lacks] the balance you'd expect in a documentary.

August 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Risks alienating even those who instinctively side with [Stone's] political agenda.

August 3, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

At least Stone is getting a provocative alternative viewpoint across -- and in an engaging and entertaining way, too.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Stone is justifiably angry at America's clandestine interference in the domestic politics of its neighbours and at the media's collusion in demonising figures like Chavez.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

It has plenty of value as a straightforward primer on a side of South American politics rarely given much coverage.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Disjointed, shallow, slim and skittish.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Oregonian

One can't help but feeling that this particular cinéma-vérité leans a lot more towards 'cinema' than 'vérité.'

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online | Comment (1)
Indie Movies Online

What would make South of the Border a better movie is an Oliverstonectomy.

July 30, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for South of the Border

Everyone has their own opinion of filmmaker Oliver Stone. A lot of people love him and a lot of people hate him. I'm a huge Oliver Stone fan. I believe him to be one of the more courageous filmmakers out there. JFK, Platoon, Salvador, and a variety of his other works prove his courageousness. He has opinions and a lot of those opinions differ from those of the American people. There's a reason for his "craziness" as some would label him. Others like him, such as Jesse Ventura or Alex Jones that see through the government are always going to be called crazy or, in some cases even, anti-America, when in fact that couldn't be more from the truth. My respect for Oliver Stone isn't only as a filmmaker, but as a human being.

Stone once again shows his courageousness with this documentary, South of the Border. Stone ventures to South America to interview a variety of South American presidents that follow the lead of revolutionist Bolivar, but mainly at the center of this film is Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. These presidents and Hugo Chavez in particular were completely blasted by American media. Media outlets would even go as far as comparing Chavez to Hitler and saying he is a drug addict. 

This movie is about more than just some presidents in South America though. At front and center is the fact that our media lies to us on a daily basis, spouting off what the American government and corporations want us to hear. Disinformation is a huge facet of our media and there's still a lot of people out there that don't realize it, despite the fact that it is right in our face each and every day. 

As a documentary, South of the Border is a well made, informing, and provocative one. Stone gives us a glimpse into the real people that are running countries in South America, like our media and government won't do. That's the most important thing I take away from this film. At least someone is willing to actually listen to the other sides story, instead of just relying on our politicians and corporations to spout off lies that help their own agenda. Thank God for people like Oliver Stone. 
December 29, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

You mean the Bush White House distorted facts about South America? No Way! Fascinating documentary that sheds a lot of light on subjects often kept in the dark.
March 17, 2011

Super Reviewer

Once upon a time, Oliver Stone was a superb director, expertly balancing compelling stories and politics, but eventually he would just be more interested in making a point more than anything else. Ironically, I thought maybe that same quality would make him a good documentarian, like Spike Lee, but "South of the Border" proves that maybe alas it is not meant to be. And that's not only because of his droning narration.

In trying to explore the recent rise of progressive leadership in South America, Stone nobly seeks to reverse the perceptions that they are all repressive dictators, forgetting for a second that Fox News has long been a joke.(Okay, admittedly, there is that episode of "The Good Wife" and being photographed with the President of Iran is not going to win you any fans.) Even with access to the presidents, he frames the debates not on the countries' terms of success, but only in relation to the United States, which are very favorable when compared to the failed promise of the Obama Administration. And I like the Ecuadorian president suggesting that he would allow American bases in his country if they allow an Ecuadorian military base in Miami. Stone would have been better off if he had not relied so much on second hand sources and gone straight to the person on the street. You can do better by seeking out superior documentaries, especially the excellent "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" which focused on the failed 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, proving that sometimes the good guys win.
September 24, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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