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Stander (2003)

tomatometer

69

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 5

An unsatisfying account of Stander's life.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,513

My Rating

Movie Info

A lawman fed up with the corruption in Apartheid-era South Africa takes to robbing banks in this gritty crime drama from writer/director Bronwen Hughes. The title Stander refers to Andre Stander (Thomas Jane), an ambitious second-generation policeman whose strategies and experience make him the perfect candidate for commander. But when the privileged Stander is chosen to direct the police force against a brutal, majority-led uprising in Soweto, he becomes so disgusted with his actions that he

Dec 21, 2004

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All Critics (69) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (17) | DVD (11)

Pumped by a soundtrack of period South African funk and dance music, propelled by whiplash montage sequences and rubber-burning Burt Reynolds-issue getaways, Stander is the very definition of good, old-fashioned outlawry.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stander refuses to take a stand on its own subject matter.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Has you in its grip from the beginning.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Worth a look, thanks mostly to Mr. Jane's troubled swagger and Ms. Hughes' sharp eye.

August 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Adds up to what is less a movie than an entertainingly episodic rap sheet.

August 19, 2004
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stander attempts to pass itself off as a fast-paced caper picture doubling as a socially conscious apartheid drama but ends up equally unconvincing in both departments.

August 13, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

better than expected

May 8, 2008

STANDER deserves recommendation as fascinating film that confirms the old adage of truth being stranger than fiction.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

Jane's performance is nothing short of revelatory

May 26, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

A rather entertaining (if style-over-substance) portrait of insane illicitness.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Stander é o anti-herói clássico - e a direção empolgante de Hughes e as performances do elenco principal fazem jus à incrível história do personagem-título.

April 11, 2005
Cinema em Cena

The bank robbery action, the nose-thumbing at authority, and the rise of an anti-hero -- a colorful action yarn.

December 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

Despite being based on an exceptional true-life story, Bronwen Hughes' "Stander" is uneven and somewhat sloppy in execution.**

December 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

A beautifully paced story.

December 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Embodies a certain brand of brooding outlaw cool that feels increasingly rare.

November 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Jane gives a terrific star-making performance.

November 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Stander is the political crime biopic starring Thomas Jane. Standard is the narrative and presentation. Snoozer is the effect it has on the audience.

September 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Thomas Jane... may finally earn... the recognition he deserves...

September 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A crackling good yarn.

September 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

[Stander is a] taut, well-made crime drama that agreeably showcases Thomas Jane in the title role.

August 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Stander is a rough and ready crime drama that throbs with visual touches and inspired performances.

August 23, 2004 Full Review Source: FilmJerk.com
FilmJerk.com

Sstirringly, thrillingly animated.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

Crime may not pay, but as Stander says, 'It's supposed to be fun'...it takes you through the gamut of emotions and manages to be mostly entertaining throughout the journey.

August 20, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

Audience Reviews for Stander

Genre: Crime. Based on real life story. IMDb Rating: Above 7.

Well, that was enough to set me going. But the experience was mixed. The script & screenplay isn't up-to-date here; it fails in properly fictionalizing the facts. Some of the sub-plots created to support the story at a later stage are too unconvincing.

After having killed an unarmed protesting citizen in a riot, Andre Stander, one of the captains of the riot squad, asks to free himself from that duty. He was already getting sick of the corruption around him & this riot event only worsened the matters for him. In the midst of this crisis, he begins to rob banks, but eventually gets arrested. He manages to escape, though, with a partner, & later manages to get one more of his inmates out. The three start robbing banks, which soon gains media's attention & the trio is thereby referred to as 'The Stander Gang' by the media & hence the public at large. After a while, Stander feels that he should escape with his wife. But his wife disapproves of his actions, saying: ?There?s not a thinking man among us that doesn?t want to blow this place to smithereens from time to time. But we don?t. We find other ways.? Despite of this, he plans an escape, to be followed by a final heist, with his partners. But do things work out the way they?d planned?

While the first half was good enough, much of the second half was messy. I'm not saying that the second half was absolute crappy. It had its highs & lows, but the lows were far more than the highs. One of the protagonists says: "We've written a pretty good story so far. Why not a perfect ending?" But the ending wasn't that great either. The creation of the South Africa in the 80s era is done quite well, though.

Thomas Jane is exceptional. The way he plays this complicated character is amazing. Deborah Unger is excellent. Dexter Fletcher & David O'Hara are passable.

All in all, the movie works in parts & is worth a shot for those parts, IMO. 6.5/10.
March 31, 2011
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

A really clever film, a true story too! Thomas Jane?s best performance to date!
September 25, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Great character piece and early performance by Thomas Jane
September 18, 2008
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

I bought this sight-unseen and turned out to really like it. Deborah Kara Unger can't really pull of the South Afircan accent, but otherwise this movie is areally good. I just wish it didn't end on such a down note. Oh well. It was still really good, and was peppered with humour.
June 12, 2007
MidnightMadwoman

Super Reviewer

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