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The Exiles Reviews

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation

It's as if someone had done a ghost dance and it worked, just a little -- enough to turn your sigh into a gasp of amazement.

Full Review Source: The Nation

November 4, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A ghostly and startling tale of Native Americans in Los Angeles -- a fusion of documentary and fiction -- in the late '50s. Never previously released, it's a revelation.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

September 7, 2011
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

A sorrowful and beautiful film, the kind you never see from mainstream Tinseltown studios, then or now.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

May 6, 2010
Dan Lybarger

Kent Mackenzie's 1961 movie 'The Exiles' was so revolutionary that even now it seems gutsy.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

November 18, 2009
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's an essential film that hardly anyone saw upon its release in 1961.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A

September 23, 2009
Nora Lee Mandel

For its beautiful black-and-white aesthetics, docudrama realism, and, sadly, still fresh portrait of off-reservation Native Americans, an excellent rediscovery

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 9/10

December 7, 2008
Shawn Levy

The amateur actors, many of whom in reality met sad ends on those same streets, are utterly convincing. You have the sense again and again that you've unearthed a time capsule -- a sensation that cinema alone of all the arts can impart.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B+

December 5, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The Exiles ... presents one boozy night in the lives of Homer, Cliff, Tommy and Yvonne, from a convertible joy ride through the Third Street Tunnel, to an early-morning powwow.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 20, 2008
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat

Mackenzie imposes no obvious attitude or mediating outsider's perspective on the material; he just presents it to us, a snapshot of an otherwise unknown culture, with details specific to its time and place.

November 12, 2008
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Kent Mackenzie's magnificent, long-undistributed, unclassifiable first feature, The Exiles, stands as a rare consideration of the inner and outer lives of American Indians in a big American city.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 18, 2008
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

Just because a movie was lost and found doesn't mean it's worth your $8.75.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 2/4

October 15, 2008
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Rife with astonishing black-and-white images of an unknown L.A. and clashing sounds of bars, cinemas and poker games, The Exiles is one of those movies that functions as both artifact and fresh discovery.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 10, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Its moving portraiture is refreshingly free of cliches and moralizing platitudes, and the high-contrast black-and-white photography and dense, highly creative sound track are equally impressive.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 10, 2008
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The Exiles is a vivid portrait of Native American culture. Even more astonishing is the fact the movie is more than 40 years old.

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

September 18, 2008
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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A cinéma vérité look at the rootless Native American community that once upon a time lived in Bunker Hill and hung out in downtown bars such as Club Ritz, this Kent Mackenzie film is a brooding picture of a darkly beautiful, long-gone Los Angeles.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 22, 2008
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The movie has an undeniable emotional punch and its historical place in cinema is undisputable (there's still nothing else quite like it).

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 31, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It is like cracking open a time capsule.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 25, 2008
Kam Williams

Best if approached as a nostalgic curiosity shot a half century ago rather than as a conventional flick offering a satisfying cinematic experience.

Full Review Source: EURWeb | Original Score: 1/4

July 21, 2008
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International of the great under-seen cinema gems of the 1960s.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

July 17, 2008
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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You can only brood on the near half-century since The Exiles was shot -- and be grateful that someone went to that place and captured it all.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

July 14, 2008
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