The Exiles Reviews

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation
November 4, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 24, 2011
A fascinating hybrid of art and life, The Exiles may not hew entirely faithfully to literal truth but nonetheless conveys a form of artistic honesty that is inescapable. It's a mesmerizing marriage of poetry and prose.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
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 | Original Score: A-
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
May 6, 2010
A sorrowful and beautiful film, the kind you never see from mainstream Tinseltown studios, then or now.
Dan Lybarger
eFilmCritic.com
November 18, 2009
Kent Mackenzie's 1961 movie 'The Exiles' was so revolutionary that even now it seems gutsy.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
September 23, 2009
It's an essential film that hardly anyone saw upon its release in 1961.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
December 7, 2008
For its beautiful black-and-white aesthetics, docudrama realism, and, sadly, still fresh portrait of off-reservation Native Americans, an excellent rediscovery
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Shawn Levy
Oregonian
December 5, 2008
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 | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 20, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Andy Klein
Los Angeles CityBeat
November 12, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 18, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 10, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 10, 2008
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.
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
September 18, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2008
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.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 31, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 25, 2008
It is like cracking open a time capsule.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
July 17, 2008
...one of the great under-seen cinema gems of the 1960s.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 14, 2008
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.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
July 12, 2008
Director Brent MacKenzie's black-and-white documentary/narrative genre blender about urbanized Native Americans in 1961 Los Angeles is a cold glass of cinematic water drawn from the same well as Joseph Strick's "The Savage Eye" (1960).
Full Review | Original Score: A
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