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The King Is Alive (2001)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 26

Though the plot feels rather contrived, the ensemble acting in this Dogme 95 film is good.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 11

Though the plot feels rather contrived, the ensemble acting in this Dogme 95 film is good.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,075

My Rating

Movie Info

Stranded in the heat of a barren African desert, eleven bus passengers shelter in the elements of an abandoned town. As rescue grows more remote by the day and anxiety deepens, an idea emerges: why not stage a play? However, the choice of King Lear only manages to plunge this disparate group of travelers into turmoil as they struggle to overcome both nature's wrath and their own mortality. In the heat of the desert, emotional and sexual tensions surge around the play's production, and they are

Nov 19, 2002

IFC Films

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All Critics (70) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (26) | DVD (6)

:ags in the middle, growing more interesting -- if hardly more original -- only as the situation deteriorates.

July 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's all very watchable, thanks to excellent performances all around...

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Levring's film isn't nearly as smart or original as he seems to think it is.

November 18, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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It doesn't escape its own ascetic pretensions.

July 20, 2001
Washington Post
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Pulsing with color and movement in a vast, dune filled landscape, this is a whole new way of using a now familiar bag of tricks.

June 28, 2001 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The King Is Alive intrigues mainly for its spare style and brittle, sweat-soaked performances.

June 22, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The King is Alive interweaves the madness, the foolhardiness, the greed and the ferocity of human nature that Shakespeare depicted so brilliantly in Lear back in 1606, and shatters us again and again with its insights made refreshed.

July 3, 2014 Full Review Source: indieWIRE

The endless vistas of sand that surround the forlorn settlement embody the void at the heart of its abandoned, terrified characters.

July 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

I spent much of the movie marvelling about how the form and style of the Dogme film fit perfectly into the story, and how none of the players seemed like they were pretending, even when they were being theatrical.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Here is a small masterpiece about the erosion of civilized egos by the elements.

August 6, 2006 Full Review
Detour Magazine

The real problem is the way the story tries so hard to incorporate Shakespearean themes.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Even for a Dogma 95 movie, this one is unusual because it features a remote, exotic setting and a Shakepearean subtext.

January 6, 2004
Nitrate Online

About as far from a Shakespearean stage but as close to Shakespearean essence as it can be.

October 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Offoffoff

An imaginative film that feels ten times more genuine than any ten movies of the "Castaway" variety (or as I like to call it, "The 90 million dollar Fed-Ex Commercial")

March 18, 2003 Full Review Source:

Somebody should really plop these guys down in front of an old Rodgers & Hammerstein spectacle.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Admittedly not for all tastes, but I liked what I bit into even if there was some sand in the offering.

November 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

By the time you figure out who's who, you've almost ceased to care.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

... sitting through "The King Is Alive" was a tedious exercise that tried my patience and bored me.

December 21, 2001 Full Review Source:

Despite astonishing camera work and editing, it just gets duller and duller even as the story is supposedly heating up.

December 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A piece of art rather than reality -- and a slo-o-o-w piece of art, though it rewards your patience.

November 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Pick-me-up, this ain't. But fascinating, it is.

September 21, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

May seem self-consciously arty, but in the playing it grabs us early and doesn't let go.

August 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

An especially demanding, misanthropic and nihilistic work about human nature's worst face and it, more often than not, chills despite the relentless desert heat.

August 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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