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A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres (1997)

tomatometer

23

Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 37

A Thousand Acres makes disappointingly sudsy stuff out of the source material, but benefits from solid performances by a strong cast.

6

Average Rating: 3.4/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 15

A Thousand Acres makes disappointingly sudsy stuff out of the source material, but benefits from solid performances by a strong cast.

audience

44

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 4,070

My Rating

Movie Info

A feminist farm belt version of William Shakespeare's King Lear, this film is based on Jane Smiley's novel about an aging farmer and his three daughters. The Lear-like farmer, Larry Cook (Jason Robards), decides to divide up his thousand-acre farm among his three daughters, but he disinherits his youngest, Caroline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), an attorney, when she expresses hesitancy. The other sisters, Ginny (Jessica Lange) and Rose (Michelle Pfeiffer), take up the offer, even though they were

R,

Drama

Laura Jones

Apr 21, 1998

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (37) | DVD (2)

From the first frame, a silhouetted barn and windmill at dawn, the images feel prefab, and the all-purpose wistful tinkly piano and sighing strings pin them even more boringly down.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cry, cry, cry. Hug, hug, hug. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Owing more to the spirit of Oprah than to the Bard, pic serves up an earnest but unconvincing stew of received notions about family dysfunction, awkwardly put across by a script wheezing with melodramatic contrivances.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story is just an empty, manipulative compilation of tragedies and misunderstandings.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In many ways, it has less in common with Shakespeare's tragedy than with Stephen King's Iowa-set horror story, Children of the Corn.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Robards' senile paterfamilias is, regrettably, a grave embarrassment.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All the characters are sharply defined, with Lange and Pfeiffer in fine form, and Robards suitably sour as the grumpy old curmudgeon, but the plot has been watered down until it is little more than a Waltons-styled soap.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Proof that Hollywood no longer knows how to make that former staple, the women's picture.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a pretty powerful analysis of an extended family (where lifelong friends in farming are integral to the well being of a community) shot apart by power and greed.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

... just doesn't work.

March 31, 2005 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Fans of Jane Smiley's enthralling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Thousand Acres, will find the movie version disappointing.

July 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Great novels are usually adapted into bad movies.

May 7, 2004 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

You'll be shocked to discover how much of the novel's richness has been lost.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Pfeiffer excepted, the filmmakers reap little from the rich soil they have been handed.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

It's worth overlooking the movie's weaknesses for the sake of those strong, memorable performances from the stars.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

This intimate and riveting portrait of sibling hate, forgiveness, and love hits the mark.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

When they're done like this, touchy-feely dramas are no improvement on Hollywood's usual testosterone-laced fare.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Talented cinematographer Tak Fujimoto does his best to capture Smiley's Iowa landscapes visually, but his is an effort doomed to failure.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Little more than slightly affecting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

While many scenes are passionately acted and directed, the overall film is disjointed, and lacks a logical progression of time.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for A Thousand Acres

An amazing and courageous movie. Phenomenal story plot. Here is an endearing movie that will leave you a bit teary-eyed. Great cast- Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Colin Firth, Jason Robards, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Definitely worthy.
July 26, 2008
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

A story of familial dysfunction,loyalty and betrayal.Reminded me of King Lear.Stellar casr and a very good adaptation of the book.
March 14, 2008
alush1

Super Reviewer

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