July 28, 2020
The film is admirable visually, verbally, psychologically. It took guts for a neophyte film maker still in his twenties to fire two cinematographers before a third gave him what he wanted; yet the result is seamlessly impeccable.
July 1, 2020
Terrence Malick's amazing debut feature, Badlands, which basically made the careers of everyone whose name was attached to it.
December 16, 2019
It signals the directorial debut of what appears to be a knowledgeable, almost classically precise, important young filmmaker, Terrence Malick.
October 28, 2019
Everyone concerned with Badlands has my admiration -- Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek... Warren Oates as her father; and all of the less familiar actors but most of all, Terrence Malick, who wrote and directed Badlands. It is clearly his triumph.
January 31, 2019
Malick's love and respect for the natural world as it frames and moves characters is palpable and on full display, the film heightened by superb performances and Malick's incredible direction.
November 10, 2018
A masterly exercise in ironic narration, and of a director so wholly in command of the rhetoric of his medium.
February 21, 2018
If a portion of American cinema is going to remain devoted to violence, it could learn a lot by revisiting Malick's thoughtfulness.
April 1, 2014
[VIDEO ESSAY] Terrence Malick's self-penned feature debut is a haunting road movie pitched in '50s Americana. The film's razor-sharp tone of poetic irony is unique.
February 21, 2014
The movie is just as free, experimental, and unsure of itself as its main characters are, and thus fits like a glove.
May 22, 2013
This tender treatment does nothing to alleviate the horror of the atrocities committed.
May 7, 2013
In the fall of 1973, one could see signposts of cinema's future in Mean Streets and The Exorcist, yet with this youthful pair of proto-indie dreamers, Malick was paving a whole new road. It turned out to be the path most traveled.
May 5, 2013
It's a testament to Bruce Greenwood's acting that Adan never becomes entirely as insufferable as the words that come out of his mouth.
October 14, 2011
One of Malick's most resonant notions in Badlands is that everyone confronts mortality in his or her own way.
August 9, 2011
Malick has come to be known and revered as a cinematic poet and philosopher, as a filmmaker who explores big ideas, but in Badlands in particular he also shows a knack for off-kilter humor.
June 27, 2011
In his debut, Terrence Malick is an uncanny creator of pearlescent forms, a very stark balladeer, Mark Twain's coolly ferocious heir
May 31, 2011
Incredibly beautiful, of course (you may have heard that Malick movies are famous for their landscapes), but it's not "just" beautiful.
May 13, 2011
...the first of Malick's many screen Edens, all of which inevitably come to a violent end.
May 11, 2011
Malick's film, full of striking cutaways to the burning-sun horizon and the harsh landscape's solitary creatures, comes to operate at an overpoweringly chilling remove.