Promised Land - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Promised Land Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
January 4, 2013
This is a solid if at times too conventional tale of a classic moral conflict.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 4, 2013
[It's mostly] a well-wrought drama that feels genuine as it goes about spinning a tale worthy of our challenging times.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 4, 2013
Promised Land is more effective as an anti-fracking screed than as a drama.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
January 4, 2013
Damon and McDormand are terrific as co-workers seeking the same goal, though they see their work from different points of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 4, 2013
This isn't a movie about easy fixes, be they personal or political; it's a film about long-term problems.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
January 4, 2013
Far too awkward and contrived a drama to change many hearts and minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 4, 2013
The 50/50 split between profiteers and tree-huggers might reflect the nation as a whole, but it makes for diluted drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
January 3, 2013
Damon's performance as corporate salesman Steve Butler is one of his best.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
January 3, 2013
A well-intentioned look at a fraught issue, but the Damon-Krasinski screenplay ultimately opts for Hollywood oversimplification.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 3, 2013
A love triangle involving the two men and a local schoolteacher (Rosemarie DeWitt) seems more like a commercial necessity than an integral part of the story, and the small-town types are indifferently realized by director Gus Van Sant.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 2, 2013
Damon and Krasinski co-wrote the script, and they do a nice job of giving the usual confrontations a gentle and surprising spin.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
January 2, 2013
One of several ways this ... picture falls short is in trying to sell a personal-salvation story as a salve to the conundrum it presents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 31, 2012
"Promised Land" offers an experience that's alternately amusing and frustrating, full of impassioned earnestness as well as saggy sections.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
December 28, 2012
The movie threatens to become one of those late '60s/early '70s heavy-handed message movies, but it's somewhat salvaged by Damon's innate likability and the chemistry among the cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 28, 2012
It's as if the people behind Promised Land only agreed to make the movie if there was an unambiguous "policy statement" at the end, and that's what we're subjected to.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 28, 2012
"Promised Land" is a fine place to start appreciating Matt Damon, who always makes it seem as if everybody else is acting and he's just going through the movie being natural.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 28, 2012
Matt Damon's new film "Promised Land" starts off on the right foot - and then shoots itself in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 28, 2012
Damon wants to put you in Very Serious mode and have you think of "issue movies" like "The China Syndrome," but all I could do was laugh and think of "Lolita."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 28, 2012
Despite their Everyman appeal, Damon and Krasinski don't create much by way of emotional investment, instead becoming mirror images of their most mild-mannered, white-bread selves.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
December 27, 2012
Though the film eventually caves to sentiment and stereotype, its alert performances and muted rhythms offer much to enjoy in the interim.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 27, 2012
While there's no faulting the talent or good intentions of the people involved, however, they make the mistake of leaving out the spoonful of sugar, which makes the medicine get stuck in your throat. It's all message and very little movie.
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
December 27, 2012
Promised Land is a hard-sell movie because it doesn't have the confidence in its audience to make any other outcome seem personally viable, to give the opposition a fighting chance or persuasive voice.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2012
When you add in the plot contrivances that cluster around its finale, "Promised Land" concludes as an echo of a convincing film rather than the real deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 27, 2012
While there's little doubt about where "Promised Land" is going (you don't think a Gus Van Sant movie is going to side with a corporation, do you?), it's a pleasure to watch it go there.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 27, 2012
Promised Land is a frustrating film to watch. It should be better than this, smarter than this.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 27, 2012
It's a fine line between interesting characters and "Northern Exposure" quirk, but the movie mostly stays on the right side of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 27, 2012
"Promised Land" feels divided against itself, not quite sure how to reconcile its polemical intentions with its storytelling impulses, and thus finally unable to fulfill its own promise.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 27, 2012
The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
December 27, 2012
The kind of earnest, oversimplified big-issues drama that Hollywood loves to foist on audiences as seasonal proof of its serious-mindedness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 27, 2012
There's a lightness of touch here that makes its level-headed advocacy go down smooth as lager, and allows some quiet room for thought.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 27, 2012
Promised Land is a potent and powerful look at how the stressed economy is stressing farm communities across America. Director Gus Van Sant finds the human side of a knotty issue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 27, 2012
No one seems to recognize the irony of making a film about corporate rigging that is itself outrageously rigged.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 24, 2012
The movie slogs along like a Grant Wood farmer behind his plow.
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
December 17, 2012
Whatever ambiguity the movie's core lacks is rebalanced at the surface; its organic textures are woven on a conspicuously synthetic frame.
Top Critic
December 6, 2012
...This is no vanity project, but a real, solid and legitimate piece of filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Justin Chang
Variety
December 5, 2012
A quietly absorbing if finally somewhat dubious drama about an unlikely anti-corporate crusader.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
December 5, 2012
Promised Land presents its environmental concerns in a clear, upfront manner but hits some narrative and character bumps in the second half that weaken the impact of this fundamentally gentle, sympathetic work.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
December 5, 2012
Can't help but preach its cause in obvious ways that continually hold back an otherwise well-acted, swiftly paced drama.
Full Review | Original Score: B-