Hounddog Reviews

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Top Critic
Steven Winn
San Francisco Chronicle
October 31, 2008
The whole distasteful mess is sunk up to its neck in a brew of Southern Gothic atmosphere and hocus-pocus sentimentality.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
October 31, 2008
Hounddog boasts a distinctive wood-and-emerald look and several crackerjack performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 18, 2008
Only Fanning's emotional honesty makes Hounddog watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Josh Larsen
LarsenOnFilm
October 8, 2008
...as discomfiting as you've heard, yet there is one moment near the end that nearly saves it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brian Orndorf
BrianOrndorf.com
October 2, 2008
Fanning resembles an acting robot: stick a quarter in her head and she'll dial up any reaction in the book, absent the needed gravitas.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Fred Topel
Can Magazine
September 26, 2008
We're seeing Fanning in soaking wet white underwear playing in the river, gyrating like Elvis. That's worse that an exploitative rape scene. This is just the filmmakers deciding to depict salacious behavior.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 26, 2008
If there's a Southern-gothic cliché (oh, those snakes!) that writer-director Deborah Kampmeier misses, I don't know it.
| Original Score: .5/4
Top Critic
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 25, 2008
A slow procession of degradation and suffering, Hounddog is like a tall glass of bitter iced tea.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
September 24, 2008
It's hard to take this wild mixture of sledgehammer symbolism, period Southern Gothic, race-conscious uplift and cautionary coming-of-age parable seriously, despite Fanning's remarkable poise.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
September 19, 2008
The only lesson is that if you're a child of the south, you better get yourself adopted by Yankees.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
September 19, 2008
A handsomely produced but unintentionally risible film that mistakes high grotesquerie for high gothic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jennifer Miller
Premiere Magazine
September 19, 2008
Kampmeier takes everything from the Flannery O'Connor school of Southern Gothic, tosses in cringe-worthy dialogue, and throws in not one but two horrible archetypes for good measure.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 19, 2008
The latest wallow in regional cliche and stereotype.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 19, 2008
The clichés are thick as the kudzu in 1956 Alabama.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 19, 2008
Rarely has there been a movie as misguided as Hounddog, which self-righteously indulges in exploitation while loudly decrying it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
September 19, 2008
The problems that plague the movie land squarely with the writer, director and producer, Deborah Kampmeier, who has crafted a howler of a bad script, shows little affinity for working with actors and displays no visual sense behind the camera.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Joshua Katzman
Chicago Reader
September 19, 2008
A bewildering slice of southern gothic hokum, it suffers from a weak script, proving that old saw about actors being only as good as the lines they're given.
Robert Davis
Paste Magazine
September 19, 2008
Instead of embracing its pulpy nature, it aims for seriousness, then gives us cornpone performances, a lightning bolt that triggers a tractor's ejector seat, and a simple-minded view of saintly black folk who possess a dangerous blues.
Full Review | Original Score: 28/100
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 19, 2008
The rape scene is disturbing, but it's not as surprising as the movie's unreconstructed racial attitudes or its deadpan cartoon portrayal of the lightning-struck, rattlesnake-bit, tick-infested white-trash denizens of the humid 1950s Deep South.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
September 19, 2008
This overripe tale of innocence lost has become one of notoriety found.
| Original Score: 2/5
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