Ask the Dust - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ask the Dust Reviews

June 24, 2006
Although Chinatown writer Towne lovingly depicts the Depression-era LA setting (actually shot in South Africa), the film misfires.
May 12, 2006
Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.
March 30, 2006
Farrell and costar Salma Hayek have rarely been so affecting, or so effective, as self-hating ethnics who find love.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 24, 2006
Who would have guessed that Robert Towne, the writer of Chinatown, could make a movie as awful as Ask the Dust? It has it all -- one-dimensional characters, one-dimensional set and idiotically arch dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
March 23, 2006
Ask the Dust is one of the most eagerly awaited cinematic projects of 2006, which may be why it lands with such a curious thud.
March 18, 2006
Whether or not you're familiar with John Fante, if you like novels, you'll like Ask the Dust.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 18, 2006
... not for all tastes but far from flavorless.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 18, 2006
[A] sexy, sensual, romantic, nostalgic adaptation of the novel ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 18, 2006
... after an hour or so, Ask the Dust seems to have said everything, and the air starts to seep out of its hermetic atmosphere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 18, 2006
Ask the Dust requires an audience with a special love for film noir, with a feeling for the loneliness and misery of the writer, and with an understanding that any woman he meets will be beautiful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 17, 2006
The fact is, there's something sadly lifeless about Ask the Dust.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 17, 2006
As a film, Ask the Dust is uneven; as a labor of love, it's a beauty.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 17, 2006
Farrell isn't living up to his hype. He's inheriting the mantle from Andy Garcia as the world's oldest promising newcomer.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
March 17, 2006
Fante would never approve, governed as he was by a crushing fear of phoniness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 17, 2006
It is to the credit of Towne and his cast ... that Ask the Dust is able to convey Fante's passion without making it seem affected.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 17, 2006
What gives Ask the Dust its quiet vitality -- beyond Farrell's muscular yet delicate portrayal -- is the fear of failing to grasp the brass ring that appears through much of the movie.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 16, 2006
What's surprising about the new film's vapid emptiness is that Towne also wrote the screenplay. And the writing is the film's central problem.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 16, 2006
It isn't until the very end that somebody finally does ask the dust a question, and there's so much talking in this movie that it's a miracle the dust doesn't reply.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 16, 2006
Towne and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel beautifully capture Fante's city of the dispossessed, where the seasons never change.
Read More | Original Score: B
March 16, 2006
Their (Colin Farrell & Salma Hayek's) tempestuous relationship teaches the young writer life-changing lessons about love and loss.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 16, 2006
It's a strange, off-beat story.
March 10, 2006
The hard-boiled prose is translated into a schmaltzy movie with too much sap and not enough grit.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 10, 2006
Watching it is like being in a restaurant where the waiter brings out a luscious platter of food, then keeps walking right past you. All night long.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 10, 2006
Atmospheric but awkward drama.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 10, 2006
The film is not only an evocation of a bygone era but an emanation of it as well.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 10, 2006
Towne has not given us the great American love story, but he has presented us with a captivating view of 1933 Los Angeles and a tale of romance that involves us in the plight of the characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 9, 2006
While the movie evokes the period well, thanks mostly to the stellar cinematography of Caleb Deschanel, it is a flawed and leaden adaptation of John Fante's seminal novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 9, 2006
Towne ... has turned Fante's glorious howl into a requiem for a city and those who escape its gilded clutches.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
March 9, 2006
A film of great beauty with unfulfilled promise -- a disappointment, but with much to recommend and be glad about.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 9, 2006
Farrell and Hayek seem too luminous for their downbeat surroundings. But they persuasively work through their characters' knotty emotional threads.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 9, 2006
If the end result isn't quite a great movie, it's indisputably a reverential one,
March 9, 2006
The film, which is literary to a fault, includes an earthquake, but if the earth moves at all, thank Hayek, who gives the tale a smoldering life that finally lifts it from the page.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 8, 2006
Despite fine performances and occasional moments of fascinating visual beauty, Ask the Dust is long, lazy, plotless, formless, overwrought, hysterical, unconvincing and very, very boring.
March 8, 2006
Fueled by shame and prejudice, the doomed relationship of these two proud self-haters is more drunken knife fight than transcendent love affair.
March 8, 2006
It's lifeless kitsch.
Full Review | Original Score: D
March 8, 2006
Towne draws out the era's rampant poverty and ethnic divisions through a story that plays to his strengths as a writer and a romantic
Read More | Original Score: B
February 9, 2006
Hayek is in full blossom as Camilla.
February 3, 2006
Towne ... inexplicably softens the story's noir edge, lapsing into melodrama and hammering at his themes instead of delving deeper into his characters.