Before Night Falls - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before Night Falls Reviews

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Austin Kennedy
Film Geek Central
May 10, 2013
This could have been a compelling movie about a wonderful writer, but instead it's a tedious, pointless mess. After spending over 2 hours with Arenas, I still knew nothing about him. Javier Bardem's great performance seemed to be a complete waste.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 25, 2003
despite a real commitment to Arenas and his work, the film just falls short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Christopher Null
December 13, 2000
We are invited to let the film wash over us, but its disjointed amateurism prevents that from happening with much success.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
February 17, 2003
Saddled with a wandering opening and an equally listless conclusion, a more fitting name for this two hour-plus biopic might well be Before Night Falters.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
February 2, 2001
Paints Arenas as little more than an abstract, idealized vision.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 22, 2000
Anyone expecting a hard-hitting biography will be disappointed by Julian Schnabel's soft-edged, dreamy and relatively nonpolitical film.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 7, 2001
Bardem hasn't the charisma to bring variety to Arenas or his plight.
David Keyes
February 7, 2001
A trip to the bookstore to pick up Arenas' memoirs might be a better decision than seeking out this miscalculated character drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts
June 21, 2007
Schabel's most recent work fails to move me. While the story of Reinaldo Arenas is tragic enough to be interesting (and Javier Bardem's performance sympathetic) the film as a whole simply seems long and indulgent.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jim Judy
Screen It!
February 2, 2001
Contains many well-mounted and executed individual moments that unfortunately don't seamlessly fit together into one congruous whole.
April 2, 2001
Full Review| Original Score: 1.5
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
January 8, 2003
The cinematography is beautiful and clearly shows the director's artistic bent, but the storytelling is often disjointed. . . . Ultimately, Before Night Falls is more successful as a Javier Bardem showcase than a movie.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Blake French
January 1, 2000
awkward story; it is just not very involving
Full Review| Original Score: 6/10
Widgett Walls
May 20, 2001
The film, clocking in at a mere two hours, feels much, much longer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
January 15, 2001
More a collection of half-formed images than any kind of a proper story.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
March 6, 2001
It seemed to exude more energy into its pretenses than the actual story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Matt Easterbrook
Matt's Movie Reviews
December 18, 2000
All this is well and good, it's just rather boring.
| Original Score: 4/10
Kevin Courrier
Boxoffice Magazine
December 20, 2000
Schnabel gets so caught up in the melodramatic sweep of Arenas' life that he blurs out the specifics which might help us understand his sensibility as an artist.
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
December 21, 2000
A beautifully photographed movie.
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
December 10, 2001
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 1, 2000
Susan Granger
January 1, 2000
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 21, 2002
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
September 10, 2002
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
September 4, 2001
Jason Anderson
February 7, 2001
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 19, 2002
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 26, 2002
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002
Alexander Walker
This is London
December 15, 2003
Top Critic

Ebert & Roeper
February 7, 2001

August 10, 2001

Boston Phoenix
March 24, 2002
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
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