Before Night Falls - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before Night Falls Reviews

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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 26, 2002
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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 19, 2002
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Globe and Mail
March 19, 2002
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 4, 2001
In uniting to honor Arenas, Bardem and Schnabel create something extraordinary.
| Original Score: 5/5
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
March 12, 2001
Clearly this is Bardem's show. And Bardem walks away with it.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
February 23, 2001
It's a struggle not just to make art but to exist, which is itself an art. And to that goal, the cast members, led by the astonishing Bardem, allow themselves to be devoured by the roles they are playing.
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
February 23, 2001
Though Schnabel's first picture, Basquiat, was notable for its excess and self-indulgence, the filmmaker shows restraint and maturity in this moving depiction of Arenas's life and loves.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 23, 2001
Soulful, deeply moving.
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Houston Chronicle
February 23, 2001
Consistently intriguing and surprisingly entertaining.
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
February 23, 2001
The best American movie since American Beauty.
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Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 17, 2001
A visually arresting, well-acted biopic that would be better in Spanish.
| Original Score: B+
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
February 9, 2001
The main reason to see Before Night Falls is Bardem, one of the few modern actors with real animal appeal and the guts to show it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 7, 2001
Bardem hasn't the charisma to bring variety to Arenas or his plight.
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Ebert & Roeper
February 7, 2001
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David Rooney
Variety
February 7, 2001
Schnabel has fashioned a dense, emotionally satisfying portrait of a man, a time and a place.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
February 2, 2001
A prosaically inspirational and passionate work, a celebration of the artistic impulse as a surging force of nature.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
February 2, 2001
Always watchable and often engrossing.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 2, 2001
Arenas is not presented as a cliche, as the heroic gay artist crushed by totalitarian straightness, but as a man who might have been approximately as unhappy no matter where he was born.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
February 2, 2001
It's the emotional and spiritual arc of an exile, in all its terrible isolation, that gives Before Night Falls its power.
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
February 1, 2001
Gives you a sense of Arenas' life, and the time and place in which he lived, that's as vivid as you're likely to experience in a movie biography.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
January 26, 2001
Before Night Falls is such a vivid experience that it holds you fully in each moment.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 26, 2001
Before Night Falls lays bare not just the cruelty of Cuba's totalitarianism but its spiritual essence.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Paul Tatara
CNN.com
January 12, 2001
Enjoy Before Night Falls as a great movie, and as a celebration of one man's spiritual and artistic fortitude.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 22, 2000
A spellbinding treatment of the life of the late Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas that also confirms painter Julian Schnabel as a director of the first rank.
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USA Today
December 22, 2000
Spain's Javier Bardem gives an undeniably dynamic lead performance that lifts this labor of love over its incessant downer premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 22, 2000
Redolent of atmosphere and rapturously cinematic, Before Night Falls has a gift for creating visual mood that's so strong you'd swear it couldn't last -- but you'd be wrong.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Dennis Lim
Village Voice
December 21, 2000
The film's ephemeral, semi-evasive lyricism ultimately works as a modest frame for Bardem's tender, deft portrait, which is in turn suitably expansive and rooted in the most concrete details.
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Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz
December 21, 2000
Such a sensory experience; in its best moments, the film washes over you like a fever dream.
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Peter Brunette
Film.com
December 21, 2000
One of the best films I've seen all year.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 18, 2000
An intriguing and sporadically powerful motion picture with a stellar central performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 1, 2000
If Before Night Falls doesn't give us Arenas's life as he actually experienced it, it offers penetrating glimpses into his life as he may have dreamed it.
| Original Score: 4/5