Beyond Rangoon (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Beyond Rangoon (1995)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In a role originally intended for Meg Ryan, Patricia Arquette plays Dr. Laura Bowman in director John Boorman's film of an American abroad in a strange country. It's 1988 and Laura is desperate to flee the United States and the memory of her husband and son's murders. Accompanied by her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), she heads for Burma just as the peaceful protests against the country's military government take a more violent turn. Andy and the rest of their party flee in a hurry, but Laura is forced to stay behind when she loses her passport. A former professor (Aung Ko) offers her guidance to the border of Thailand, where they both hope to make their escape. Boorman's scenes of action and violence are well-staged, but Arquette is not big enough to carry the film and her plight seems inconsequential next to that of the Burmese as the military begins its ruthless crackdown.

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Cast

Patricia Arquette
as Laura Bowman
Frances McDormand
as Andy Bowman
Spalding Gray
as Jeremy Watt
U Aung Ko
as U Aung Ko
Victor Slezak
as Mr. Scott
Adelle Lutz
as Aung San Suu Kyi
Tiara Jacquelina
as Desk Clerk
Jit Murad
as Sein Htoo
Ye Myint
as Zaw Win
Johnny Cheah
as Min Han
Haji Mahod Rajoli
as Karen Father
Azmi Assan
as Older Karen Boy
Ahmad Fithi
as Younger Karen Boy
Mohd Wan Nazri
as Check Point Soldier at Train
Roslee Mansor
as Check Point Soldier at Train
Zaidi Omar
as Check Point Soldier at Train
Michael Pickells
as Laura's Husband
Enzo Rossi
as Laura's Son
Rudzuan Hashim
as Officer Min
Samko
as Birdman
Norlela Ismail
as Young Sula Woman
Nyak Osman
as Village Headman
Yusof Abdul Hamid
as River Trader
Lutang Anyie
as Karen Leader
Ali Fiji
as Fuel Vendor
Yeoh Keat Chye
as BLK Beret Major
Johari Ismail
as BLK Beret Sergeant
Rashidi Mohd
as Secret Police Officer
William Saw
as Bandana Man
Anna Howard
as Australian Doctor
Manisah Mandin
as Aung Ko's Daughter
Charley Boorman
as Photographer
Hani Mohsin
as Young Monk/Soldier
Ismail Din
as Burmese Official
Jamaludin Rejah
as Cig Soldier
Peter Win
as Aung Ko's Helper
John Mindy
as Burmese Soldier
U Kyaw Win
as Sule Aide/Buddah Monk
Gael d'Oliviera
as French Boy
Pascale d'Oliviera
as French Mother
Gilles d'Oliviera
as French Father
Asmi Wahah
as Sula Commander
Albert Thaw
as Sule Officer
Siti Abdullah
as Village Woman
Satish Chand Bhandari
as Aung Ko's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Beyond Rangoon

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (11)

Arquette gives the kind of mighty physical performance usually delivered by men in existential action classics like "The Wages of Fear," but she suffuses it with something all her own-she's bulletproof yet vulnerable.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

In attempting to make its politics palatable as entertainment, the film has grafted them onto a boatload of Hollywood implausibilities whose excesses cripple believability.

Full Review… | August 15, 2002
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

As an exercise in art, or even polemics, Beyond Rangoon is beyond redemption, but still works its occasional magic with extraordinary flair.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Yet one more film -- that defines Third World political unrest through its effect on a white liberal.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Boorman's metaphysical musings might work if he integrated them more fully into his film, instead of making them secondary to action sequences.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

An odd movie, brilliant in places, but frustrating all the same.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Beyond Rangoon

Beyond Rangoon resembles movies like Not Without my Daughter and No Escape but delivers good drama even if it doesn't deal heavily with the political material.

Nicholas Lewis
Nicholas Lewis
½

In "Beyond Rangoon," sisters Laura(Patricia Arquette) and Andy(Frances McDormand) travel to Burma in 1988 to help Laura get over the murder of her husband and son. Sleepless one night, Laura stumbles across a pro-democracy protest led by Aung San Suu Kyi(Adelle Lutz). It is there that she has her passport conveniently stolen and is forced to stay behind while Andy continues on to Thailand. While she waits to have a replacement passport made, Laura decides to do some sightseeing, enlisting U Aung Ko(U Aung Ko) to drive her. If it is true that the road to mediocre films is built on good intentions, then "Beyond Rangoon" is a perfect example. Set at an important time in Burma's history and made at a time when not a lot of information was getting out due to the military junta's total control, then the movie serves a purpose to dramatize these events. However, by working in a highly contrived story that closely resembles an epic psychiatric session, it also manages to trivialize them at the same time. But the cinematography is very lovely. At any rate, it would not be until the documentary "Burma VJ" that we would get the clearest picture of what is going on inside Burma.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

Good story and performances.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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