Bombay Beach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bombay Beach Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 3, 2017
A depressing slice of life docudrama that's sensitively helmed.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 13, 2012
"Bombay Beach" is an oasis of creativity in the documentary landscape.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
February 9, 2012
Off the deep end of poverty porn, there seems little good to be had from this gritty tour of a destitute corner of America.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Philip French
Observer (UK)
February 5, 2012
A compelling, highly self-conscious documentary, it's involving, mystifying, unpatronising and carefully orchestrated.

London Evening Standard
February 3, 2012
Har'el seems to tell us that nobody can be completely defeated, even by the most unfortunate circumstances.
Matthew Turner
February 3, 2012
Director Alma Har'el has fused the small-town documentary with a music video sensibility to create something breathtakingly original and genuinely beautiful.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Alexander Capes
Little White Lies
February 3, 2012
Drifts in and out of reality and leaves your head somewhere in between.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Edwards
Daily Mirror (UK)
February 3, 2012
While candidly exploring the hard lives of the characters and their families, the film earns an extra star from some inspired moments of magical realism, with one scene involving a child, a fire engine and a Bob Dylan tune that'll make your spine tingle.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Peter Bradshaw
February 2, 2012
It's a rich slice of Americana, and there's a great soundtrack from musicians including Bob Dylan.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
February 2, 2012
This startling documentary explores a part of America few even want to admit exists: a place designed as a paradise that has instead become an almost apocalyptic wasteland populated by people who have fallen out of society.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nicola Balkind
The Skinny
February 1, 2012
The story tells itself, making plenty of room for an artistic flair and injection of sound that elevate the film from a simple documentary to an artistic exploration.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
January 31, 2012
Har'el's film is at times bizarrely uplifting, at others crushingly sad...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip Wilding
Empire Magazine
January 29, 2012
The fact that Alma Har'el is still stuck in music video director mode makes for an interesting new breed of documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Paul M. Bradshaw
Total Film
January 23, 2012
Quirky, moving and unique, it's a haunting bedside view of the place the American Dream went to die.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Adams
Screen International
November 7, 2011
Alma Har'el magical and poetical film Bombay Beach is an enchanting documentary hybrid, beautifully capturing the realities and the dreams of those intriguingly oddball folk who live in the faded and rather surreal California community by the Salton Sea.
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Village Voice
November 2, 2011
That it documents rural poverty in the American West without exploiting or sanctifying its subjects would be cause enough for praise. But this doesn't begin to approach what Alma Har'el pulls off with her hybrid doc knockout Bombay Beach.
Nora Lee Mandel
October 21, 2011
[T]he moody film is a compassionate portrait, [but] wanders around the mostly downtrodden too much, even with brief flashes of optimism.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
October 21, 2011
More lyrical tone poem than straightforward documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
October 14, 2011
...schemers and dreamers spend their days scrabbling, dancing and drifting in Alma Har'el's arresting, Dylan- and Beirut-scored art project of a documentary.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
October 13, 2011
You either like this kind of ambitious, brave, borderless experiment or you don't, and I think it's absolutely magical and tragic.
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