Bombay Beach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bombay Beach Reviews

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Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
October 11, 2011
Rather than bringing out the symbolic inner lives of the characters, these sequences seem like the intrusion of an aggressive authorial personality on a film whose subject demands that the filmmaker simply sit back and observe.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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
Alison Willmore
October 13, 2011
Gorgeous and disquieting, the documentary Bombay Beach wobbles between the two like a beginner gymnast on her first attempt on the balance beam.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Chris Cabin
October 13, 2011
Har'el still seems tied too tightly to her work as a music video director
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
October 13, 2011
While stand-alone scenes leave strong impressions, the recurring strands simply aren't compelling
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
October 11, 2011
The film neither buries nor praises its subjects. It's too busy using them as props.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
October 13, 2011
This aestheticizing of troubled lives proves problematic over the long haul.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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
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
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
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.
October 5, 2011
A wonderfully unconventional portrait ... part MTV, part PBS and altogether remarkably fresh.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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.
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
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
Jennifer Merin
October 10, 2011
Set within the surrealistic surroundings of remote and rundown Bombay Bay, with its stunning and timeless landscape of desert blight, these characters and their odd behavior are unfailingly fascinating fare for a verite filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
October 13, 2011
Har'el's work contains an otherworldly dimension not unlike [Terry] Gilliam's oeuvre -- both dreamlike and intimately familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
October 13, 2011
The surealist edge seems oddly fitting for a place so fundamentally weird as the Salton Sea, but also lends the film an elegiac and dreamy quality.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
October 13, 2011
A beautifully stylized film.
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