Bombay Beach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bombay Beach Reviews

Page 1 of 2
April 10, 2017
I wasn't fully comfortable a lot of the time while watching - something about the movement between 'documentary' and set pieces, the mistrust around reality and re-creation. I know in the end it doesn't matter, and that breaking down of the form is pretty inspiring. In many ways the process was more interesting than the product.
May 15, 2015
good doc with gr8 music
½ September 29, 2014
Bombay Beach is a devastating yet hopeful "slice-of-life" documentary about dreams lost and dreams that are yet to be fulfilled. It's a truly poetic and moving portrait.
½ November 17, 2013
I loved this, although Eleanor thought it was documentary masquerading as 'movie'. With Bob Dylan doing the music how could it fail? I loved the three protagonists and the way that the plotting explored their existences. These are real people leading 'ordinary' lives, and yet it's evident that there is an element of dramatic structuring. Some great photography and a real sense of coherence. The U.S. underclass sensitively portrayed. Nice one.
May 27, 2013
This is beautifully shot and very, very dark. I feel terrible for the one little boy stuck there who just keeps being fed Ritalin and Lithium by doctors. I can't believe people live in Bombay Beach-- it reeks of death... literally.
April 24, 2013
Great movie on bob Dylan
February 18, 2013
A beautiful documentary
January 31, 2013
Is not a documentary so much as it is a free flowing tone poem about life in sandy rural America
½ January 23, 2013
Could have been set in any impoverished community, but there is plenty of gorgeous scenery and heartfelt stories to be had here.
December 22, 2012
Brilliant and often sad film.
December 9, 2012
Character driven documentary film about life in the desert. Well shot, decent subject matter.
October 8, 2012
Perspective changing and strangely positive, this documentary about a small community in a forgotten landscape is truly beautiful.
July 31, 2012
Think I'll be moving here one day...
May 15, 2012
An interesting take on documentary.
½ March 14, 2012
Beautifully shot doc about several poor people living in the American West and one special place.
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2012
Arty documentary focusing on three subjects---a troubled and over-medicated young boy, a football-playing teen transplant fleeing gang violence in L.A., and a crusty old cigarette bootlegger---in decaying Salton Sea, CA, an impoverished desert burg. Inconclusive but impressive chronicle of the lives of outcasts in one of the last places in America where it's still possible to live as an individual. The soundtrack by Beruit and Bob Dylan helps a lot.
February 26, 2012
Bombay Beach is billed as a documentary - and for some of its running time, this is exactly what it is. But in-between scenes, director Alma Har'el does something else with her material of life at Bombay Beach, a community on the Salton Sea - there are musical interludes, dance sequences, and moments of surreality that turn her film into something resembling a filmed poem.

The families and drifters that call Bombay Beach home might not be typical - American families torn apart by debt, depression, drugs - old timers who have lost contact with their families, and who smuggle cigarettes out from the Indian reservations because they're untaxed there - men and women populate this film whom most would walk away from, people you would rather not know in life - and imbues them with impoverished dignity. There is also great sadness in this: the young boy, whose parents drug their child on Ritalin and other medicines because the doctors assure them it is the only way to keep their son calm, and who is seen zoned out, lost in his own mental turmoil, often sleepy when he should be alert - and it is this son who is at the centre of two of the best 'set-pieces' in this film: his imaginary adventure on a boat stranded in the sand, and a dance sequence involving a fire-truck. Such sequences seem to suggest that this boy should be allowed to be free, to do as he wishes, because in his own imagination he is free - and such a message is true. It is in these sequences that he comes truly to life.

The film is filled with great music too, courtesy of the band Beirut, and Bob Dylan.
½ February 12, 2012
Uck, hated it. Didn't watch the whole thing.
½ February 12, 2012
Bombay Beach, the once prosperous town from the title is a shambles. And initially it is this, the voyeuristic appeal of how people could live here that is the draw. But with the use of light and tone the makers have managed to find beauty in every nook. Beauty is also found in the unquestionably flawed characters, whilst their faults are never glossed over, they are portrayed fairly and all are endearing in their own way. Such is the natural tone, there is never a sense of anyone playing up to the camera, that is until the risky choreographed dance scenes. How this works and is not a detatching disaster is perhaps the films biggest miracle as somehow it works... even enhances. Bombay Beach is a haunting success in almost every way.
½ February 7, 2012
Unique & thoughtful documentary. Dreamy, surreal in places, tragic but vaguely optimistic. Part film; part music video collage. Depicts the hollow, rotting corpse of the American Dream. Just lacking an indefinable 'something' for me... a point of view, perhaps?
Page 1 of 2