Desert Dancer Reviews

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March 14, 2019
On a grand scale, Ghaffarian's story of putting his life on the line to create art is poignant and inspirational. It's a stirring reminder of art's true vitality.
August 14, 2018
Bogged down by trying to be two very separate things and dragging its plot for a bit more time than it should have. A film with a lot of potential, but unfortunately underwhelming.
August 24, 2017
We didn't need a pseudo-Persian Footloose to imagine dance as a means of political resistance, but surely there's no harm in drawing inspiration from [Andrew] Ghaffarian's bravely creative life.
January 2, 2017
With robotic depictions of Iran's 'morality police', the political subtext is strictly one-dimensional. But with ace choreographer Akram Khan on board, the dancing is powerful.
August 7, 2016
Raymond might sometimes hit his beats too hard but he does keep his eye on the bigger picture.
May 20, 2016
Characters' brief moments of freedom are stirringly depicted in Richard Raymond's based-on-fact bio-picture, Desert Dancer.
April 22, 2016
A lifeless, contrived and remarkably unengaging rallying cry for freedom of expression and self-fulfilment in the face of adversity.
April 21, 2016
There is so little political depth and dramatic tension in the leaden script that the subversive aspect of Ritchie and Pinto's platonic partnership is almost negligible.
April 21, 2016
It is montage heavy and toe-curlingly naive.
April 21, 2016
It strives to be a rousing tale of rebellion, but the over-earnest result is more slow shuffle than kicky capoeira.
December 18, 2015
Despite that fact that Pinto is such a vital performer, her character's backstory is handled so clumsily that it feels like one more clich thrown onto the pile.
November 5, 2015
The sum total is an interesting true-life story that just doesn't make for a great movie. Desert Dancer has its moments, but it feels like a story that was better lived than re-told.
May 1, 2015
... too earnest and cliched - with awkward English dialogue, considering the setting - and tends to oversimplify Afshin's true-life struggles.
April 24, 2015
By the time Desert Dancer heads for its shades-of-Argo climax, it's hard not to wish there had been a bit less melodrama, and a bit more desert dancing.
April 17, 2015
There would seem to be only one thing that the act of dancing cannot free the characters in Desert Dancer from, and that's the movie they're in.
April 16, 2015
Desert Dancer strays too frequently into melodrama to have much sticking power.
April 15, 2015
The characters are thin and the villains are one-note, but one gets worked up anyway, much as one gets played by a solid romance - or a dance movie.
April 13, 2015
The story of freedom from oppression and freedom of expression in Iran is a somber and ruthless one, but you'd never know the true extent of it by seeing this film.
April 10, 2015
In his feature film debut, director Richard Raymond keeps the story moving despite some dramatic cliches.
April 10, 2015
Director Richard Raymond, making his feature debut, doesn't seem to have enough story to fill out a full-length movie.
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