Desert Dancer Reviews

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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.
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 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
Director Richard Raymond, making his feature debut, doesn't seem to have enough story to fill out a full-length movie.
April 10, 2015
Its depiction of the internal tensions in Iranian politics and culture is not what you'd call super-nuanced, but it is sympathetic to Iran as an entity.
April 10, 2015
Unsurprisingly, dancing is the highlight of "Desert Dancer," but it hardly receives the attention it deserves.
April 10, 2015
As impressive as its dance sequences may be, Desert Dancer cannot overcome an intellectually lazy script that's as subtle as an eye-high leg kick.
April 9, 2015
Desert Dancer is the dramatization of a life story that rarely doesn't feel like a dramatization.
April 9, 2015
Reece Ritchie brings heart to the lead role, particularly in the decisive solo performance that caps the film. But that sequence is as expressive and alive as the rest of the supposedly movement-loving drama is static.
April 9, 2015
"Desert Dancer" explores fascinating aspects of present-day Iran but suffers mightily from simplistic and sentimental tendencies.
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