The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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View All A Dry White Season News
All Critics (30)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (25)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (3)
Searing, powerful and eye-opening.
This film is unblinking in its depiction of the most violent side of apartheid.
This is filmmaking meant to engage the heart -- and other visceral organs -- more than the mind; its effects are simple, broad and directly put.
The relentless plot is effectively set up and expertly pursued, and Hugh Masekela makes some striking contributions to Dave Grusin's musical score.
It's filled with obvious, earnest performances--Marlon Brando's ironic and subtle one is the only exception--and unresonant writing.
A wrenching picture about South Africa that makes no expedient compromises with feel-good entertainment values, A Dry White Season displays riveting performances and visceral style.
The tough-minded A Dry White Season is the best film yet about the struggle for justice in South Africa.
A Dry White Season tries very hard to attack apartheid in an intelligent, hard-hitting way, but it too fails to reach the level of audience involvement it seeks.
This movie, directed by a black Martiniquan, Euzhan Palcy, is far more effective [than Cry Freedom] at keeping black actors -- and the essential problem of South Africa -- onscreen.
That story, unfortunately, is frequently sidetracked as the movie turns instead to gratuitous star cameos by Marlon Brandon and Susan Sarandon.
This adaptation has its flaws, but what lingers is insulated Ben's inaction so juxtaposed with the persecution of Jonathan and then his father. The white man's willful ignorance doesn't just sustain but perpetuates a systemic, brutal, savage racism.
A polemic against South African apartheid, this may not meet criteria for "great" filmmaking, but director Euzhan Palcy's film succeeds in being significant.
It's too bad that such a well-intentioned movie is so mediocre. Cliche-riddled, convoluted writing and often haphazard choices made by director Euzhan Palcy are too blatant too be ignored. Donald Sutherland is a convincing but uncompelling lead, and Susan Sarandon's vocal work is laughable. In a shamefully small amount of screen time, Marlon Brando leaves a stronger impression than anyone else in the movie.
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