House of Sand and Fog - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

House of Sand and Fog Reviews

Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
The vivid clarity of the images, the compressed fury of the tale, are impossible to get out of your head.
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Perelman and his long-suffering stars make a spectacle of pain, but fail to register any lighter notes, while the denouement seems calculated to wring out every last tear.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 26, 2005
If "House of Sand and Fog" ultimately feels like a failed exercise, it has less to do with Perelman's limitations than with a book that would have been better served by staying on the page.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
Connelly, who has often mistaken posing for acting, digs deep here; Aghdashloo ... gives us a portrait of a woman who is both dutiful to her husband and ravaged by his iron will. Kingsley is most impressive of all.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
February 4, 2004
You feel you not only know these people but where they come from.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 27, 2003
If this movie isn't quite the contempo-Greek tragedy it wants to be, it's still a powerful, almost unforgettable meditation on fate, cultural collision and the morality of renovating a house that isn't really yours.
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 27, 2003
Meticulously acted and unafraid of a difficult subject, House of Sand and Fog resonates with a quality that can be vital to art -- a lack of moral rectitude.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 26, 2003
The movie's intense watchability can be traced directly to superb performances by Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 26, 2003
House of Sand and Fog doesn't deliver on the gut level of contest, and neither does it offer any other terms in which it does deliver for the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 26, 2003
Remember the name Shohreh Aghdashloo ... she is the soul of this pungent film.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 26, 2003
A great film and one of the year's standout dramas.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
December 26, 2003
A powerful tale of a personal conflict that turns tragic when emotions spin out of control.
| Original Score: A
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 26, 2003
Like great fiction, House of Sand and Fog sees into the hearts of its characters, and loves and pities them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 26, 2003
For all its histrionics, the movie never earns your sorrow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 26, 2003
This is a movie that has the strength of its convictions, and it's anchored by top-shelf performances that go out on a limb time and again.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 26, 2003
The actors' focused, careful work keeps us mesmerized as the drama builds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
December 26, 2003
In the current political climate, it's required viewing. We all need to think about tolerance and how, like sand, it can slip through our fingers.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 26, 2003
This is an unforgettable portrait of decent, well-meaning, conflicted people moved to frustration, helplessness and grief.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 26, 2003
It is powerful, powerful stuff.
| Original Score: A
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 26, 2003
It's difficult to imagine that Kingsley could top his blistering performance in Sexy Beast, but here it is.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic

Detroit Free Press
December 25, 2003
Perelman has directed Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley, who play Kathy and Behrani, respectively, in the performances of their careers.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
December 25, 2003
An alarmingly resonant piece of work, and there is much in it to brood on. It's also one of the most unpleasant experiences I've had at a film in ages.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 23, 2003
Before it runs off course into excess, this brilliantly acted film version of the 1999 novel by Andre Dubus III moves with a stabbing urgency.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
December 23, 2003
The casting is well-nigh perfect from top to bottom.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 19, 2003
Ineluctably compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 19, 2003
A grim, challenging movie that will amply reward audiences willing to go along with its ride into the dark depths of its characters' souls.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
December 19, 2003
A sad, rich story, full of misunderstandings, bad bargains, odd parallels.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 18, 2003
Vadim Perelman's impressively self-assured directing debut harvests the terror and grandeur of classical tragedy from the everyday sorrows of contemporary American life.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 18, 2003
It's a story that haunts long after it's seen, not just because we're overpowered by what happens to its characters but because, if we're honest, we see how all of it, even the worst of it, could happen to us.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
December 18, 2003
A beautiful thing to look at, and maybe cry over.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 18, 2003
Everything about the movie seems excessive to the material.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
December 16, 2003
A superior, heartbreaking film.
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
December 16, 2003
Airlessly melodramatic, full of moral brow-furrowing.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 15, 2003
There's a lot of melodrama. But the quality of the writing and the acting in particular elevates it.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 14, 2003
Gripping and unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 11, 2003
Gripping, intense and profoundly unsettling, House of Sand and Fog deserves a prime spot at the top of everybody's must-see list.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 10, 2003
A vigorous and bracingly acted melodrama spun off from a situation that's pure human-thriller catnip.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 14, 2003
It's a devastating portrait of smart, civilized people driven to behave in uncivilized ways, until it's too late.
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
November 11, 2003
The carefully laid foundation of suspense and dread, with its symmetries and crisp dialogue, is squandered in a clumsy pileup of credulity-stretching cataclysmic events.