Kundun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kundun Reviews

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January 1, 2000
While Kundun boasts impressive cinematography (by Roger Deakins) and an effective score (by Philip Glass), the images and music aren't enough to hide the picture's essential hollowness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
May 14, 2003
| Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2006
There's no denying the artistry of Kundun. Its heart also appears to be in the right place. But for those like me who don't have a versed history in the modern history of Tibet or Buddhism, the scope is ultimately too big.
January 1, 2000
Kundun has its heart in the right place but emotionally is oddly distancing and intellectually ordinary.
January 1, 2000
Often staggeringly beautiful, but the film is ultimately waylaid by a curious blend of epic stasis and strained social uplift.
January 1, 2000
The end result might be beautiful, but it is distant and slow. It's like looking at an exquisite flower...from a hundred yards away...for over two hours straight.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 1, 2000
As I watched the minutia of the young Dalai Lama's life -- feeding the fish, learning geography, buying sheep and watching the rats in the palace, I began to miss The Postman.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
January 1, 2000
The material deserved much better treatment than it receives in this shallow drama, which plays out more like a bunch of pretty-looking but empty snapshots than a feature film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 1, 2000
It's an extremely beautiful, boring movie.
January 1, 2000
Kundun is ceaselessly lovely to look at. But it is also exquisitely, meticulously, intently (gulp) ... dull.
January 1, 2000
Martin Scorsese is certainly one of the great living movie directors. Sadly, this does not mean he can't make a mistake. Kundun is a mistake.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 14, 2001
Careful and respectful, it is everything a movie about the Dalai Lama should be except dramatically involving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 1, 2000
Scorsese's regular team, including production designer Dante Ferretti, turns Moroccan locations into a splendid backdrop for the Dalai Lama's life. It's what happens in front of that backdrop which may cause you do drop back in your seat and grab a nap.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
February 1, 2010
Scorsese has taken the harsh mystery out of Tibetan Buddhism, and out of its oppression, too.
Full Review | Original Score: C
January 1, 2000
Lovingly shot, using mostly nonprofessional actors in Morocco, Kundun can be tedious at times, but moving, especially in the final description of the Dalai Lama's flight into exile.
Full Review | Original Score: B
February 1, 2010
A challenging, thought provoking, mediative film that sits uncomfortably with Scorcese's previous work is helped no end by a superb score by Philip Glass.
August 17, 2018
The effect is to make one feel as if one is seeing Tibet's recent history through the Dalai Lama's eyes.
January 1, 2000
I admire Kundun for being so unreservedly committed to its vision, for being willing to cut loose from audience expectations and follow its heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
It is an appeal more to the intellect than to the emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: +1 out of -4..+4
January 1, 2000
This quiet, meditative gallery of pictures may be [Scorsese's] most radical, trangressive film in years.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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