Kundun Reviews

January 9, 2018
The film is, in many ways, a remarkable achievement but also a singularly undynamic entry in the director's canon.
February 1, 2010
The music ties together all the pretty pictures, gives the narrative some momentum, and helps to induce a kind of alert detachment, so that you're neither especially interested nor especially bored.
February 1, 2010
Scorsese has taken the harsh mystery out of Tibetan Buddhism, and out of its oppression, too.
December 20, 2006
Disregarding commercial considerations, Scorsese's haunting meditation on Dalai Lama's early life is a majestic spectacle of images and sounds, but it's bogged down by a routine script that fails to offer fresh insights on Tibet's non-violent culture
Top Critic
June 24, 2006
Urged on by Philip Glass's throbbing, blaring score, the director conjures a phenomenal, trance-like climax, owing more to dreams, second sight and the mind's eye than conventional dramatic rhetoric.
Top Critic
April 12, 2002
A great film about a good man.
February 14, 2001
Careful and respectful, it is everything a movie about the Dalai Lama should be except dramatically involving.
January 1, 2000
In imagining an exalted Buddhist version of a personal road not taken, Mr. Scorsese has made a film that is as much a prayer as it is a movie.
January 1, 2000
Once you settle into the pace of the movie, you experience it as a continuous flow of incidents and images.
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
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.
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.
January 1, 2000
Throughout the film cause and effect, the mainspring of most narratives, is replaced by a sense of spiritual synchronicity.
January 1, 2000
Stunning, odd, glorious, calm and sensationally absorbing, director Martin Scorsese's Kundun is a remarkable piece of work with vital colors and a wrenching message.
January 1, 2000