The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (8)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (2)
Midnight Return rambles and meanders, losing the plot along the way.
An engaging documentary ...
The movie is not quite as successful at telling Mr. Hayes's story... But sparks fly once Mr. Hayes joins the Midnight Express entourage when it plays the 1978 Cannes film festival.
Both a behind-the-scenes account of the original production and a feature-length mea culpa for a work that "misrepresented an entire country and group of people," to quote one Turkish expert interviewed early on.
There's a fascinating thesis tucked into Midnight Return: The Story Of Billy Hayes And Turkey, and it's only partially about the idea contained in the title of Sally Sussman's uneven documentary.
...fascinating documentary about the making and veracity of Midnight Express, a film that supposedly told the true story of Billy Hayes...in this documentary we meet the real Billy Hayes, and it's starkly different from the movie.
A portrait of a young man who never expected to serve life in prison for a first-time drug offense and whose true-life escape from a Turkish prison was dramatized effectively by Oliver Stone but with a needless demonization of the Turks.
Midnight Return is much more invested in the film's long shadow, exploring how the storyline was parodied and referenced for decades, leaving a damaging lasting impression of Turkey as a scary, barbaric society.
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