The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (18)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (9)
Strong central performances from the main cast ... but a mostly predictable plot, abandoned story threads and some very shallow supporting characters dampen the experience.
All three actors are natural talents to watch for in future and Moon Dogs is a welcome new twist on the road movie trope.
An emotional release from years of suppression is one of few moments that truly hits home in a film which meanders - like the disjointed journey of its characters - a little too uncertainly.
Little more than another dispiriting example of the way so many publicly funded British comedies prize wackiness and winsomeness over characters and plotting that feel in any way believable.
The three actors play off one another with enthusiasm and the attractive locations are used with great imagination. It always feels like we are in a real place. It always feels like we are with real people. That's just about enough to be going on with.
The director, Philip John, knows how to stage a passionate scene and add fuzzy indie folk music, but the storytelling that sets up these moments is horribly mimsy.
Unfortunately, this underpowered story is neither funny nor sexy enough to generate much narrative momentum.
Philip John's feature debut ends up being rather lovely, thanks to a light directorial touch and endearing performances from its three leads.
It has some promising moments, but there is something forced, contrived and a bit cliched about this fey British indie in the road-movie style.
Random encounters, narrow escapes and some tough home truths drive a scrappy story that is delivered with considerable charm.
The youthful leads are eminently engaging, while the eccentric interludes involving body-piercings, hallucinatory puppets and a toy keyboard are dourly amusing.
Philip John's Moon Dogs is overly generic and lacking in likeable characters.
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