Out of Africa

Critics Consensus

Though lensed with stunning cinematography and featuring a pair of winning performances from Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, Out of Africa suffers from excessive length and glacial pacing.

59%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 54

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 40,319

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Movie Info

Initially set on being a dairy farmer, the aristocratic Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) travels to Africa to join her husband, Bror (Klaus Maria Brandauer), who instead spends their money on a coffee plantation. After discovering Bror is unfaithful, Karen develops feelings for hunter Denys (Robert Redford), but realizes he prefers a simplistic lifestyle compared to her upper class background. The two continue on until a series of events force Karen to choose between her love and personal growth.

Cast & Crew

Meryl Streep
Karen Christence Dinesen Blixen-Finecke
Robert Redford
Denys George Finch Hatton
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Bror Blixen, Hans Blixen
Michael Kitchen
Berkeley Cole
Michael Gough
Lord Delamere
Rachel Kempson
Lady Belfield
Kurt Luedtke
Screenwriter
Kim Jorgensen
Executive Producer
John Barry
Original Music
David Watkin
Cinematographer
Pembroke J. Herring
Film Editor
Sheldon Kahn
Film Editor
William Steinkamp
Film Editor
Fredric Steinkamp
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Out of Africa

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (22)

  • This may be the silliest serious movie since Reds. When you finally get the heck out of Africa, it's not a second too soon.

    January 29, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The relationship between Blixen and her lover Denys Finch Hatton is an idyllic series of outings among the gazelles -- picnics with poetry, beach parties, club dances and overnight hunts. It's an adoring, boring relationship.

    January 29, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Redford is romantic, mysterious, uncageable; and he potently complements Meryl Streep's Blixen.

    January 29, 2020 | Full Review…
  • We (the audience) wish at several paints during 2 1/2 hours of watching Blixen' s book vaporise into Love Story Goes To Kenya to be free of the movie. How it does go on.

    January 29, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The scale of its protagonist's obsessiveness is what gives Out of Africa its splendor.

    April 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Meryl Streep is back in top form. This means that her performance in Out of Africa is at the highest level of acting in film today. Since she is Streep, it means that a return to form is not a return: she has realized a character utterly different.

    January 9, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Out of Africa

  • Apr 22, 2019
    The one thing I miss about filmmaking in this modern era, they don't make films like this anymore. This is a long and well made film with characters at the centre. The cast is amazing and the filmmaker makes for a long emotional journey. A little flawed due to historic inaccuracies, but not uncompromising in execution. The length may result in some negative scores, but these films were a dime a dozen and I miss them. You have all the character you can swallow and when bad things happen, it means something to the characters and the viewers. Flawed film, but never dull. 20/04/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2018
    A sumptuous romantic drama that not only dazzles us with its gorgeous cinematography and art direction but sweeps us with the complexity of the characters' emotions and feelings (what unites and separates them), with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in splendid performances.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 08, 2014
    A renowned romantic epic of the 80s, Out of Africa is a long, though undoubtedly grand, spectacle. The film centers on Isak Dinesen, known as Karen Blixen-Flecke, a Danish woman who marries, largely for convenience, her friend Baron Bor Blixen-Flecke, soon embarking to her farm in Africa. It is here that she encounters a different sort of way of life, and meets the inevitable swashbuckler, Denys Finch Hatton, an easy man to be enchanted with but a difficult man to love. The film has a lot going for it, notably its absolutely beautiful cinematography, capturing the captivating and epic African wilderness. Its cast is an admirable one, with Meryl Streep giving her characteristic powerhouse performance, supported by the talented Robert Redford and even Klaus Maria Brandauer. We can't help but be taken with their dynamics, and with the films backdrop, we are swept up in the sheer gravitas of what's going on. This keeps the film engaging and enjoyable for its almost three hour run. There's two notable criticisms, however, that stand out for the Oscar winning epic. One, the narration by Meryl Streep is overdone, and the accent much too thick, something that doesn't match her cadence in the actual film. This is both annoying and distracting. Second, the relationship between Streep and Redford is never quite as believable as it should be. The chemistry between the two seemed inconsistent, with Redford's characterization being the weakest of the film. We never quite "buy" him, we're introduced to him in one of the opening scenes, and the film never feels much of a need to really elaborate on his back-story or motivations outside of that. Overall, however, the film is simply too well executed from both a technical level, and from a narrative standpoint not be compelled by. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2014
    Sydney Pollack's film is full of good imagery but this story didn't need Africa. It is a tale of love told over and over again. The question is whether we needed yet another adaptation.
    John B Super Reviewer

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