Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (4)
The performances are solid, including Coogan and especially Garion Dowds as the laconic and mournful defendant. Director Oliver Schmitz gives the film a measured pace, stoking tension as the courtroom drama unfolds.
The film mostly preaches to the converted, even if it reveals with historical gravity how capital punishment was another way that apartheid severely discriminated against South Africa's black population.
Oliver Schmitz, one of South Africa's essential directors, delivers a mix of emotional acuity and overkill with this death penalty drama.
Coogan, known as a comic actor, does solid dramatic work and Garion Dowds' accused is living in a palpable living hell. He knows no one can be a shepherd and a butcher and stay sane.
Oliver Schmitz's film... does not clarify what he wants to be. [Full review in Spanish]
There's a powerful movie to be made about the range of lives destroyed by the apartheid system -- both Black and white -- but Shepherds And Butchers isn't it.
Watching Shepherds and Butchers is a harrowing experience that would sway you if you don't already have any firm opinion about capital punishment.
Missed the potential to be more of an emotionally rich experience.
Shepherds and Butchers doesn't know which it is: the twisty legal drama that's going to herd us through the issue or the ferocious expose, laying out the quotidian grimness of systemic death.
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