Southland Tales - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Southland Tales Reviews

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Mark Olsen
Film Comment Magazine
November 19, 2013
As the follow-up to his debut feature, the unexpectedly enduring teen-movie/sci-fi hybrid Donnie Darko, writer-director Richard Kelly has crafted an even more ambitious and far-reaching story
Simon Miraudo
September 16, 2013
Writer-director Richard Kelly throws a lot at the wall. The problem, if that's what we should call it, is that everything sticks. That's bad news for those who like some narrative clarity, and great news for those who enjoy bonkers wall art.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Chris Sawin
June 11, 2013
Unusual and extremely ambitious with an alternate reality that is entirely absorbing; Southland Tales is Richard Kelly's magnum opus that only a small few are able to recognize. Thankfully, those small few are pimps. And pimps don't commit suicide.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Rob Gonsalves
November 8, 2009
The brilliance of Southland Tales is inextricable from its flaws, if indeed they are flaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Fernando F. Croce
August 25, 2009
Has the galvanic pulse of a filmmaker trying things out, failing, and trying again
Brian Webster
Apollo Guide
December 30, 2008
This is not just another hodgepodge of a movie that's all noise and excess; writer/ director Richard Kelly has a point here; he has plenty to say.
| Original Score: 71/100
Sean Gandert
Paste Magazine
July 31, 2008
Although it's by any reasonable means a flawed film, Southland Tales demands watching, if only for its cinematic achievements.
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
April 26, 2008
A subversive and annihilistic satire on America, lurching from black comedy to farce, from dramatic insight to superficial jokes
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
December 7, 2007
Whether this is a demented B-movie or a comment on demented B-movies is hard to say. It is horribly fascinating, if not for the full 150 minutes.
Paul Arendt
December 7, 2007
There's too much sizzle and not enough steak.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Damon Wise
Empire Magazine
December 7, 2007
A bold and sometimes garbled take on modern American politics, this nevertheless marks an effective and surprisingly funny comeback for a film that many deemed to be DOA.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Anton Bitel
December 6, 2007
No doubt some will dismiss it as an overlong, incoherent mess, but others (myself included) will emerge, bleary-eyed and brain-battered, just wanting to see the whole thing all over again.
Rob Nelson
Boston Phoenix
November 19, 2007
Richard Kelly's wildly ambitious and widely loathed Southland Tales now seems among the most believable works of film futurism ever made in this country.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 16, 2007
Even if the world Kelly's concocted always seems screamingly incoherent, you have to hand it to him. He's made a movie of our messy times that's too ambitious to settle for merely capturing the mess. It actually is the mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
November 15, 2007
Southland Tales resembles nothing less than a vintage Godard, with a brainstorm full of ideas roiling and lurching and looking for purchase.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Sobczynski
November 15, 2007
Kelly has unquestionably given us a bold and challenging work that is alive and kicking in every frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
November 15, 2007
Southland Tales delivers equal parts overwrought tedium and mind-bending beauty, spiked with brilliant throwaway images that more than make up for Kelly's heavy-handed hot-button pretensions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 15, 2007
We're plunked down in the middle of an apocalyptic mess. This time the mess is not so much addressed as embodied by the film itself -- but damned if it doesn't roll around in your head a while.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
November 15, 2007
Compared to the seemingly unsalvageable disaster Kelly screened at Cannes, this overcooked folly is a miraculous, Frankensteinian resurrection. Maybe this is grading on a curve, but I'd always rather have an excess of ambition than the opposite.
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
November 15, 2007
It's enough to make you hope that a full-blown musical is in Kelly's future.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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