Southland Tales Reviews

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November 16, 2007
Kelly might be biting of more than he can chew, and he certainly doesn't know how to conceptualize the full smorgasbord of imaginings floating deep inside his brain, but he does make a gorgeously invigorating mess that is for sure.
November 15, 2007
Writer/director Richard Kelly misses the mark with this bubbling stew of images and ideas that never quite congeals into a viable film.
November 15, 2007
There's more. Much more, all of it absurd and confusing. That isn't necessarily meant as a complaint.
November 15, 2007
Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange Donnie Darko is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
November 15, 2007
Southland may be ambitious in its genre-defying abandon, sideswiping science fiction, satire, film noir and melodrama along the way, but it's also exasperatingly convoluted, self-amused and politically sophomoric.
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.
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.
November 14, 2007
With boundless ambition far exceeding his ability to tell a coherent story, Kelly manages only an artistic apocalypse.
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales is one of the smartest, funniest, most audacious -- and most mournful -- films of the year.
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales contains stuff as uproariously out-there as anything in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove and as unnervingly subversive as Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate.
November 14, 2007
Every time [writer-director Richard] Kelly manages to build up a halfway decent head of comic froth...he blows it with some god-awful portent or "statement."
November 14, 2007
As the plot becomes more convoluted and the movie goes haywire, what saves it are its sardonic details.
November 14, 2007
Spending $12 and 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes less than the Cannes cut) on something as aggressively bad as Southland Tales is not something I can recommend with a clear conscience.
November 14, 2007
Southland Tales is a funny, audacious, messy and feverishly inspired look at America and its discontents.
November 12, 2007
A colleague recently burbled to me that Southland Tales is "the worst movie of the year," and I could not disagree more. Yes, it's astonishingly bad, but it's far too demented to warrant that ultimate dishonor.
November 7, 2007
Southland Tales has a mood unlike anything I've seen: dread that morphs into kitsch and then back again. It's a film that tried my patience, and one I couldn't shake off.
November 7, 2007
An example of a sophomore jinx encountered by radically experimental directors after their first effort proved to have more traction with audiences and critics than they had anticipated.
November 6, 2007
In its willful, self-involved eccentricity, Southland Tales is really something else. Kelly's movie may not be entirely coherent, but that's because there's so much it wants to say.
November 6, 2007
If Donnie Darko was Kelly's Eraserhead, then maybe Southland Tales is his Dune, an unfortunate folly before a more substantial, velveteen Blue period.
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