Critic Consensus: Strangerland has a marvelous cast, but their efforts aren't enough to overcome the story's blandly predictable melodrama.
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Critic Reviews for Strangerland
Strangerland runs out of gas, leaving us with a couple of final "Forget You" (shall we say) moments. Thanks. Thanks for nothing.
Director Kim Farrant goes for a feeling that's as harsh, unforgiving, and wild as the land she lets the camera linger on, and it's the right idea when handling the potential melodrama of the material.
erie and unpredictable, Strangerland holds attention, even if traditional suspense tricks are avoided like they were dingos at the daycare.
Kidman's best performances have often been as grieving moms (Dead Calm, The Others, Rabbit Hole) and here she provides the flaccid movie's sole flash of daring and unpredictability.
Director Kim Farrant's debut feature is beautifully shot and offers some powerful, well-acted moments from a strong cast, but it's just relentlessly dreary.
Audience Reviews for Strangerland
The cast is terrific and this solid character study is always engaging as it examines the lack of emotional stability in a dysfunctional family, but it is frustrating that it ends on an ambiguous note that makes the whole film feel almost like a good effort for nothing.
This was almost a two star rating as I was so cross about the lack of ending, however, I read some spoilers on IMDb which suggested -.........,repeating spoiler here......................................................................................that the mother was possibly the cause of all the issues and signs point towards her abusing the kids rather than the father, which is kind of implied. I think they're right, and I have upped half a star accordingly. I am annoyed we never find out what happened to the daughter. I know things happen in real life every day which aren't explained, but darn it, I expect some closure on a fictional movie! This could have been a very good movie. The early scenes with Lily were great - not sure who that young actress is, but I'm sure she'll be in more movies. She was very convincing and sympathetic. Both the parents were a bit off. Not the acting, the acting is very good,but how they are written. I liked the outback town and the aboriginal cast. This was such a waste of a good idea from trying to be arty. Sometimes less is not more.
The disappearance of a 15 year old sexpot ripples through a small backwater Australian town like dynamite, exposing all those nasty things people think about each other but don't dare say out loud. I loved this and thought it was well done despite that it was sometimes too overwrought = soap opera. Still, why it is scored so low here on the Tomato is anyone's guess.
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