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Tangerine shatters casting conventions and its filmmaking techniques are up-to-the-minute, but it's an old-fashioned comedy at heart -- and a pretty wonderful one at that. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a hooker and her best friend set out to find him and teach him and his new lover a lesson.

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Critic Reviews for Tangerine

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (6)

  • I want to see these two actresses in other, better films--even if it's just to erase Tangerine out of my head. They deserve better.

    September 1, 2017 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…
  • [Tangerine] is spinning a tale of friendship and solidarity in the most unforgiving circumstances.

    August 15, 2017 | Full Review…
  • At its core, this is a hilarious movie; it just happens to star two transgender women as the lead. That alone is worthy of note.

    February 23, 2017 | Full Review…
  • As a formal exercise... Tangerine is nothing short of remarkable; as a portrait of people doing their best to be their best selves, it's as warm and vivid as the sunsets splashed across its narrow but expansive digital canvas.

    December 7, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Fired by zesty performances that crackle and burn with energy, Tangerine is a bittersweet affair underpinned by a winning sense of empathy and affection.

    November 15, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Tangerine is a bit of a marvel, a low-budget film reportedly shot entirely on the iPhone 5 but one which combines extraordinary visual inventiveness, humour and pathos.

    November 13, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tangerine

  • Mar 29, 2016
    The number of films centering on transgender people is quite few, but as the twenty-first century advances, I suspect the subject will enter a phase of normalcy. Until then Hollywood will continue to tiptoe around the issue, occasionally releasing decent and well-intentioned, but ultimately safe pieces such as The Danish Girl. Leave it to clever independent filmmaking to push the edge. I present to you Tangerine, a low-key dramedy set in the rougher parts of modern L.A. with two African-American transgender prostitutes as our main characters. (Yeah a studio would never greenlight this kind of film.) Tangerine is near plotless, but still has a light driving narrative in the manner of a Richard Linklater film. One of our leads finds out upon being released from jail that her pimp/boyfriend has cheated on her with a white female. She then sets out to extract revenge and answers. Meanwhile her long-suffering friend has to prevent violence and kidnapping while trying to perform a show on Christmas Eve. The film was shot entirely on a couple of iPhones with camera adapters on location in L.A. with many of the "characters" on screen being real people who live and work there. Our two protagonists (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor) are also played by actual transgender women, one of whom was a former sex worker. Obviously, authenticity is a plus, but the manner in which Tangerine was filmed and released shows the endless possibilities of independent filmmaking. There is a healthy dose of dark humor to be had, which helps a lot with some of the serious themes. These are sad, lonely, and doomed characters and many of the longer and more somber scenes convey the simple tragedy, while not becoming overbearing. It was a neat, slice-of-life picture and it will stick in my mind for some time.
    Joshua S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2016
    While the film's focus is mostly on Trans women and the entire thing was shot on a iphone, this essentially is an old fashioned black comedy/farce. As such, it's often quite hilarious but never at the expense of the characters. If Mya Taylor doesn't get consistent work after her performance here, then there is no justice in the world.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2016
    A dramedy shot on iPhones (smart phones augmented with equipment enhancing the filmmaking process but phones nonetheless), Tangerine tastes sweeter than a gimmick because the story smacks of a genuine experience. Everything about this non-flavor-of-the-week brims with reality. Non-actors ratcheting up the drama. Drama wrenched from a simple electric premise. A premise not many can relate to but driven by very sympathetic characters. Characters played by non-actors portraying real-as-hell drama that's captured on something that you most likely have in your pocket. In this R-rated drama currently available on Netflix, a working girl (Rodriguez) tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart. The slim story of shadiness leaves for an economical narrative that puts character at the forefront. More sinners than saints themselves, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor nonetheless pull at our heartstrings because so little of the film and their performances prove seem put-on. The situations and players come from an unsparingly honest place. What better way to document this experience than with guerilla technology that's at once recognizable and yet brilliantly improved upon? Bells and whistles play a minor role, but the story elevates Tangerine from merely being a gimmick. What director/co-writer Sean Baker accomplishes goes beyond gimmicky--it's pure magical filmmaking besides. His flick might be the highest profile example of Smart Phone cinema yet, but it's also damn good. Bottom line: iMac Daddy
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2016
    This movie is hilarious for the most part, it's a dramedy about a transsexual prostitute tracking down her pimp boyfriend after getting out of jail. Completely shot on several iPhone 6s (which I didn't realize until after the fact). Surprisingly, it isn't nauseating to watch considering the camera, and there are some sequences that are just freaking beautiful. It is really graphic considering the subject matter but without a doubt tasteful. About 10 minutes in I thought "John Waters would be proud." There seems to be a loving awareness of Female Trouble and Pink Flamingos here. That's not meant to dissuade you from watching, considering Tangerine is way more subtle than those movies are, or at least less disgusting.
    K Nife C Super Reviewer

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