The Exiles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Exiles Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Kent MacKenzie's forgotten indie basks in the retroactive glow of never having had a theatrical release -- as if that somehow makes it a work of misunderstood genius.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
September 24, 2011
A fascinating hybrid of art and life, The Exiles may not hew entirely faithfully to literal truth but nonetheless conveys a form of artistic honesty that is inescapable. It's a mesmerizing marriage of poetry and prose.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
A ghostly and startling tale of Native Americans in Los Angeles -- a fusion of documentary and fiction -- in the late '50s. Never previously released, it's a revelation.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 20, 2008
The Exiles ... presents one boozy night in the lives of Homer, Cliff, Tommy and Yvonne, from a convertible joy ride through the Third Street Tunnel, to an early-morning powwow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 18, 2008
Kent Mackenzie's magnificent, long-undistributed, unclassifiable first feature, The Exiles, stands as a rare consideration of the inner and outer lives of American Indians in a big American city.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 10, 2008
Rife with astonishing black-and-white images of an unknown L.A. and clashing sounds of bars, cinemas and poker games, The Exiles is one of those movies that functions as both artifact and fresh discovery.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 10, 2008
Its moving portraiture is refreshingly free of cliches and moralizing platitudes, and the high-contrast black-and-white photography and dense, highly creative sound track are equally impressive.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2008
A cinéma vérité look at the rootless Native American community that once upon a time lived in Bunker Hill and hung out in downtown bars such as Club Ritz, this Kent Mackenzie film is a brooding picture of a darkly beautiful, long-gone Los Angeles.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 25, 2008
It is like cracking open a time capsule.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 14, 2008
You can only brood on the near half-century since The Exiles was shot -- and be grateful that someone went to that place and captured it all.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 11, 2008
In the secret, unwritten history of alternative American culture [Mackenzie] stands as a hero, alongside the Indians of Bunker Hill and the generations before them.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
July 11, 2008
It took nearly 50 years, but an important piece of film history is finally getting its due.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 11, 2008
A semidocumentary account of native Americans living in Los Angeles's downtown Bunker Hill, its evocations of loneliness and despair and renewal are among the most eloquent in American cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Noel Murray
AV Club
July 10, 2008
Compared to the slick approach that Hollywood took even to the 'social problem' films of the era, The Exiles is bracing and raw, more akin to the French New Wave and British kitchen-sink dramas.
Read More | Original Score: B
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Jim Ridley
Village Voice
July 10, 2008
This 50-year-old film about a Los Angeles neighborhood on the skids and its barely tethered dwellers stands as the freshest movie in theaters.
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Dennis Lim
New York Times
July 7, 2008
Despite its compact time frame the film conjures a powerful sensation of purgatory: a night like many others.