The Exiles - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Exiles Reviews

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May 21, 2016
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.
½ November 11, 2015
has a doc-like quality to this look at native Americans
½ May 29, 2015
Crude and low-budget but fascinating film is a snapshot of a time (1961) and minority (Native Americans).
February 27, 2014
The cover features breathless reviews by phonies, enraptured at a film where we watch irresponsible adults stagger around in the dark. Hardly miraculous but still an interesting project taken on by the filmmakers. I just don't like the hyperbolic ejaculation smeared on the jacket. But seriously, no normal human being uses the term "bread" as much as the turd characters in this movie.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2012
it is a time capsule of los angeles and a moving portrait of young urban indians in the late 1950s. featuring untrained actors who are startlingly natural and beautiful b/w photography of an LA that has changed beyond recognition, the film follows young men on a friday night of drinking from barhopping to their after party high above the city, where they drum and dance to recall their faraway homes. a remarkable film
May 18, 2012
Shoulda just made a documentary - would rang truer. This, however, is just fake seeming because, well it is.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2012
I don't know how to react to this film. Am I supposed to empathize with these lazy, sluggish Indian men? Aimless, callous, unemployed spongers who do nothing but drink, smoke, flirt, fight and play cards? It's as if the script aims to reinforce negative stereotypes.

"The Exiles" has virtually no dramatic shape. The men do nothing useful, while the women work and quietly endure their unhappiness. The story spans about a day, and nothing transformative occurs. And most of the dialogue and ambient noise is awkwardly looped in post-production -- this is alienating. In particular, the casual chatter in bars and cafes is painfully stiff.

The filmmakers deserve credit for making a worthwhile sociological statement on a non-existent budget but, beyond that, there's little to recommend "The Exiles" beyond some interesting glimpses of early-'60s Los Angeles.
½ April 4, 2012
Realistic and Emotional
April 4, 2012
Interesting snapshot of life in mid 20th century and for contemporary Native American life. Feels like a documentary.
½ April 4, 2012
Haunting 1961 docudrama about Native Americans adrift in the city after leaving the reservation. A great time capsule, and it features some beautiful B&W photography of early-'60s San Francisco.
April 4, 2012
Not my kind of movie, but from what I can stomach it's really really nice. I should watch this again.
April 4, 2012
A fascinating look at one corner of Los Angeles in the late 1950s, a corner populated by Native American kids who moved to the city looking for success, and instead found a life of drinking, women, and self-gratification. Mackenzie used non-professionals here, interspersing their interviews throughout the film and creating provocative tensions with the images. The dubbed in after the fact dialogue could be cleaned up, but the straightforward portrait of Los Angeles more than makes up for it.
½ April 4, 2012
An interesting look into the everyday lives of a group of American Indians living in LA in the late 1950s. The film follows a few individuals as they reenact a typical evening.
April 4, 2012
Kaplan and Mackenzie's account of native Americans living off the reservation is nakedly honest and palpably realistic.
April 4, 2012
After 2 years of filming on and off, first-timer Kent MacKenzie finally finished "The Exiles", a mostly improvised look at a day in the life of some Native Americans living in Los Angeles. Guess what, no distributors were interested, and fell into obscurity. A group of Native American are living away from their reservations where they grew up. In Los Angeles, they all face poverty, discrimination, alcoholism, and exiled from home. At the same time, the men find comraderie, and a bond in their blood. The women on the other hand, find there is a lot of distance between the men and women, with 1 female character unsure of how to raise her unborn child with her alcoholic and carefree man. While John Cassavetes got the attention of this style of filmmaking, MacKenzie could've, but never did. A great companion piece to "Killer Of Sheep" and "Shadows".

And by the way, this flixter info is completely wrong. Billy Wilder and Fritz Lang are NOT in the movie, and the film is NOT 1 hr 56 min....
½ April 4, 2012
One of the best films I have ever seen, similar to Cassavetes "Shadows", some how its more beautiful. Recently restored by UCLA and is now finally seeing a theatrical release. See this film when ever you can, it should be on DVD this year or early next. Glorious film making.
½ April 4, 2012
A testament to a lost neighborhood and its denizens, here Native Americans, of downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill. The nightlife photography is startling and some of the close-up of the characters are heartbreaking. I would argue that Los Angeles is disappearing all the time. Just change the ethnicity of the characters and the same situation is occuring in the area. (Japanese-American senior citizens and Mexican-American immigrants are facing evictions as downtown is increasingly gentrified.) The question is who is brave enough to chronicle their lives as MacKenzie has wonderfully done in The Exiles.
½ April 4, 2012
The cinematography is incredible--the city of Los Angeles lives and breathes. It is a rare glimpse into a world that has moved on through time.
April 4, 2012
Shot over a period of several years, this is an amazing documentary look at the lives of Native Americans who had left the reservation to live in Los Angeles. The stark black-and-white cinematography is as compelling and as elegantly composed as anything from Hollywood; in fact, the cinematography has an almost film noir grittiness which is highly expressive of the marginalized lives of the characters.

During the 1950s and 1960s, one of the big problems for independent productions was sound. Portable synch-sound equipment was not readily available, and so many filmmakers had to struggle with trying to create an adequate soundtrack. It can't be said that Kent MacKenzie and his crew solved the problem: there is often the hollow sound of obvious post-synching, a.k.a., dubbing. But the images are so strong, and there remain such obvious honesty and dedication that the film can be said to be truly revelatory, about people who were at that time largely rendered invisible if not outright caricatured. This is one movie which certainly can be said to embody that elusive quality: truth.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2012
[font=Century Gothic]At its best when photographing the exteriors of a lost city, "The Exiles" is an ethnographic docudrama about a trio of American Indians(Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish & Tom Reynolds) over a twelve hour period in Los Angeles. The men hang out, play poker, and get drunk. For them, they have lost confidence in the future, being twice removed from their traditional lives. Yvonne who is pregnant is lonely as she goes to the movies while the men make the rounds before spending the night at a friend's place. For herself, any hope for the future she reserves for her unborn child for whom she is staying in the city to give him a better chance at leading a rewarding life.[/font]
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