Twentynine Palms (2004)



Critic Consensus: A muddled and inconsequential drama.

Twentynine Palms Photos

Movie Info

David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave L.A. to explore the desert terrain in search of a natural set for a magazine photo-shoot. The attractive couple finds a motel at 29 Palms, and subsequently spends their days on their four-wheelers, discovering the Joshua Tree Desert. Driving around with utter freedom, they lose themselves on nameless roads and trails. Frantically making love all the time and most everywhere, they regularly fight. Inevitably, David and Katia kiss and make up though, understanding the eruption petty fights that can occur within ordinary daily life. However, soon their relationship begins to collapse, and elements of menace and fear begin to plague their time spent together, as something horrible and hideous descends upon them.
R (language, violence, some sexual content, and brief drug use)
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
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Critic Reviews for Twentynine Palms

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (14)

A textbook example of how a director can strip away plot, motivation, character, and meaning and still leave arrant pretension standing tall.

Full Review… | July 16, 2004
Boston Globe
Top Critic


Full Review… | June 18, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

In Twentynine Palms, writer and director Bruno Dumont takes his cultural revenge on the United States, attacking countless American stereotypes and in the process reinforcing an equal number of cliches about arrogant French auteurs.

Full Review… | June 11, 2004
Denver Post
Top Critic

It's alternately monotonous, hot and dramatic, which makes for a peculiar, not entirely unsatisfying atmosphere of neo -- or is that post? -- noir.

Full Review… | May 28, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

[Dumont] forces viewers to question not only what's on the screen, but ultimately, the very nature of reality.

Full Review… | May 20, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

[Brown Bunny] sports the narrative complexity of War and Peace compared with Twentynine Palms.

Full Review… | April 27, 2004
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Twentynine Palms

It's hard to imagine anything less enjoyable than Twentynine Palms, California, but the movie achieves all that and less.

Dwayne Roberts
Dwayne Roberts

I'm not sure what to take from this. I take this to be what The Brown Bunny is, which I have not seen. It is a lot of desert driving, arguing and sex. The scenes are described as "sensually realistic", and that is pretty accurate, but it doesn?t tell you that the aimless desert driving and hiking is sedately realistic. And there is a lot of it. A lot. That is, until the big thing happens. And what the hell was that Is that supposed to be what is out there in the beauty of the Joshua Tree Park? I know there is more to the story, or that there is supposed to be, but it gets lost in almost 90 minutes of mind-numbingly boring bickering and sex. You feel no attachment to these people. The only thing that saves this movie from being worthless are the great performances by the two people. Everything except the sex scenes are touching and bearable. The howling, not so much.

Lee B
Lee B

Provocative but not relentless.I remote myself in a vast plain,mingled with the sky's peacefulness.I wouldn't wish though to have such temper aside of me.Palms as a fake plastic manuscript of thoughts and determinations.The couple is disjointed and yet so loving you feel their inner loss towards the end.Dumont shows how much a film can present without shaky camera movement and a classic film-making persona.The outcast figure.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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