White Material Reviews

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June 7, 2019
A deeply reflective collection of moments, both of great beauty and great horror, and it continues to reveal its treasures upon repeat viewings.
February 1, 2019
Denis' construct is intentionally allegorical, and the film's classical beauty emerges more through her mastery of mood, sense of place and the ellipses in the narrative.
November 1, 2018
The film's refusal to assert blame or come up with answers about Africa serves as a lesson to filmmakers. Denis paints a complex picture, one that is beguiling, ambiguous and thought provoking.
August 9, 2018
Instead of sending us into the lobby provoked to debate, we leave so confused there's no point talking it over. White Material is trying hard to mean something. But what?
May 18, 2018
Denis creates both sympathy for and anger at Marie. She is not a stereotypical colonial overlord, yet her insistence on remaining borders on madness.
January 29, 2018
The consistently despairing tone is remarkable, as is Isabelle Huppert's understated and absorbing performance as a woman lost in deep-seated denial and facing an inevitable end.
January 4, 2018
Unfortunately, the screenplay is awful. It gives away the ending early on, which removes any suspense, and pointlessly plays with time so that it's hard to know what is happening when, let alone why.
August 15, 2017
Dreamy and elliptical in its fractured timeline and visual lyricism, yet so searing and bloody that it's indelible.
November 24, 2011
November 16, 2011
May 16, 2011
Unsentimental, brutal, and beautiful, (the film) is a harrowing experience.
April 30, 2011
a difficult film, and one that sticks with you, pestering you with its unresolved tensions
April 14, 2011
A maddening movie that gives the viewer plenty to think about, but little to care about.
April 11, 2011
Director Claire Denis is known for her vivid snapshots of contemporary culture and White Material is shot with an immediacy that's hard to ignore.
April 4, 2011
If you think you're going to get a simple anti-imperialism message from French director Claire Denis, you've got about seven other things coming. Her movies defy expectations all the way down the line.
March 25, 2011
Claire Denis' harrowing "White Material" centers on a family that feels inextricably bound to a country that does not want them anymore.
March 11, 2011
The ending is a cop-out, and the viewer is left unfulfilled. The main reason to buy a ticket is for Huppert's mesmerizing performance. She is one of France's greatest actresses.
March 11, 2011
Some will find White Material's puzzlements evocative. Others -- including yours truly -- will leave irritated and unfulfilled.
March 4, 2011
Vial is presented as a complex character who feels she's been backed against a wall, and on the one hand we can see where she's coming from, but on the other hand we might think she's just nuts.
January 31, 2011
White Material is unhurried in its storytelling but unshakable in its impact.
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