Zabriskie Point - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zabriskie Point Reviews

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November 23, 2016
Like many of Antonioni's movies it involves many of his signature long shots, as it eventually places two young teens together during a college protest in which they do the most boding while hanging around a monumental area called "Zabriskie Point" hence the title.
½ June 19, 2016
A bitter realization of how dangerous can be stepping outside society's constraints.
½ May 22, 2016
I understand that this movie is existential and artistic, with social commentary here and there, but there are many long parts and it leads nowhere.
March 7, 2016
Yes I found it superior to Blow-up ... excellent cinematography, music and direction !!! And how could one forget the Desert orgy and the blow-up at the end :)
December 9, 2015
Although I enjoyed the cinematography and the psychedelic/progressive rock soundtrack featuring the likes of Pink Floyd, I disliked the rest of this movie. I found the characters uninteresting, the story boring (even the student protests story which I struggled to care about) and the dialogue terrible. I can't believe we're supposed to care for Mark and Daria (Our two main characters who meet each other nearly an hour into the picture) who are apparently "in love" with each other despite literally knowing each other for five minutes. It felt so unbelievable and forced. We get to watch them prance around rocks, talk about nothing and have a massive orgy with a number of extras all of which is boring as hell. I could not wait to get to the end of this movie and was so relieved when I did. It is a shame because I wanted to like it as I've heard the director Michelangelo Antonioni is a talented director. I may however check out some of his movies in the future and give him a second chance.
½ November 15, 2015
Zabriskie Point is one of the emptiest, most indulgent movies I've ever seen. It has no insight into America or its youth or the political climate of the 70s, as suggested by its hollows characters, unrealistic dialogue, and an Italian director who seems to be in foreign territory.
October 29, 2015
A wonderful tribute to the spirit of the sixties. The anger, the confusion, and the rebellion. It's an attack on American consumerism and a celebration of hippie values. Zabriskie Point turns into a refuge for young people to escape what they knew as an oppressive American society. Instead of revolting against "the man", they decide to escape and make love. But when it all goes south, the film ends with a massive explosion of a cheap resort on the edge of the valley, that flings consumer goods flying toward the camera, with the roaring sounds of Pink Floyd playing the background. It's an epic finish. Sums up perfectly the anger of the times.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2015
Incredibly dull and pointless. VERY much a product of its time.
½ February 22, 2015
Pulse of America. Change. Liberal. Revolt. Relevation of the senses. A perfect example of American inner enemy; solution? Kill it.
December 10, 2014
I took this film as Antonioni flipping off America, which I'm fine with.

Yes, the film is beautiful to look at, great cinematography. The acting is bad, but I think that is on purpose. I don't think Antonioni wanted good actors to give a real feel, I think he wanted bad actors to display the US as a country full of fake people (which it is). And the ending, the blowing up of capitalism is great, and the orgy in the desert, I feel was commenting that the idea of free love is a waste of activity, it wasn't fertile, nothing could grow from it.

The film is not bad at all, the "bad" parts are just as much commentary on the subject as any of the good parts.

The film is more art than a straight film and more an op-ed than a narrative.

In an interview with Roger Ebert, Antonioni mentioned the 68 protests, and while he highlights a similar thing, his protagonist is only looking for the action of a protest, not the point behind it. Like Mark says later, he wants the risk, he's like an adrenaline junkie. He was a rich kid that got bored (that is hinted at in the long ride to the school when he runs the red light in Beverly Hills), he's not interested in change, he's just a dumb kid.

I've read various pieces and opinions on the film and when people say the film is vapid, they aren't right, but neither are they wrong, the main characters are vapid, he more so than she, and that is what Antonioni was going for.

In the end, I think that those feeling the film was a waste of time, kinda got the point, because I think that Antonioni found the US to be a waste of time. I saw an intelligent filmmaker making decisions based on what he thought of America, not a filmmaker out to create the greatest film ever.
November 27, 2014
even that explosive ending (see what I did there? hint hint nudge nudge) couldn't save this dreary, listless film about hippies starting the revolution. Antonioni simply is not the director for me.
½ June 18, 2014
Even though it was a big flop and the critics didn't like it, at the time, this movie is pretty sweet.
April 16, 2014
Zabriskie Point is an extremely beautiful mess of a film. Meant to encapsulate Michelangelo Antonioni's transition into subversive English-language critiques of youth culture as evidenced by "Blow-Up" (still a very, very odd film for odd people), this film didn't exactly do good. It's what some people would consider a total mess - the acting is student-actor-level, the dialogue is a little too pretentious even for a fan of pretension like me, and Antonioni suffers in the same way R. Crumb does in that they cannot see the beauty of overindustrialized suburbia - but at the same time, it did give people an excellent soundtrack by Pink Floyd, John Fahey, Jerry Garcia, and so on.

A lot of what makes Zabriskie Point a mess is its lack of direction. It's very much evidenced at the beginning - Antonioni aims for a more mockumentary feel with the relaxed Godard-esque capture of the youth meeting - and at the middle when the two protagonists rendezvous. Which is it, man? Quasi-documentary or psychedelic romance? The answer is, "Neither." It's first and foremost a road movie. Even in the beginning, it has a very alienating sense of aimlessness that films like Easy Rider manage to communicate. The aim of the trip that the audience is on is that there is no aim - you are on for however long the ride needs to be. You are hooked by the beautiful chaos around you - the deaths, the counterculture straight out of a fictional interpretation of Medium Cool - and you ride along as Antonioni points at specific places in America and says, "Hey, guys! There's something a bit wrong with this!"

I want films to be this bold. However, films cannot be this bold since you're gonna get people who screw up big time like Antonioni. But this isn't an "A for effort/A for ariginality" type of deal - this is the work of a master who knows what he's doing and deliberately does so in order to make a wider point. The stilted philosophy and acting? Guess what was the norm in 1960s America! The plastic culture and ridiculous standards of living? Guess what was the norm in regular culture in 1969! The youth movements that seem extremely splintered and focus entirely on violence as a means to solve every feasible problem? Sounds just like the mindset of a teenager after the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Antonioni isn't trying to glamorize America or the youth here - he's screaming at us in a way similar to Blow-Up, "Hey, guys! You need serious help! You can't go on being like this forever!"

And how do I know this? How am I sure that I have finally interpreted Zabriskie Point in the right way? Because it is eerily similar to 2013-14. People using stand-your-ground to justify acts of violence and immunity from criminal charges. Youth being discriminated over assumptions and yet being so stubborn that they will get themselves killed. Suburbia becoming more and more structured. We are in need of a desert convergence where we all get together in Zabriskie Point and finally get to know one another's bare psyche. All to the music of Jerry Garcia, may I add. But yeah, Zabriskie Point is still a pretty contemporary film - dated in some ways, but very contemporary. Scarily contemporary.
April 1, 2014
Conceived to capture the zeitgeist of 1968's youth riots, Zabriske Point comes off as so pompous and poorly acted no acid can save it. Today the film sits on several so bad it's good lists and is more remembered for the Pink Floyd / Grateful Dead soundtrack and the 20-minute make out scene in the desert. Not for the comically impaired.
February 12, 2014
saw it when it came out and loved it ... but them I was and still am a flower child
½ January 26, 2014
The only point is in the title

This has to be one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen. The plot seemed random at best, with gaping holes and many contrived scenarios. The anti-police/anti-establishment propaganda was laid on so thick and one-sidedly that nobody could really have ended up taking this seriously.

I guess this movie was made simply to exploit the growing number of naive flower-power morons around at the time and other types who would relate to the "heroes" of the story: the plane-stealing idiot and the vacant girl.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2014
[font=Century Gothic]In "Zabriskie Point", Mark(Mark Frachete) is a campus radical involved in a college strike. He and his pals have had enough with meetings and decide armed resistance is the way to go. During one confrontation with the police, a policeman is killed. Mark flees by stealing an airplane and flies towards the desert. Meanwhile, Daria(Daria Halprin) is driving out to Phoenix via a meditation center she hopes to find...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"Zabriskie Point" is a very dated movie about violence in America. The acting is amateurish with the exceptions of Rod Taylor and G.D. Spradlin. Michelangelo Antonioni sure seemed to enjoy photographing billboards. There are a couple of nice sequences, though.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]What is wrong with nonviolent resistance by the way? Granted, I did not like meetings in my college days and I still do not(The subject matter having changed from socialism to capitalism.) but in any kind of movement, you still need some sort of ideology and idea as to what you hope to achieve. [/font]
½ November 16, 2013
I get that the '60s were a different time, but there's little redeeming Antonioni cramming fifteen minutes of story into 110 minutes of desert sex and explosions. Maybe he just needed the extra time to play all the sweet music he collected.
½ September 30, 2013
BUena película. Poética y movediza. El personaje principal sí tiene una ingenuidad y superficialidad difícil de soportar, sin embargo la forma en que la cámar despliega el relato es atrapante e hipnotizante. Recomendable.
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