Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    After reminding us that the AIDS crisis in the West is far from over in "The Event," Fitzgerald widened his scope with this much-needed perspective on the global dimensions the disease has achieved. Despite the importance and seriousness of the subject, there's plenty of Fitzgerald's brand of sly humor on hand, particularly in the scenes involving the Quebecoise porn industry.
  2. Though not as coherent as it might be, 3 Needles, with its stunning cinematography by Thomas M. Harting, is never less than engaging and suggests powerfully the myriad reasons why AIDS, after a quarter of a century, remains so difficult to control and combat.
  3. Had it taken a more hard-headed approach, 3 Needles, might have been to the AIDS epidemic what "Traffic" was to the drug trade.
  4. 63
    If good intentions were all it took to create a decent movie, Thom Fitzgerald's 3 Needles would be some kind of masterpiece.
  5. When 3 Needles premiered at Toronto last year, the stories were overlapping, in the style of "Babel" but without a unifying theme. It's less cumbersome as three separate stories, but they do not add up to much.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    50
    In terms of simple provocation, nothing in this melodramatic mosaic of global suffering comes close to matching director Thom Fitzgerald's press kit prediction that "the AIDS pandemic will be seen in retrospect as much more significant than the ongoing jihad." A film about THAT could be compelling; this one is merely content to suggest, cleverly and often, that it recognizes far more than we ever could the pain and cruelty of disease.
  7. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    3 Needles is a great discussion tool for World AIDS Awareness Day that never achieves coherent shape as a three-paneled drama.
  8. This sprawling and ambitious three-part Canadian film traces the spread of AIDS on three continents, but it gets off to a confusing start… By the time the movie returned to Africa, it had lost me despite its talented cast and its noble intentions.
  9. Writer-director Thom Fitzgerald's ambitious but hopelessly inchoate AIDS drama is actually three separate, sequentially-told stories.
  10. 33
    Give Fitzgerald credit for ambition and good intentions, but for all its truth-to-power saber-rattling, 3 Needles is distressingly dim.
  11. 30
    It sometimes produces moments of unexpected power. It also produces a bizarre and fatally uneven movie, veering from black comedy to utter stupidity to maudlin religiosity, which seems to have been made in total defiance of both narrative conventions and emotional logic.
  12. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    25
    If nothing else, Fitzgerald has demonstrated how huge a challenge the AIDS epidemic is on a worldwide scale, and how it will take a concerted, intelligent effort to solve it. It'll take a lot more than throwing money around.

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