3 Needles

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Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: A novice nun (Sevigny) in South Africa, a black marketeer (Ling) in China and an HIV-positive porn star (Ashmore) in Canada provide three very different perspectives on the struggle against AIDS.


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. 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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Writer-director Thom Fitzgerald's ambitious but hopelessly inchoate AIDS drama is actually three separate, sequentially-told stories.
  7. 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.

See all 12 Critic Reviews