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58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Adapted from a novel by John Fante, Robert Towne's Ask the Dust stars Colin Farrell as Arturo Bandini, a young writer who comes to Los Angeles during the Great Depression to write a novel.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. 91
    Ask the Dust is more than an amorous period piece. It's a strongly bitter, strongly sweet poem in prose and motion.
  2. Its portrait of an artist hungry for experience is as timely today as when it was written.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    Occasionally overrated as a writer but consistently underrated as a director, Towne does a marvelous job resurrecting all the seedy jumble of the long-gone Bunker Hill neighborhood.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    60
    Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.
  5. 58
    Miscast, constricted, loose in tone and meandering in intent, it has far fewer moments of inspiration than unintended laughter.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    50
    Watching it is like being in a restaurant where the waiter brings out a luscious platter of food, then keeps walking right past you. All night long.
  7. The film is a particular disappointment considering its pedigree.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. EmaT.
    Mar 11, 2006
    10
    Great film, so faithful to the book, Salma Hayek steals the movie, already a strong contender for next year's oscars. Her best performance yet.
  2. CarlinhosB.
    Mar 7, 2006
    10
    It's great. Salma Hayek gives the best performance of her entire career, better than FRDIA!
  3. MiguelV.
    Apr 7, 2008
    8
    It was the film that led me to reading the book
  4. KenG.
    Apr 3, 2006
    5
    The irony here is that Towne is well know as a highly talented scriptwriter, yet the biggest problem with this movie is that much of it was The irony here is that Towne is well know as a highly talented scriptwriter, yet the biggest problem with this movie is that much of it was terribly written. Basically, every single scene between Farrell and Hayek, for the first 2/3rds of movie should have been thrown out and rewritten. It does improve over last 3rd when Farrell and Hayek come across in their scenes together as real people, instead of just mouthpieces for the writer's idea of hardboiled dialogue. But by this time it is too little, too late. Because movie squanders so much in movie's first 2/3rd's, it also never really explores what is was like to have an interracial romance in 1930's L.A. (Which, I gather, it wanted to to). Medina is very good, though. Expand
  5. FredD.
    Nov 17, 2007
    4
    Hard to watch. stilted and lifeless. too much dialog simply states and restates the obvious. looked good though. the actors are at the mercy Hard to watch. stilted and lifeless. too much dialog simply states and restates the obvious. looked good though. the actors are at the mercy of this anachronistic stuff. Ugh. Expand
  6. GeorgeR.
    Mar 11, 2006
    2
    Narrowing the grand -- though no less lonely -- scope of the book, to the hero
  7. SimoneD.
    Mar 11, 2006
    0
    Really underwhelming. Hayek always seemed like she was acting. Never believed she was this poor mexican woman. Perfect make up, hair, even Really underwhelming. Hayek always seemed like she was acting. Never believed she was this poor mexican woman. Perfect make up, hair, even her waitress uniform was spottless. Colin was fine, but that's it. Book is way to literary to have been adapted. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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