Beyond Borders


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 31
  2. Negative: 14 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. Its heart is in the right place, and it doesn't flinch an iota from its duty of rubbing our faces in the horror of the Third World over the past two decades.
  2. 63
    Makes an earnest stab at illustrating the hardships and sacrifices humanitarian workers contend with - but in the end, all the suffering merely forms an amorphous backdrop for a Harlequin romance.
  3. 50
    As kitsch, however, it's pretty enjoyable. Jolie and Owen perform with such conviction, and the film -- blissfully unaware of its own badness -- takes its paperback-romance shenanigans with such goofy gravity, that it's easy to get caught up in the whole, soap-opera thrust of the thing.
  4. Jolie, in this movie at least, has exactly two expressions: blank wistfulness and blank dismay. She reduces the tides of history to one more raided tomb.
  5. 50
    By throwing so much weight to the love story and increasingly contrived setups, the movie does what you secretly, guiltily hope it will do: It lets you off the hook.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Angelina Jolie slums her way through Beyond Borders, a film that telegraphs its plot and then drags ploddingly, its humane spirit obscured by an inane script and Jolie's implausible character.
  7. A superior soap opera, evocative at times of Warren Beatty's "Reds."
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Warren
    When it's all over and it's apparent that entire sections of the film are irrelevant and the paper-thin love story leaves you unsatisfied, hold your tongue, and try to remember that this film is v-e-r-y important.
  9. 50
    When the suffering of real children is used to enhance the image of movie stars who fall in love against the backdrop of their suffering, a certain decency is lacking. Beyond Borders wants it both ways -- glamor up front, and human misery in the background to lend it poignancy.
  10. My advice: Skip Beyond Borders and write a check to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.
  11. The mould for all these stories of hot lust and burning cities, creamy-skinned rich girls and their bitter lovers is that grand and grotesque cinema monument, was "Gone With the Wind." You can't go there again and you shouldn't want to.
  12. 50
    The film's heart is undoubtedly in the right place, but so what? Fine ideals don't mean much when they're couched in an inert, pointless storyline.
  13. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    There is evidence that at some point this project (which was initiated by Oliver Stone) might have been serious, but Campbell has produced little more than a churning, vivid backdrop for romance. [10 November 2003, p. 129]
  14. Even assuming the best possible motives by its makers, Beyond Borders runs the risk of making human suffering exotic while glamorizing white disaster relief workers in the Third World.
  15. It's not a bad film, exactly, just a confused one, too violent to be a straight romance and too focused on aid relief to be an ass-kicking action flick.
  16. 40
    Has a TV Movie of the Week righteousness about it -- you can feel the way the filmmakers and the director are struggling to educate us, even as they must surely know, deep in their hearts, that the florid, doomed romance is the real focus of the movie.
  17. 40
    A cheesy romance tricked up in cheap sanctimony.
  18. Of this much I'm sure: It's an awful movie.
  19. 38
    Beyond Borders keeps angling for a peace prize; it might have won more hearts and minds if it came together as a movie.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Star-driven, high-minded claptrap that, fatally, can't even rig a rooting interest in its central love story.
  21. The hard truth is that the line between being deadly earnest and unintentionally silly is thinner than these people think, and Beyond Borders turns out to be an unreal film about a real situation, unavoidably cartoonish, as was the earlier "Tears of the Sun," in its attempt to join crucial issues to ridiculous melodrama.
  22. 30
    It all becomes little more than feel-good-about-feeling-bad window dressing, like an issue of "Utne Reader" in Dolby Surround Sound.
  23. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Worse than junk, in fact. Beyond Borders so trivializes the plight of the world's displaced peoples that it becomes actively obnoxious.
  24. 25
    This is a disastrously clumsy, heavy-handed movie, one so desperate and exploitative that it resorts to putting a live grenade in the hands of a baby in order to get its message across.
  25. A film with its heart in the right place. Unfortunately, its head is stuck so far in the clouds that it dissolves into preachy do- gooder mush.
  26. 25
    Such a staggering, start-to-finish disaster that you don't know how to begin detailing its outrages and failings.
  27. 20
    All hope is lost for those trapped in theaters with this picture.
  28. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    A sudsless soap opera with human misery as a backdrop for romantic banality.
  29. The premise of the movie deserves better.
  30. 20
    I came out of Beyond Borders with the gnawing feeling I'd just been subjected to some sort of ghastly prank, Punk’d by the director of "GoldenEye" with Lara Croft as his willing confederate.
  31. 20
    Send a check to UNICEF and go see "Lost In Translation," "Mystic River," or "Kill Bill" instead.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 8 out of 12
  1. Dec 19, 2012
    Honestly i think that Jolie it's a great model I've tried very hard to see her as an actress but her performances are just BAD I could thinkHonestly i think that Jolie it's a great model I've tried very hard to see her as an actress but her performances are just BAD I could think of a dozen better actress for this roll, it is a good attempt to represent the overseas world and way of life but the story surrounding Jolie's character it's very unnecessary. Full Review »
  2. Apr 20, 2013
    The romance in the movie is so cliché and banal, it almost hurts. The actors (who otherwise can act) are very wooden and lifeless. The movieThe romance in the movie is so cliché and banal, it almost hurts. The actors (who otherwise can act) are very wooden and lifeless. The movie simplifies every theme it want the viewer to be concerned about. Not recommended. Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Oct 8, 2005
    Shows what goes on in the darker parts of the world, but did they have to throw in that LOUSY romance?!!