Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. Brokedown Palace does have some plot implausibilities but Kaplan, manages to turn some hashed story lines into something substantial and emotionally affecting.
  2. 75
    The heart of the film is in the performances of Danes and Beckinsale after they're sent to prison.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    It's close to a no-win situation dramatically, culturally and politically, and Kaplan deals with it plausibly enough by concentrating on the performances and the interior conflicts they reveal.
  4. Brokedown Palace is good enough so that you wish it were better.
  5. Reviewed by: Laura Shin
    The plotting could use some finessing, but fine acting makes this film worthwhile.
  6. It's strangely enjoyable to see her(Danes) and Beckinsale busted on a bogus heroin-smuggling rap and thrown in the slammer with bad 'dos and no makeup.
  7. This is not a fantastic movie. But there's more to it than just an MTV-slickified "Midnight Express" starring two young, photogenic stars.
  8. 50
    The penalties for drug trafficking in Thailand are very, very stiff. If there were any justice in the world, the penalties for saddling fine actors with terrible dialogue would be even stiffer.
  9. Its finest moments come in sequences such as Alice and Darlene's prison break and the girls' final wrenching plea for freedom.
  10. 50
    We're stuck with contrived plot contortions, dull interpersonal interaction, and unconvincing dialogue.
  11. The specifics of their predicament are well handled -- being thrown in a Third World prison may be every tourist's nightmare -- even if the movie eventually goes soft and squishy.
  12. This is the kind of picture that is faux subtle when it should be bold, and really ham-handed when it should be delicate.
  13. Overall it's a colorful, diverting cautionary tale.
  14. The movie, directed by veteran Jonathan Kaplan, has enough in common with such American-in-foreign-jail movies as "Midnight Express" and the recent "Return to Paradise" to make you wonder why it ever got made.
  15. Just another lurid, contrived, xenophobic tale about Americans trapped in hideous foreign prisons.
  16. Director Jonathan Kaplan clearly has a feel for the material, but he's at the mercy of a pedestrian script by David Arata and producer Adam Fields.
  17. 30
    Part cautionary tale, part moral-uplift saga, Brokedown Palace is as dull as it's absurd.
  18. 30
    The once-reliable Danes is a particular detriment, but it's really hard to care whether either character escapes from what looks like a really unappealing summer camp.
  19. 30
    An exploitation flick, but without the thrills or cleavage.
  20. 20
    Kaplan's lustily awful film is to be avoided if at all possible, and if not, well, don't say I didn't warn you.
  21. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    The best thing about a movie like this is I never have to see it again.

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