Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    There is not a false note in Cry, the Beloved Country. Every scene is an example of near-perfect composition and execution.
  2. Not every moment of the film is as potent as the book (which is noted for passages of passion and impassioned eloquence), but Cry, the Beloved Country overcomes its own limitations to become a glorious tribute to the workings of a faith that does not blind but opens up the human spirit.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    James Earl Jones and Richard Harris both gave heartbreaking, virtuoso performances as fathers who find a special bond in this subtle, flawlessly acted, immensely powerful new film version of Alan Paton's classic novel of South Africa. [29 Dec 1995, p. 3]
  4. Because movies have become so invested in the unleashing of violent emotion and the escalation of hostility, that expressions of restraint, reconciliation and forgiveness can easily be read as corny cop-outs. Cry, the Beloved Country is not corny, and it doesn't cop out.
  5. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    Alan Paton's haunting novel is brought rather splendidly to life in this moving production.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Green
    But this telling of the story filmed on location in the now democratic South Africa is especially heart-rending thanks to superb performances by James Earl Jones and Richard Harris. [1 Jan 2000]
  7. Although the film is slow and sometimes ungainly, it takes on surprising power from the dignity of its performances and the moral strength of its ideas.
  8. Fortunately, in image and structure Roodt and Harwood go for a steadfast simplicity that builds to a beautiful moment of rekindled faith for the grieving Rev. Kumalo that lifts Cry, the Beloved Country to a climactic moment of redemption.
  9. Directed by Darrell Roodt from a screenplay by Ron Harwood, this has a strong sense of dignity about its characters, and Jones and Harris are both effective. Whether it deserves to replace the Korda version is another matter.
  10. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    A richly realized piece of Masterpiece Literature, director Darrell James Roodt's Cry, the Beloved Country has an admirable high polish. But more effort could have been made to address its underlying message and provide an emotional punch to equal the book's resonance.
  11. 63
    We go expecting to be inspired and uplifted, and we leave somewhat satisfied in those areas, but with reluctant questions about how well the story has aged, and how relevant it is today.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Billed as the first film to originate from the newly democratic South Africa, this disappointing prestige production is a ploddingly earnest adaptation of Alan Paton's 1948 novel.
  13. There isn't much to hold onto with this movie. If anything, Cry trivializes the plight of the South Africans in its breezy treatment of apartheid.
  14. Reviewed by: Lawrence O’Toole
    Alan Paton's seminal novel of apartheid in 1940s South Africa receives a sanitized and overly sentimental treatment, trivializing the book's relentless power.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. May 30, 2013
    Cry, the Beloved Country misses some details from the book that are huge and does not get the right actors for some of the roles, but itsCry, the Beloved Country misses some details from the book that are huge and does not get the right actors for some of the roles, but its fairly well made and emotional all the same. Its not a ruiner. Full Review »