Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. The story plays out in the sensuous textures and hypnotic rhythms as the rebellious youth Torres embodies eases into a serenity and acceptance that Montenegro brings so gently to her performance.
  2. Sensual, dreamlike, both intimate and epic, The House of Sand is a cinematic tour de force.
  3. 88
    In House of Sand, shifting sands are not a cliché; they provide the essential emotional and visual elements that make this film memorable.
  4. 83
    Whether Waddington's film comes across as hypnotic or boring, mythic or pretentious, may depend on the viewer's mood or tolerance for quasi-allegorical storytelling. But, as the women in House of Sand learn, patience can sometimes be its own reward.
  5. Montenegro, the star of "Central Station," and her daughter make a remarkable pair. They hold your attention even when the emptily portentous story does not.
  6. 80
    Visually dazzling, epic in its sweep and deeply romantic in its sensibility, The House of Sand is one of those films whose images and ideas linger long after the lights come on, having been burned into the viewer's consciousness.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Ferraro
    Full of looming symbolism, House of Sand is a brilliant tale following a family that brings a group of settlers into the middle of the desert to start a new life.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Magnificently renders a fresh view of life on planet Earth.
  9. At first House of Sand may seem like a stark tale of survival, but a surprisingly lush and colorful romance blossoms in its bleak and gorgeous desert setting.
  10. As original as it is lovely.
  11. This epic tale of survival, love and adjustment covers a 59-year period - from 1910, when a band of urban émigrés arrives to start a settlement, to 1969, when only one of them remains.
  12. 75
    Ricardo Della Rosa's sumptuous, wide-screen cinematography takes full advantage of the sandy vista, complementing beautiful acting by Montenegro and Torres.
  13. 75
    It's a grand outdoor spectacle (the only real interiors are within tents, and those are hard to come by) and a perfectly juicy melodrama.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Soarez isn't really saying much with House of Sand, beyond marveling at the quirks of fate brought on by time. But the acting keeps it from floating into the ether.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Andrucha Waddington's admirably pretentious epic of woman in nature makes the rare attempt to impart a purely visual experience
  16. 70
    It's an impressive film, beautifully photographed and marvelously acted. But is it more than a set of undeniably gorgeous affectations?
  17. The House of Sand is a more transparently ambitious, prestigious "woman's picture" than Waddington's previous feature, 2000's "Me You Them."
  18. 67
    House Of Sand is a gorgeous piece of cinema, but by the end, it just dries up and blows away.
  19. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    After a positively thrilling first half, Brazilian director Andrucha Waddington's follow-up to his acclaimed 2000 debut "Me You Them" badly stumbles over an unfortunate casting strategy.
  20. Whatever The House of Sand may lack in curb appeal, that view from the roof will have you gasping in wonderment.
  21. The House of Sand's director, Andrucha Waddington, lays on the Awesome Visual Poetry and throws in a welter of story gimmicks, but it's all a bit too fancifully arid.
  22. Most viewers will have no more fun watching this story than the characters do living it.
  23. This pretentious 2005 art movie is somewhat interesting for its wide-screen photography of the striking locale, but the storytelling is awkward and confusing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. TaniaK.
    Jan 11, 2007
    This movie is brilliant, but I think you have to be in a particular frame of mind to see that it's more than beautiful cinematography, This movie is brilliant, but I think you have to be in a particular frame of mind to see that it's more than beautiful cinematography, more than the brilliant performances, and more than the understated emotions flowing throught the movie. To me, it's about finding out that no matter where you go to start over, whether it's a physical place or a mental place, your contentment and peace of heart is inside of you and not determined by external forces. Full Review »
  2. JohnA.
    Oct 17, 2006
    Excellent cinematography and acting. A moving story.
  3. AntonioJ.
    Oct 17, 2006
    One of the best Brazilian movies ever!