Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 30
  2. Negative: 15 out of 30
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  1. Despite the movie's dramatic weaknesses, I was spellbound by the images.
  2. 50
    There is a lack of drama and telling detail. When events happen, they seem more like set pieces than part of the flow.
  3. Surprisingly dull and predictable in its characterizations.
  4. Frill-less almost to the point of minimalist, teary without being lachrymose, hers is a performance you'd think was great were the movie in a language you didn't understand.
  5. 60
    Though beautifully acted by Basinger (everyone else is relegated to a supporting role), there's a strange vagueness to much of this sumptuous, stunningly photographed melodrama.
  6. 20
    I Dreamed Of Africa...and all I got was this lousy movie.
  7. Far from a great movie, it nonetheless does its job as a family adventure and saga of a woman's personal growth.
  8. A recitation of woes doesn't constitute a plot, and panoramic shots of migrating wildlife don't convey enough African flavor.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    This film, based on a true story, transcends its handsomeness to present a subtle portrait of a woman's growing consciousness.
  10. There's little room for Kuki to evolve into anything approaching an actual character, and it would take an actress far greater than Basinger, who gives it her all, to make something of the role.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    There is no obvious reason for the film's meandering existence: it's a series of beautifully photographed postcards of Africa.
  12. Advance word of mouth has suggested that Ms. Basinger...turns in a performance comparable to Meryl Streep's in "Out of Africa." Would that it were so. Ms. Basinger certainly works hard at her role.
  13. 30
    Ultimately the movie is alluring and respectful--its sadness may be what saves it from becoming sensationalist or trite.
  14. 20
    Hudson keeps the movie rambling and episodic, deferring to the imposing backdrop whenever possible.
  15. This is a Laura Ashley on Safari meditation on bored rich people searching for fulfillment and a new life among the photogenic wildlife of Kenya. Just wake me when it's over.
  16. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    Visually gratifying but dramatically weak, the film falls short of its aspiration to be a sweeping romantic epic.
  17. 39
    Why waste the price of a movie ticket when you can see wildebeests cavorting for free from the comfort of your own recliner?
  18. Consist of little more than people arguing or clambering in and out of dusty Land Rovers.
  19. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    Doesn't have much plot. It just sort of meanders around like a wildebeest playing Blind Man's Bluff.
  20. Reviewed by: Phoebe Flowers
    A wisp of a movie that dissipates the moment you leave the theater.
  21. 50
    Ends up a nightmare of a star vehicle.
  22. 50
    While Basinger admirably invests her role with deep passion and looks splendid in her Kenya khakis, the true story she stars in is disappointingly tame and dramatically inert.
  23. Like the star's acting, the movie is bland, full of good intentions and generally as stiff as a fireplace poker.
  24. The story is inspirational in a superficial way, but the filmmakers focus so exclusively on their attractive heroine that the picture loses any real connection with Africa.
  25. Here's hoping your own dreams of Africa are more interesting -- and better acted -- than this movie.
  26. Basinger herself doesn't have the vibrancy of a female hero.
  27. 30
    Plods along in the Oscar-winning, yawn-inducing tradition of "Out of Africa," making me yearn for something less "National Geographic."
  28. The story the film tells ruins the movie.
  29. A wobbly Basinger and a feeble screenplay doom I Dreamed of Africa.
  30. 30
    A fabulous movie if you are a woman over 40 who likes to use the word "empowered" a lot.

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