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64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In the next two days, the town of Northfork, Montana will cease to exist. The year is 1955 and Northfork is literally about to be "dammed," flooded to make way for a new hydroelectric project. Its citizens are heading for higher ground. With the exception of a few stoic resistors.In the next two days, the town of Northfork, Montana will cease to exist. The year is 1955 and Northfork is literally about to be "dammed," flooded to make way for a new hydroelectric project. Its citizens are heading for higher ground. With the exception of a few stoic resistors. (Paramount Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31
  1. 100
    A thoroughly original accomplishment of a high artistic order, Northfork features flawless, spare production design by Ichelle Spitzig and the Polish brothers' father, Del, and cinematographer M. David Mullen's striking images slide effortlessly into Dalí-like Surrealism.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    Love it or hate it, Northfork is a cinematic vision (visually and textually) unlike any with which most moviegoers, even arthouse regulars, will be familiar.
  3. Gets under your skin with its graceful edits and poetic elisions, lovely performances, and faded imagery.
  4. Just when the movie seems set to soar, there's a drag factor -- it keeps getting weighed down, if not sunk, by an anchor of ponderousness.
  5. 60
    Just about gets us off the ground on its dreamy, feathery angel wings; it just doesn't have the strength or the stamina to keep us aloft.
  6. 50
    So stuck is the movie inside the heads and hearts of its indisputably gifted makers, it never quite makes the leap into ours.
  7. It has that vintage Polish pace, their signature arch pomposity and rhythmless weirdness, only this time the brothers had to go and make a cosmic allegory of American dreams.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 9 out of 19
  1. JohnY.
    Jul 28, 2003
    8
    Not a masterpiece, but a visually stunning work that has a pace and mood that's all its own. At times, it's quite mesmerizing.
  2. Jun 3, 2013
    7
    Northfork is equally dazzling as it is strange, intriguing as it is bizarre and beautiful as it is sombre, but ultimately doesn't come upNorthfork is equally dazzling as it is strange, intriguing as it is bizarre and beautiful as it is sombre, but ultimately doesn't come up truly masterful due to an out of sorts and often misfiring plot line that is never clear as to its intentions.
    Six men are tasked with removing the last members of a small town in Montana out of their settlement due to a dam being built, which will ultimately see the current town underwater.
    The story is told in various situations as the remaining residents are, for various reasons, reluctant to leave. In the midst of it all is a small boy, who is unwell and too sick to leave town, being looked after by the local priest (Nick Nolte) who has quite interesting prospects indeed.
    As the six men attempt to peacefully remove the remaining residents, the absurdity of it all really comes to light, one man wants real angel wings in return for his peaceful transition, and another nails his own feet to his home porch and shoots at the men trying to talk to him, these men have the promise of 1.5 acres of land in return for 65 successful home evacuations.
    Northfork truly does bring a unique and colourful story to your screen, its characters are both larger than life and mysterious in more ways than can possibly be imagined, the young boy Irwin has the most vivid and strangest of dreams, while the priest who looks after him is both protective and curious as to the boy and his meaning.
    The ideas and philosophical meaning and actions of the characters are at times quite wonderful to watch, clever and unique cinematography combined with a unique style of story have created some memorable and beautiful scenes. But this doesn't mean that the film is without its flaws. While nothing concrete or no clear narrative is properly established, the viewer seems to have to simply tag along blind and be given a heads up along the way that this is happening and that is happening. Many scenes are well written and often humorous, but the weak narrative hold them back from being great.
    With great performances from the likes of Daryl Hannah, James Woods and Robin Sachs, Northfork is quite a unique form of film, but aims too large and doesn't give enough away to be fully appreciated, it wonderful, but not masterful.
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See all 19 User Reviews

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