Out of the Blue Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: On November 13th, 1990, in the small New Zealand seaside town of Aramoana, local man David Gray took a high-powered automatic weapon and shot dead 13 people. It remains the worst mass murder in New Zealand's history. As emergency services scrambled to reach Aramoana, a handful of young and poorly armed local policemen risked their lives trying to find the gunman. Terrified and confused residents were trapped in their homes for 24 hours, not knowing where David Gray was--or if they would become his next victim. There were great feats of bravery on that terrible day from ordinary people in the most extraordinary of situations. (New Zealand Film Commission) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    With his carefully controlled pacing and superb use of sound, Sarkies draws the viewer deep into the experience of a town caught completely off-guard by a kind of violence they could never have expected, and won't soon forget.
  2. 75
    A taut thriller based on the tragedy, which remains the most lethal mass killing in New Zealand history.
  3. As sensitive to its subject as it is stark in its rendering.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    Chilling, often moving docudrama focuses not so much on the mayhem or murderer, but on the bewildered, occasionally courageous reactions of ordinary citizens caught in the inexplicable violence.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    70
    The director confronts horror without wallowing in it, a strategy befitting a film that’s not about how people die, but how they live.
  6. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    50
    There's some nifty soft-focus cinematography and fine performances, but otherwise, not much to resonate on this side of the pond.
  7. Ultimately, the film, for all its evident verisimilitude, never really demonstrates a compelling reason for being.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. May 11, 2012
    8
    On 13 November 1990, in the small seaside town of Aramoana, New Zealand, a local man, David Gra,y took a high-powered automatic weapon and shot dead 13 people. As emergency services scrambled to reach the town, a handful of under-armed local policemen risked their lives trying to find the gunman.
    Terrified and confused residents were trapped in their homes for 24 hours, not knowing where David Gray was, or if they would become his next victim. I truly felt uneasy watching this. The expression of pain and fear is felt throughout, by a great acting ensemble. Recommended, but not for children.
    Expand
  2. JamesPenwell
    Oct 19, 2007
    8
    Whilst mass-shootings may be common in the USA, in New Zealand they are so rare that the events depicted with brutal realism in Out of the Blue were so shocking that even 17 years on the country still feels the pain of that day. This is not a blockbuster, it is not entertainment. Director Sarkies' Out of the Blue most closely resembles Paul Greengrass's United 93, being a faithful rendition of the facts of the event as far as they are known. What starts of as a normal day in a virtually unknown (even in NZ) settlement suddenly erupts into confusion and then terror as a gunman lets loose on his neighbours. Sarkies intelligently chooses to focus not on the killer who remains largely hidden, but on those villagers caught in his murderous rampage, highlighting individual acts of heroism as well as the tragedy of those including children simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is never voyeuristic but is intensely painful to watch at times. Out of the Blue is likely to have limited appeal in the US where the Aramoana massacre of 1990 will be unknown to most, but as a study of such events it is peerless. Its images will stay with the viewer for long afterwards, as will its depiction of the courage of ordinary people. Expand
  3. JayH.
    Mar 29, 2008
    7
    Solid story, very well directed and acted. It's always interesting and it's simplicity is an asset. Great pace, fine character development. Wonderfully done. Expand