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  • Summary: This gorgeous, sweeping historical epic tells the story of the final days of Hawaiian independence and how one young princess stood up to the impending takeover of her nation. (Roadside Attractions)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    80
    A stirring romantic drama centering on the last royal heir to the native line of traditional monarchs.
  2. 60
    Designed to be both essential history lesson and costume weeper, Princess Kaiulani comes up short on both fronts: Deadly earnest intentions and lack of dramatic gumption ensure that the story of Hawaii’s favored daughter remains under-told.
  3. 50
    This historical drama is lovely to look at, with elegant Victorian fashions and verdant tropical scenery, but its story plays like a Hawaiian heritage lesson filtered through the melodramatic artifice of an old Hollywood costume drama.
  4. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    50
    As Kaiulani's story, it falls flat, having collapsed under the weight of the genre's mushier conventions. There are too many swooping violins, too many trite generalizations, too few moments that throw a light on history and turn it into art.
  5. As the doomed princess, Q’orianka Kilcher, who costarred as Pocahontas in Terence Malick’s “The New World,” has imperially striking features but limited acting skills. If her performances should ever rise to the level of her looks, she’ll be great.
  6. Kilcher makes the slog worthwhile--her face gleams with possibility, even in the character’s darkest moments--though one prays she escapes the typecasting trap ASAP.
  7. 25
    The landscapes are exotic and Kilcher is erotic, but the film plays like a generic made-for-TV biopic.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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