User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 71
  2. Negative: 20 out of 71
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  1. Aug 23, 2010
    6
    Not nearly as disastrous as the critics say, I can't really call it great or even that good, but I can call it imaginative, interesting and very ambitious. OK it fails in many of it's goals, one joke about the future being more futuristic I particularly despised, but at least it was new, fun and somewhat entertaining. It was incoherent and messy, and the plot wasn't as well done as sayNot nearly as disastrous as the critics say, I can't really call it great or even that good, but I can call it imaginative, interesting and very ambitious. OK it fails in many of it's goals, one joke about the future being more futuristic I particularly despised, but at least it was new, fun and somewhat entertaining. It was incoherent and messy, and the plot wasn't as well done as say Pulp Fiction but I still appreciated it for what it's tried to be. Expand
  2. MarcusM
    Apr 16, 2009
    5
    As a friend of mine said after viewing this film, "Well, I liked Donny Darko." I think the vast majority of us who saw this were thinking the same thing. For the first half hour, I was in love with the movie. It was perfect. Once the people with purple/grey hair and straight men with eyeshadow came into the picture, I started to hate it. Don't listen to the poeple who say that all As a friend of mine said after viewing this film, "Well, I liked Donny Darko." I think the vast majority of us who saw this were thinking the same thing. For the first half hour, I was in love with the movie. It was perfect. Once the people with purple/grey hair and straight men with eyeshadow came into the picture, I started to hate it. Don't listen to the poeple who say that all intelligent people will like this, because, quite frankly, this isn't a very intelligent film. The Rock does not rock at acting and the supporting cast had laughable moments at times as well. All in all, if this film was about an hour shorter, it would have had a much better chance at being good. That being said, with a cast of high-school-quality actors, this film can never be as great as it aspires to be. Expand
  3. SethC.
    Feb 2, 2008
    5
    I'm giving it a five not because I thought it was mediocre (it was anything but), but because I seriously can't tell if it's the most brilliant incoherent mess of the century (i.e., the last 8 years for the mathematically challenged hyperbole haters), or if it was just an incoherent mess. You can't say it lacks ambition, though, no matter what your ultimate opinion of I'm giving it a five not because I thought it was mediocre (it was anything but), but because I seriously can't tell if it's the most brilliant incoherent mess of the century (i.e., the last 8 years for the mathematically challenged hyperbole haters), or if it was just an incoherent mess. You can't say it lacks ambition, though, no matter what your ultimate opinion of the movie is, and unlike Arnofsky's similarly ambitious but ultimately ridiculous "The Fountain," "Southland Tales" is at the very least a film that has a brain (though some sections of the brain may be cut off from one another). And for all those philosophy/postmodernist geeks out there, if you ever wanted to see a film that is totally grounded in the theories of Jean Baudrillard, your dream has just come true. Expand
  4. JayH.
    Mar 6, 2008
    5
    A muddled movie, that meanders on aimlessly, noit too sure what kind of movie it wants to be. It's entertaining in spurts as well as bewildering. With it's completely unnecessary 144 minute length, it can be tough to sit through. Dwayne Johnson was surprisingly good.
  5. DaveR.
    Dec 3, 2007
    4
    I'm a huge Darko fan, which is why I wanted to see this film. So I was favorably inclined, and I'm sorry to report that it didn't work for me. I appreciate that Kelly explored some deeper questions about religion and civil liberties and security without pounding the same slogans and hot-buttons that too often pass for intelligent debate. I salute his effort, but it just I'm a huge Darko fan, which is why I wanted to see this film. So I was favorably inclined, and I'm sorry to report that it didn't work for me. I appreciate that Kelly explored some deeper questions about religion and civil liberties and security without pounding the same slogans and hot-buttons that too often pass for intelligent debate. I salute his effort, but it just didn't hook me. The characters are flat and the plot is muddled and convoluted. I couldn't keep pace with what was going on, and I wasn't much interested in who lived or died. In other words, the experience was so detached that I couldn't relate. I saw it but I didn't feel it. Contrast this against, say, "Sin City" or "Pulp Fiction", which managed to cover a lot of graphic-novel-type turf (I think this is the sort of atmosphere that Kelly was trying to create), while at the same time drawing me in with charismatic characters and relationships that worked. Expand
  6. NickJ.
    Nov 18, 2007
    5
    From the looks of the performances, which are generally committed and heartfelt, Kelly managed to get every actor on screen to believe in the project. For that he deserves credit. Unfortunately, many viewers will not be the same believers as his actors. The film is not moving, profound, disturbing or endearing. There are some great ideas and some great moments to be sure, but there is not From the looks of the performances, which are generally committed and heartfelt, Kelly managed to get every actor on screen to believe in the project. For that he deserves credit. Unfortunately, many viewers will not be the same believers as his actors. The film is not moving, profound, disturbing or endearing. There are some great ideas and some great moments to be sure, but there is not 15 consecutive minutes that pull you in. One the one hand the film means to be lyrical, a mode that Kelly can probably easily accomplish, but the story is a slave to its plot, which is convulted at best. Consequently the film fails to be either successfully lyrical or narrative and succeeds only as a disjointed vignettes. I enjoyed some of it but walked out feeling dispirited and depressed. Praise to the actors for sticking with it. Expand
Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 26
  2. Negative: 10 out of 26
  1. The English term "shambolic" best describes a slow-paced, bloated and self-indulgent picture that combines science fiction, sophomoric humor and grisly violence soaked in a music-video sensibility.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    30
    Rarely has a picture been so self-consciously designed to be a culturally meaningful touchstone, and fallen so woefully short, as Southland Tales.
  3. Southland Tales has a mood unlike anything I've seen: dread that morphs into kitsch and then back again. It's a film that tried my patience, and one I couldn't shake off.