User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 70
  2. Negative: 20 out of 70
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. [Anonymous]
    Jun 3, 2008
    9
    Some people are too rigid, too mainstream, and too unimaginative. These people are the ones who gave a bad rating to this film. I've never watched a movie in which I actually enjoyed not knowing what the heck was going on, being completely lost in the plethora of non-nonsensical plot lines. The end clarified some things, and caused other things to become even more convoluted, which Some people are too rigid, too mainstream, and too unimaginative. These people are the ones who gave a bad rating to this film. I've never watched a movie in which I actually enjoyed not knowing what the heck was going on, being completely lost in the plethora of non-nonsensical plot lines. The end clarified some things, and caused other things to become even more convoluted, which was great. I loved all the cameos in this movie and the Rock and Stifler were amazing. Expand
  2. JohnF.
    Feb 14, 2008
    10
    Without first reading the prequel graphic novel, Southland Tales will seem like the most random film you have ever seen. If you read the graphic novel first, Southland Tales will still be abstract, but it will also actually be coherent and comprehensible. Was this a mistake on the filmmaker's part? Yes. Is it eccentric? Yes. Is it a great story worth dedicating hours of your life to Without first reading the prequel graphic novel, Southland Tales will seem like the most random film you have ever seen. If you read the graphic novel first, Southland Tales will still be abstract, but it will also actually be coherent and comprehensible. Was this a mistake on the filmmaker's part? Yes. Is it eccentric? Yes. Is it a great story worth dedicating hours of your life to understand? Yes. I do not know any other filmmaker and cast who experimented this much with the film medium since David Lynch. Is it Lynch? No. Is it good? Yes. Is it easy to understand? No. Is the film meaningless? No. Like Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly does not coddle his audience in terms of narrative. Like a dream, you are going to have to piece it together after you finish viewing it. Do yourself a favor and buy the Prequel Graphic Novel and read it before watching the film! Then buy the DVD and let the film wash over you like a bizarre dream. At the end of the entire experience, figure it out. Expand
  3. PnArdyPnArdy
    Mar 6, 2008
    10
    This is a movie from a twisted mind of a pure genius. What an inspiring masterpiece! Most likely you haven't seen anything like this before. It can only compare with such outstanding works as Memento, X-Files, 14th floor. It has the look and feel of The Fifth Element, Aeon Flux, Ultraviolet, and Tank Girl combined and at the same time sends a strong political message with a glimpse This is a movie from a twisted mind of a pure genius. What an inspiring masterpiece! Most likely you haven't seen anything like this before. It can only compare with such outstanding works as Memento, X-Files, 14th floor. It has the look and feel of The Fifth Element, Aeon Flux, Ultraviolet, and Tank Girl combined and at the same time sends a strong political message with a glimpse on the bizarre future apocalyptic word. It may seem a crappy low budget at first but soon you become captivated with its pioneering vision, outstanding script, decent actor performances and FX, brilliant soundtrack from Moby which makes it overall an unforgettable hard-to-compare-with-anything-else experience, the whole movie being only part 4 of the total 6 parts of the epic. Expand
  4. DanielS.
    Nov 18, 2007
    10
    Wow, I just saw this movie and I was blown away. I can see why people that look for simplistic forms of entertainment might not get it. Kelly has a style like no other director and it shows. The musical number is Justing Timberlake is just the icing on the cake. This movie rocks as he the rock does too. I went with intelligent friends and they loved it. All it takes is concentration and Wow, I just saw this movie and I was blown away. I can see why people that look for simplistic forms of entertainment might not get it. Kelly has a style like no other director and it shows. The musical number is Justing Timberlake is just the icing on the cake. This movie rocks as he the rock does too. I went with intelligent friends and they loved it. All it takes is concentration and an understanding that a movie can transcend its limitations. Expand
  5. DathanL.
    Mar 27, 2008
    9
    It's brilliant! As though Warhol and Jelinek had a child with AAD
  6. TimL.
    Mar 9, 2008
    10
    Outstanding. Alternately corny and profound, this movie's talents run the gamut from the weirdness of Terry Gilliam to the surreality of David Lynch to the overwrought sardonic tongue of Paul Verhoeven to the gleeful indulgence of Katherine Bigelow. Easily the most engrossing, entertaining, fearless, and unorthodox films I've seen in the last decade. I'm looking forward to Outstanding. Alternately corny and profound, this movie's talents run the gamut from the weirdness of Terry Gilliam to the surreality of David Lynch to the overwrought sardonic tongue of Paul Verhoeven to the gleeful indulgence of Katherine Bigelow. Easily the most engrossing, entertaining, fearless, and unorthodox films I've seen in the last decade. I'm looking forward to watching this about a dozen times and peeling back the layers. A blockbuster this is not; this movie begs to be chewed on for a while, and from where I sit, it tastes wonderful. Expand
  7. DavidB
    Jun 30, 2009
    9
    I think the problem with this movie has so much to say. I was (for loss of a better word) intoxicated by Richard Kelly's work. Its twisted views and the imaginative storyline made for an overall thrilling experience. The soundtrack was near perfect and the powerful performances by Dwane Johnson, Justin timberlake and Seann william scott completely changed my views of all three, In a I think the problem with this movie has so much to say. I was (for loss of a better word) intoxicated by Richard Kelly's work. Its twisted views and the imaginative storyline made for an overall thrilling experience. The soundtrack was near perfect and the powerful performances by Dwane Johnson, Justin timberlake and Seann william scott completely changed my views of all three, In a wonderful way. The ending was absolutely epic and If you didn't watch the entire film, you definitely missed out. I will admit that some of the actors did not fit there roles but in a way made the movie fun in a whole new way. In conclusion, this is one of the most imaginative and crazy movie experiences ever, and I loved (almost) every second of it! Expand
  8. RohanH.
    Nov 14, 2007
    9
    I saw this in Cannes a year ago. It got slammed. But it totally rocked. Great example of a young filmmaker taking tonnes of risks and like Coppala did with Apocalypse now diving deep into the abyss. Formally inventive, great music and hilarious the mess is awesome.
  9. HugoS.
    Nov 15, 2007
    10
    Very thoughtful a messy inspired look at the future, and VERY original.
  10. TonyJ.
    Mar 18, 2008
    10
    A truckload of taboos brought up in the most creative, twisted and natural light. There is absolutely no other film that will jerk your mind off like this.
  11. AndreasS.
    Mar 21, 2008
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen. A huge rollercoaster of happenings. A real masterpiece.
  12. AndyP.
    Mar 21, 2008
    10
    Unbelieveable good. A masterpiece.
  13. EagleEyeArcher
    Sep 25, 2009
    9
    Southland Tales detractors seem to be stuck on trying to fit films into neat categories. I like anything that challenges our ideas about what a movie should be. Kelly has nothing to apologize for and I'm happy to see Goldwyn and Sony had the balls to finance it. I'm tired of Pirates of the Carribean.
  14. DrewF
    Mar 25, 2010
    9
    Richard Kelly is ballsy. Holy smokes. On paper this looks like the biggest mess of a film that you will ever see. In execution it is a beautiful, wonderful mess.. A true work of pure cinematic genius. This is how the world ends. And nobody rocks it like Richard Kelly.
  15. MollyD.
    Nov 16, 2007
    9
    Southland Tales is great movie and a wild ride. There are lots of laughs, a fantastic musical number, and a beautifully sad moment at the close that forgives us all for the mess we've made of our world. Excellent!
  16. ChristianE.
    Nov 18, 2007
    10
    It is, certainly, a movie that can easely make no sense at all. But if you are willing to think about what you just have seen and if you have REALLY payed attention, you will find many complex theories that actually make sense, but probably won't be the correct one until some more story notes are released. Nevertheless, the mind exercise that it can trigger on you is higlhy enjoyable.
  17. DouglasH.
    Jan 14, 2008
    10
    I can't remember the last time that a film generated such a dramatic rift within the critical community. I guess Kelly must have struck a nerve somewhere. Anyway, if your concept of cinema is circumscribed by the notion that a film must first be good in order to be great, then I'm guessing you'll hate this. On the other hand, if you're willing to concede that sometimes I can't remember the last time that a film generated such a dramatic rift within the critical community. I guess Kelly must have struck a nerve somewhere. Anyway, if your concept of cinema is circumscribed by the notion that a film must first be good in order to be great, then I'm guessing you'll hate this. On the other hand, if you're willing to concede that sometimes a film can be downright awful as measured by all prevailing standards of reason and aesthetics, but (god only knows how) still achieve a measure of greatness in spite of itself, then Southland Tales is probably worth your consideration. Sure. It's self-indulgent to the point of solipsism, but so is the postmodern hyper-capitalist anti-culture it seeks to parody. For my money, it's the most challenging North American film released in 2007. And given the spate of exceptional films American directors turned out last year, that's really saying something. Expand
  18. BartC.
    Jun 21, 2008
    9
    Richard Kelly is good at what he does hands down. He is easily climbing to the top when it comes to young and unique directors. Southland Tales is no exception. It is hard to view this film once and completely understand the choices Kelly made. The whole film is clearly not meant to be taken seriously or to have a plot that needs to be analyzed. Kelly knows what he is doing and is doing Richard Kelly is good at what he does hands down. He is easily climbing to the top when it comes to young and unique directors. Southland Tales is no exception. It is hard to view this film once and completely understand the choices Kelly made. The whole film is clearly not meant to be taken seriously or to have a plot that needs to be analyzed. Kelly knows what he is doing and is doing it for a reason or a higher meaning. Most underrated film of the last decade. Expand
  19. JavierD.
    Nov 16, 2007
    10
    This move was great . Great performances & plot.
  20. JenL.
    Nov 16, 2007
    9
    A great political/sci-fi/comedy/thriller/religious/musical satire of the American military-industrial-infotainment complex. The first time I saw it, I left confused. But the second time, I was blown away.
  21. May 9, 2014
    10
    One of the best movies/soundtracks you will most likely never watch or hear. It's a satire dramedy about modern America and the commercialism/control of its people. Go in with an open mind and you will enjoy the heck out of this film.
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.