Southland Tales

Southland Tales Image
Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

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  • Summary: The city stands on the brink of social, economic, and environmental disaster. Southland Tales is an epic story set over the course of three days that culminate in a massive 4th of July celebration. A large ensemble cast of characters includes Boxer Santaros, an action star stricken withThe city stands on the brink of social, economic, and environmental disaster. Southland Tales is an epic story set over the course of three days that culminate in a massive 4th of July celebration. A large ensemble cast of characters includes Boxer Santaros, an action star stricken with amnesia; Krysta Now, an adult-film star developing her own reality-television project; and Roland Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 26
  2. Negative: 10 out of 26
  1. Funny, audacious, messy and feverishly inspired look at America and its discontents.
  2. 70
    In its willful, self-involved eccentricity, Southland Tales is really something else. Kelly's movie may not be entirely coherent, but that's because there's so much it wants to say.
  3. 63
    Richard Kelly's Southland Tales isn't just a movie. It's an apocalyptic piƱata that's been bazooka-ed open.
  4. Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange "Donnie Darko" is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    38
    There's a lot of "stuff" here, and Kelly's biggest problem -- he's got more than a few -- is that he can't tell his good material from his bad.
  6. 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.
  7. 0
    If a more incoherent and self-indulgent movie has been released so far this century, I'm not aware of it.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 48
  2. Negative: 12 out of 48
  1. JavierD.
    Nov 16, 2007
    10
    This move was great . Great performances & plot.
  2. 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 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. Expand
  3. 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 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
  4. AlexR.
    Nov 20, 2007
    8
    It's easily the funniest movie I've seen all year, a send up of Los Angeles movies (they're a genre), action movies, sci-fi It's easily the funniest movie I've seen all year, a send up of Los Angeles movies (they're a genre), action movies, sci-fi movies, porn, and good old fashioned moral conservative hypocrisy (I love the tanks with Hustler logos). It's overwhelming, sure, and I can't explain the plot in a million years, but it had more ideas in it than all the other movies in the multiplex combined. Expand
  5. 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 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
  6. JeremyT
    Dec 20, 2007
    2
    I refused for a long time to listen to the bad press this movie was getting. After almost a year and a half of eating, i finally saw it, and I refused for a long time to listen to the bad press this movie was getting. After almost a year and a half of eating, i finally saw it, and realized that the movie really IS a cinematic turd. Some people went in WANTING to see art, so, like an inkblot test, they saw it. I refuse to let the movie confuse me into submission. It isn't a TOTAL waste, Lou Taylor Pucci and Mandy Moore give decent performances, and Cheri Oteri is good, but almost everything else is just garbage. Note to readers of this: Randomness is NOT a substitute for greatness. Expand
  7. StanU
    Nov 19, 2007
    0
    A mess is what this turned out to be. I'm all for experiments and stylistic/tonal shifts but this was just too much and too much of it. A mess is what this turned out to be. I'm all for experiments and stylistic/tonal shifts but this was just too much and too much of it. Couldn't care less about the characters and the plot itself seemed like a uninteresting exercise in threading the points with no regard for the audience. I'm no hater but it's just not very good. Expand

See all 48 User Reviews

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