Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The story of two women attempting to reconcile with their families and the changing landscape of their small Florida town due to country club resort developers.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Creates a cinematic mosaic of American lives unprecedented in its range, balance, subtlety and even-handedness.
  2. Visually, even compared to Sayles' own best work, it's somewhat prosaic - and dramatically, it suffers from the fact that its two main characters are kept so far apart. But the screenwriting and the cast redeem this film.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Part of the joy of watching a John Sayles film is to see how he knits together so many people and stories into a densely layered, always absorbing whole.
  4. 70
    Unlike in similar past efforts, Sayles never finds a way to bring it all together. Individual moments of considerable impact alternate with stretches that go nowhere.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sayles is clearly aiming to construct a multilevel character study and sociological portrait, but too often the film lapses into a lecture.
  6. Reviewed by: J. R. Jones
    When Sayles has a compelling story line he's one of America's finest (Matewan, Lone Star), but when he doesn't he can be dull and unfocused. Filling out the latter category is this ensemble drama about piracy, both personal and economic, on an island off the coast of northern Florida.
  7. 40
    Sodden and glum, even in those moments where it's supposed to feel funny and light. It makes you feel trapped and flailing as the minutes tick by. If it encapsulates anything, it's the experience of drowning, not waving.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. FrankO.
    Jan 15, 2006
    Anoterh John Sayles masterpiece. This was the 2nd time I watched this movie and enjoyed this again. It is a great character study of a local community facing over development by greedy developers...great ensemble cast. Expand
  2. PatC.
    Apr 16, 2007
    This is a movie of dialogue between characters of unrelenting attitude. All the literary devices are here, heavy on the soliloquoys and forced platitudes. It's more of an expose than a story with a plot. What emerges is an implicit rebuke of all those who labor to fill our minds with an endless stream of B.S. In the end, while not being satisfying, it is still interesting and definitely has its moments. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews