• Studio: Libero
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Sweet Land is a movie of extraordinary tenderness, in which Reaser and Guinee, using a language of looks, make you happy to think about what love once might have been.
  2. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Intelligently written, brilliantly cast and thesped story of a German mail order bride in a Norwegian-American community in Minnesota just after WWI never hits a wrong note.
  3. Demonstrating a mastery of the medium that belies his status as a first-time feature filmmaker, writer-director Ali Selim has crafted in Sweet Land a tale of pure Americana that speaks both to the immigrant experience and the nature of love.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Directing with a light comic touch and a palpable affection for the characters, Selim draws pitch-perfect acting from a large cast and achieves breathtaking levels of color and clarity from old-fashioned 35mm.
  5. 88
    This year's actress to watch is Elizabeth Reaser, who delivers a tour de force as a determined German mail-order bride who comes to 1920 Minnesota in Ali Selim's captivating indie Sweet Land.
  6. Top honors go to Guinee, who steadily builds his character from tiny details, and Reaser, who's understood through eyes and attitude while speaking a hodgepodge of German, Norwegian and English.
  7. First-time director Ali Selim does an exceptional job throughout, his movie has the balance, uncluttered leanness and emotional impact of a Willa Cather short story, and it's no surprise that it has been nominated for Best First Feature in the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards.
  8. 80
    It's winsome, sentimental and lovely in a minor-key way.
  9. A type of American independent we don't see often enough.
  10. The film's most memorable performance is in another supporting role, by Alan Cumming as hapless Frandsen, Olaf's sympathetic neighbor and a hopelessly inept farmer.
  11. An unusual look at love and how it can unexpectedly develop. Those for whom the concept of an arranged marriage is foreign will get a little history lesson on the immigrant experience watching this sweetly engrossing film.
  12. 75
    A lovely , old-fashioned farm romance quietly doubling as a comment on immigration and American identity.
  13. 75
    Sweet Land brushes against the true spirit of American independent cinema.
  14. The film’s guileless, heartfelt style veers perilously close to corniness at times, but the superb cast dares you to mock.
  15. 70
    Ali Selim, a highly successful director of commercials in Minneapolis, makes his feature directing debut with this simple and beautifully paced drama, letting the characters breathe and the land speak.
  16. 67
    Once you get past the movie's needlessly fragmented framing device and its protracted introduction to a xenophobic rural Minnesota town, the core story gains some traction in your mind.
  17. Selim's script doesn't hit new territory, but beautiful cinematography takes it just far enough.
  18. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Mark Orton's overused fiddly score is nice enough, but can't disguise the essential emptiness of overlong scenes.
  19. Sweet Land is as empty and beautiful as the picturesque Minnesota terrain it's so clearly taken with.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. MM.
    Mar 11, 2007
    Nicely shot and acted, sure, but boring. The boring story that i thought we all have heard about a thousand times, crept along like a slug in the garden. We all knew exactly what was going to happen, and then nothing unique arose in teh journey. I wanted to like it as it is about my ancestors essentially, and wanted to care about her struggles, but she seemed empty and without personality. Full Review »
  2. Anne
    Jan 6, 2007
    I loved this movie. My husband is Scandinavian, so right off the bat Olaf got to me. The Lutheran references were hilarious and the underlying theme of community and love was sweet. Full Review »
  3. Bluezboy8
    Dec 26, 2006
    This work would best represent the true definition of American Pie. It recalls the European wave of immigration of the early 20th century, and would seem to hold a mirror to the present day. The story of the arranged union of Inga and Olaf moves at a pace that would probably be accurate for the times, and the preacher's discovery of the two dancing "during the daylight" was a realistic, and amusing symbol of cultural intolerance. The story moves in a somewhat predictable direction, but the cinematography and score fend off the notions of melodrama, and the messages of community, friendship, and commitment displayed in Sweet Land are purposely meant to be shared and absorbed by future generations. Full Review »