The Bang Bang Club Image
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Bang Bang Club is the true story of four young combat photographers—Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Kevin Carter, and Ken Oosterbroek—bonded by friendship and their sense of purpose to tell the truth. In 1994, they risked their lives to tell the world of the brutality and violence associated with the first free elections in post-Apartheid South Africa, and exposed the plight of a nation to the international community through their courage under fire and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism. This intense period of civil war produced their best work but cost a heavy price, as the group's fearless dedication and willingness to push the limits of journalistic ethics brought about both their greatest professional achievements and also their most profound personal tragedies. (Tribeca Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Apr 21, 2011
    70
    Writer-director Steven Silver (with an able assist from cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak) captures this brutal time - which led to the country's first free, multiracial elections in 1994 and the end of apartheid - in vivid, often bold, but never overpowering strokes.
  2. Reviewed by: Albert Williams
    Apr 21, 2011
    70
    Director-writer Steven Silver deftly juxtaposes exciting (and sometimes horrific) battle re-creations with scenes of the photographers' personal lives.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 22, 2011
    60
    Unfortunately, Silver's movie doesn't cut deep enough: It glosses over some thorny questions and hammers too fixedly on others.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 21, 2011
    50
    Writer-director Silver, who trained in documentaries, appears flummoxed by the challenges of getting the audience inside the heads of these young men.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 21, 2011
    50
    This question, which will instinctively occur to many viewers, is never quite dealt with in the film. The photographers sometimes drive into the middle of violent situations, hold up a camera, and say "press!" - as if that will solve everything.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 21, 2011
    50
    Silver means to get across the adrenaline rush of lives lived in dangerous extremes, but winds up trivializing their accomplishments and making them seem like men of hearty appetites, but little intellectual depth.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 22, 2011
    38
    Seldom does The Bang Bang Club show much interest in the big picture of South Africa. When moral issues do come to the forefront, the big worry seems to be not questionable behavior but bad publicity.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 3, 2012
    7
    A good film with nice character portrayal despite some ineffective and cringeworthy South African accents. The action however portrays vividly and representatively the dangers involved in being a photographer t that tie in South Africa' bloody past. The streets were awash with brutal tribalism and senseless killing. The press of the time were incredibly brave and often irresponsible in their pursuit of the ultimate photo and associated acclaim. The 4 photographers depicted in the film are all heroes and more importantly, professionals of their art. Expand