Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. The film achieves its power through a careful gathering of crucial details, in wordless glances, cruelties of nature and of man and the relentless determination to gain the promised land.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Versatile, highly skilled Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland's poignant drama examines the lingering effects of U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia.
  3. 80
    Generous in spirit and fearlessly observant, this tale of an outcast Vietnamese man's journey to freedom deserves a place of honor among the great films portraying emigrant tenacity.
  4. It is a straightforward, conventional narrative, charting seemingly endless cruelty and hardship, but rewards the patient with an eloquent climactic sequence that is impossible to predict.
  5. 80
    The script, by newcomer Sabina Murray, is occasionally cloying as the naive hero falls for a bitter prostitute (Bai Ling), but its epic tale of two cultures tragically entwined is anchored by deep and elemental emotions.
  6. In the end, it's a heartening, rewarding experience to watch this journey--and, especially, its end.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    The movie grows steadily more arresting as it goes on and saves its best parts for last.
  8. Quiet, moving and beautifully shot.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Beautiful Country might be too slow-moving for some, but it has powerful performances and a multi-layered quality. It is an epic journey worth taking.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The filmmakers bank against their impulse toward melodrama and deliver a reconciliation that is heartbreakingly understated.
  11. The Beautiful Country is not a happy film by any means, but it does offer a fragile hope, that beauty exists at the end of every journey, if only one has the strength to finish the trip.
  12. Inside the Norwegian director's glove of empathy is a fist of unappeasable anger.
  13. One of those hard-to-pin-down movies where you're not quite sure which sort of story the filmmakers wanted to tell.
  14. It is hard not to admire the independence and ambition of The Beautiful Country, even if the film does fall short of its epic intentions.
  15. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Standout performance is by Nolte who, in the final 20 minutes, draws on a deep reservoir of playing broken romantic heroes to portray Binh's father. The subtle, resonant scenes between the two men are worth the price of admission.
  16. Bai Ling plays a resourceful prostitute from a Malaysian refugee camp who grows harder and more alienated by the day. Nick Nolte, Tim Roth and Temuera Morrison offer strong supporting performances.
  17. Loses itself in melodrama, caricature and narrative missteps.
  18. Reviewed by: Jason Anderson
    With its visual splendour, The Beautiful Country is indeed lovely to behold, but its story of human misery and survival doesn't always benefit from the painstaking art direction, picturesque vistas and surges of dramatic music.
  19. 60
    A gorgeous film, framed with an eye that makes every country seem beautiful in one way or another. It's probably fitting that the human element seems fragile and flat by comparison, but the contrast leaves Beautiful Country fairly bland.
  20. The Beautiful Country has an epic bearing, but a trite and troubled script makes it more a visual tirade than an engaging odyssey.
  21. The subject is compelling but the story is very, very slow.
  22. Provides a panorama without insight.
  23. Feels like a manufactured Asian "Chocolat," which drives the label 'art house movie' even further into mainstream banality.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Robert
    Feb 5, 2006
    Lovely, surprising film that carries emotional weight through a young man's wide-ranging search for his father. underrated by many, worth watching. Full Review »
  2. Bob
    Jan 6, 2006
    Within 5 minutes you could tell this was not an American made movie - too subtle and too intelligent for the mass audiences. I was surprised to find it was of Norwegian origin, though. Full Review »
  3. RayS.
    Oct 5, 2005
    The cadence of the film is deliberately slow, but it works to draw the viewer into the story, and to the ending, which is poignant and understated--and rings true emotionally. Full Review »