Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Bui doi - "less than dust" - is a slur aimed at Vietnamese children with American fathers. This film, set in 1990, relates the odyssey of a young "bui doi" as he escapes Vietnam, endures refugee camp, and survives a brutal ocean crossing and indentured servitude with a human-trafficking ring. Nevertheless, he manages to keep hope, humanity, and a generous spirit alive as he searches for connection with his long-lost family. (Sony Pictures Classics) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Inside the Norwegian director's glove of empathy is a fist of unappeasable anger.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Feels like a manufactured Asian "Chocolat," which drives the label 'art house movie' even further into mainstream banality.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. 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. Expand
  2. BarbaraC.
    Sep 16, 2005
    THIS IS an awesome movie. If you are interested in Vietnam or is about hope ...go see it! The characters were gripping and the story so moving. I wish more movies like this were being made! Expand
  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. Expand
  4. Doug
    Aug 23, 2005
    A very memorable film. Great cinematography, fascinating, well told story. Even though it's a long film, it holds your interest throughout.
  5. 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. Expand

See all 7 User Reviews