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45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Burning Plain, a romantic mystery about a woman on the edge who takes an emotional journey back to the defining moment of her life. Sylvia is a beautiful restaurant manager whose cool, professional demeanor masks the sexually charged storm within. When a stranger from Mexico confrontsThe Burning Plain, a romantic mystery about a woman on the edge who takes an emotional journey back to the defining moment of her life. Sylvia is a beautiful restaurant manager whose cool, professional demeanor masks the sexually charged storm within. When a stranger from Mexico confronts her with her mysterious past, Sylvia is launched into a journey through space and time that inextricably connects her to these disparate characters, all of whom are grappling with their own romantic destinies. In Mexico, a young motherless girl, Maria, lives happily with her father and his best friend until a tragic accident changes it all. In the New Mexico border town of Las Cruces, two teenagers, Mariana and Santiago, find love in the aftermath of their parents’ sudden deaths. In an abandoned trailer, a housewife, Gina, embarks on a passionate affair that will put Sylvia and the others on a collision course with the explosive power of forbidden love. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 18
  2. Negative: 6 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    100
    Powerful, profound and beautifully rendered.
  2. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    For a film that strives so hard to show the sheer messiness of real people's lives, Burning Plain does have an impossibly neat ending.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    63
    The best performance here comes from a Mexican child actress, Tessa Ia, as half of one of the fraught mother-daughter relationships.
  4. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    50
    The main drawbacks of The Burning Plain are its intentionally coy narrative and a zero-hour revelation that's ill-thought-out and generates some pretty chintzy psychobabble. It's the wobbliest element in an admirable, complex and frustrating movie.
  5. All the actresses, especially Theron, are appropriately haunted, but let's hope Arriaga's love of echoes, fate and coincidence has run its mopey course.
  6. 33
    The characters in The Burning Plain are so narrowly defined by tragedy that they reveal no other facets of humanity.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    20
    This film’s greatest accomplishment is that its theatrical gestures manage to feel preposterous, pretentious and routine at the same time.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. WayneB
    Sep 20, 2009
    9
    Outstanding. Award worthy acting, especially from Charlize Theron & Kim Basinger in a well chosen and attractive cast.
  2. May 13, 2015
    9
    This movie is interesting because the interactions of Americans and Mexicans.
    And the mini-stories told in this movie to find logic.
    Good
    This movie is interesting because the interactions of Americans and Mexicans.
    And the mini-stories told in this movie to find logic.
    Good actuations from Basinger and Lawrence,the rest is OK!
    This movie could have given more in the history.

    Esta película es interesante debido a la interacción entre Estadounidenses y Mexicanos
    Y las mini historias son contadas en esta película para encontrar lógica.
    Buenas actuaciones de Basinger y Lawrence,el resto esta BIEN!
    Esta película pudo haber dado mas en la historia.
    Expand
  3. DavidA
    Sep 27, 2009
    9
    A good story, well told, beautifully filmed. The jumps in time are not confusing at all, there are so few main characters.
  4. KateK
    Oct 3, 2009
    9
    I loved it! Intense, emotional, whatever the faults, I don't care because it has heart and pathos and that's what I most love in I loved it! Intense, emotional, whatever the faults, I don't care because it has heart and pathos and that's what I most love in the movies. Expand
  5. Jan 15, 2012
    9
    This is GOOD movie. It is powerful story but not chronological.
    You should watch this twice (or more).
    Storyline is moving in perfect
    This is GOOD movie. It is powerful story but not chronological.
    You should watch this twice (or more).
    Storyline is moving in perfect harmony.
    Charlize Theron is award worthy acting.
    Expand
  6. Jun 13, 2014
    6
    The actors are nice and the story is decent, but I didn't get emotionally engaged while watching. Overall it was pretty boring, maybe theThe actors are nice and the story is decent, but I didn't get emotionally engaged while watching. Overall it was pretty boring, maybe the filming is bland. Expand
  7. Jan 21, 2013
    6
    An odd movie, really. Not bad, not good, easily forgettable. The emotions just don't pop and grab you, but it's watchable. Jennifer LawrenceAn odd movie, really. Not bad, not good, easily forgettable. The emotions just don't pop and grab you, but it's watchable. Jennifer Lawrence does offer a good deal of acting though. Expand

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