The Dry Land


Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10

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Critic Reviews

  1. Ferrera proves herself to be just as talented in dramatic roles.
  2. 75
    A gut-wrenching look at the human cost of war.
  3. 70
    The Dry Land does slip inside the inescapable, closed-circle logic of despair, and O'Nan's shy, precarious performance keeps you with him to the edge of the abyss.
  4. There's nothing in director Ryan Piers Williams' script that elevates this film above others with similar themes. But his heartfelt approach can be seen in the committed cast -- led by O'Nan but also including ­Valderrama, whose quietly ­authentic work is a nice surprise.
  5. A strong first film, and with a better-honed script, Williams should prove to be a director to watch.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    A little focus might have helped. Or not: The Dry Land seems intent to tick off a checklist of PTSD symptoms without animating them with fresh details or creative life. It's cloaked in an earnestness that suffocates.
  7. Sincere performances elevate an underdeveloped script and awkward filmmaking in The Dry Land, a coming-home drama as inexpressive as its traumatized lead.
  8. Shaped more for message than for convincing narrative impact, The Dry Land ends up feeling like a PSA to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  9. 40
    Only jackanapes and jackasses would deny that the experience of war can cause psychic damage, but does that mean we have to sit through such a schematic, dogmatic melodrama about the subject?
  10. 33
    A painfully earnest drama about post-traumatic stress disorder that sticks so closely to the soldiers-coming-home template, writer-director Ryan Piers Williams seems to be diligently working through a checklist of returning-warrior-movie clichés.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 9, 2010
    The film examines the effect of war on the psyche of small town America and the role of the family as a cohesive unit. Since the Vietnam WarThe film examines the effect of war on the psyche of small town America and the role of the family as a cohesive unit. Since the Vietnam War it is implied that generations of Americans (though also immigrants) have been exposed to foreign conflicts causing a collapse in the foundations of domestic relationships. Moving at a conversational pace the film compares the Army to the nuclear family and the violence that exists within each relationship. On the surface it is an anti-war statement highlighting the nature of the Iraq conflict as being abusive and anti-social though on a deeper level it exposes violence as ingrained within the fabric of human desire. The film examines mental health and is quietly effective at drawing you into O'Nam's barren perspective where sunlight feels cold and death is never far away. The ensemble cast are vigorous and fortunately seem to drive the film with more authority than the director. As a story it is pleasant and heartfelt but as a film there is never any noteworthy flair or originality to warm to. It is a heavily biased film which can be criticised for being vein and shallow in style. It is probably one to avoid as a typical American product. Full Review »