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  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 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. Expand

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. A strong first film, and with a better-honed script, Williams should prove to be a director to watch.
  2. Sincere performances elevate an underdeveloped script and awkward filmmaking in The Dry Land, a coming-home drama as inexpressive as its traumatized lead.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    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.