Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 16 out of 23
  1. It's crazy, dangerous and sometimes gorgeous: a feast of nuttiness that takes you, for a while, over the edge.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Charity
    This Southern Gothic Alice in Wonderland is not for the faint-hearted, to be sure, yet amid the swaying chaff there are moments of piercing grace and beauty when we'e reminded of the lost, lonely child at the heart of this tale. If nothing else, it's liberating to see one of cinema's unrepentant fantasists going out on a limb like this and cutting loose.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    By turns fascinating and intolerable.
  4. 58
    It's no "trip through the dark to appreciate the light." It's a nightmare from start to finish.
  5. Tideland is the easiest of Gilliam's films to follow, yet the most disturbing to watch.
  6. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Tideland is equally evocative of the pastoral mystery of an Andrew Wyeth painting and the looming menace of "Psycho." The disparity is fitting, because as Tideland unfolds, it's difficult to tell if you're watching a fantasy or a horror movie, or one superimposed on the other.
  7. 40
    Gilliam has suffered more than his share of butchered projects, but with this exercise in kamikaze auteurism, he appears to have made exactly the mess he wanted.
  8. A murky swamp of a movie, Terry Gilliam's defiantly surreal Tideland finds every good idea drowning in an excess of indulgence.
  9. A mix of "Alice in Wonderland" and William S. Burroughs, "Psycho" and the psychotic. It's pretty much a squirmy experience all around.
  10. 38
    Tideland is, by turns, a complete bore and a creepy experience. And I don't mean "creepy" in a positive sense.
  11. A misconceived washout of a darkly gothic story of madness, addiction and child abuse made all the more unpleasant by Gilliam's trademark intense visual style.
  12. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Dragged down by a sputtering script and torpid pacing. Way too disturbing for kids and too weird for most grown-ups.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The results are dull, of all things. The movie itself feels like an overstuffed burrito,
  14. Borderline unwatchable, although, as is true of all Gilliam movies, it certainly is different.
  15. When the little girl tells her decapititated doll, "It's not just a bad dream," she is right. It's just a bad movie.
  16. 20
    The worst that can be said of the first two-thirds of Tideland is that it is tiresome. Toward the end it becomes creepy, and not in a good way.
  17. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    When they’re used to tell a story as dreary, unfocused, and exhausting as Tideland, the director’s trademark dreamscapes and disorienting camera angles feel like so much artless window dressing.
  18. 10
    The misanthropic nadir of the director's crash-and-burn career.
  19. Enter this diseased Lewis Carroll universe at your own risk.
  20. 0
    It's trashy and disgusting - and those are the best parts. Mostly it's just an endless, pointless drone with characters like bacteria and dialogue like an untuned radio.
  21. Immediately shoots to the top of the list of the year's worst movies.
  22. Dour, absurdist, gruesomely awful.
  23. 0
    Rarely has an act of such cinematic cruelty as Tideland been perpetrated on filmgoers.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. Jan 19, 2013
    One of Gilliam' best. Beautiful, funny, dark. Most critics, it seems, we're too terrified by the image of a retarded man kissing a young girl. It's worth noting that this is not a sexual kiss, it's a peck on the lips like any two children might do while playing. Anyone who interprets that scene as pedophilia needs to take long look at themselves because it's kind of creepy to read that much in to such an innocent scene. Full Review »
  2. CathyD
    Apr 17, 2007
    This movie has been reviewed as "not for the faint of heart". And while that is certainly true, it should in truth be described as "not for the faint of mind". It is a philosophical marvel for those with the capacity to view from different angels, question, and prod the fabric of life. Allegories, allusions, symbolism abound- the symbols of water, the bees, the squirrels, the religious connotations, the allusions to all kinds of fairy tales, especially Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood... The plot can be seen as 'drab' because it would have to be not to turn borderline chaos into total chaos, for all the connotations and themes connected to each element of the movie. Look a little deeper, and you will come to be led by Gilliam, as he intended, literally, to the Wonderland of perception and conception distortion the author and director are trying to lead us to- the perception and conception distortion that is the Tideland of the limbo between Childhood, Youth, and Innocence, and Adulthood, Tiredness, and what we choose to make Innocence be by adult terms- Corruption. A masterpiece to the open minded, philosophical, artistic, and daring explorers of life and it's variably thick or thin fabrics. Full Review »
  3. May 18, 2014
    One of my favorite movies. Memorable.

    It's sick, it's shocking, it's bizarre, disturbing. And I love it. It reminds me of Pan's Labyrinth,
    but I must say I like this one just a little bit better. Full Review »