Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 16
  2. Negative: 7 out of 16
  1. 100
    At turns sexy, ultra-violent and sweet, it will infiltrate your brain long after you've seen it.
  2. Dumont's methods are radical, but there's a fascinating method to his seeming cinematic madness.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Even adventurous moviegoers who are familiar with Bruno Dumont's previous features...may be taken aback by the intensity of this shocker.
  4. 70
    For most of the way, the film is perceptive about the hot-and-cold volatility of wounded relationships, when couples are struggling to communicate yet familiar enough to exploit each other's weaknesses.
  5. Slams us with an absurdly repugnant ending, for absolutely no reason other than to shock viewers and generate cheap controversy.
  6. The sustained force of Mr. Dumont's vision of existence as a swirl of brute instincts may not be easy to absorb, but it marks him as a major filmmaker.
  7. This is one of those films in which the Act of Driving becomes a 10-minute statement of high emptiness; Dumont even manages to make sex in the desert boring.
  8. It's alternately monotonous, hot and dramatic, which makes for a peculiar, not entirely unsatisfying atmosphere of neo -- or is that post? -- noir. What it all means, of course, I have no idea.
  9. 50
    The latest minimalist provocation from the infuriating but talented French director Bruno Dumont. [12 April 2004, p. 89]
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A textbook example of how a director can strip away plot, motivation, character, and meaning and still leave arrant pretension standing tall.
  11. Ultimately a hollow and pointless exercise.
  12. Embedded between all the sex and sunlight are some woefully underdeveloped ideas about American militarism and masculinity. Dumont doesn't bother to develop these ideas, principally because he seems to think it's enough to arrange his characters like puppets and tear off their heads.
  13. Alas, the plot eventually takes over, and it's exceptionally ugly and unpleasant.
  14. 10
    The "Humanite" director's Death Valley void is the real "Lost in Translation."
  15. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Fails to captivate or intrigue at the most basic level.

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