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Southland Tales

  R Closed Captioning

Richard Kelly

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Plot Summary

Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner (Seann William Scott), a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

36%
  • Reviews Counted: 96
  • Fresh: 35
  • Rotten: 61
  • Average Rating: 4.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The movie's failure to come together -- indeed to make sense for most of its 144 minutes, each one passing with the speed of molasses -- is a major disappointment. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Even if the world Kelly's concocted always seems screamingly incoherent, you have to hand it to him. He's made a movie of our messy times that's too ambitious to settle for merely capturing the mess. It actually is the mess. – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Rotten: A Schwarzeneggerian actor, related to a political dynasty, has been kidnapped, replaced with a double, and -- I give up. A plot synopsis would require that the movie have a plot. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: By the time the movie rolls into its third hour, it's exhausted most of its comic energy, leaving you disoriented and unable to remember much of what you just saw. – Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

An Underrated Masterpiece

Southland Tales has been pretty heavily criticised since it first came out in 2006, but maybe that is because it is not so much a film as a work of art. If you like simple, action-packed films with lots of explosions and little depth, this movie will probably not appeal to you. However, if you want to see a clever commentary on politics, society, religion and life in general, a film that will make little sense at first but will slowly piece together in your mind after the credits have rolled, then this is your film. It should be noted that the writing, acting and plotting in this film are abysmal, however this is done deliberately to make a point about the lives that we lead today, and the mishmash of notions and ideas that they are fast becoming. If you did not understand or appreciate Southland Tales, read the graphic novels and then rewatch the film. If you still don't get it, then give up and watch something more mainstream.

Tattoos, Porn Stars and Brilliance

The cliche would be to say you'll either love or hate this film. But that would be too easy . . . nay, too typical a blanket comment to use for such a film as this. Standard terminology does not apply to Southland Tales, as 99.9% of it is so far beyond what we all are used to seeing in "standard" movies. Not that WHAT we see is anything new, but more that how it is compiled and overlaid, the depth and breath of it goes far deeper than what it "shows" on it's surface. Where as most "hollywood" films tend to pretend to be "something" more, this film IS more. Commentary on todays society, political structure, media overload? Yeah, it's got all those. A massive use of supporting-actors that all seem to be playing parts beyond what you would think they'd have taken based on previous roles? It's got that in spades. But what it also has is the ability to make you not want to turn away. It just makes you want to shut off everything around you and think, both while watching, as well as after the end titles have run. At least that's what happened to this jaded, sick-of-the-formula-crap, filmgoer. It does what good films, no . . . great films SHOULD do. It stays with you. Whether you like it or not.

The Critics are Idiots

After reading all the reviews in every form of media, I have deduced that people are really stupid. Sure, this film is ambitious, and might need a bit of tweaking, but it still holds true to Kelly's brilliance. Sorry he made a movie that you had to THINK about and see more than once. He bashes our pathtic excuse for "culture" and shoves the idiocy of our laziness and apathy as Americans in our faces. How have we let our country come to this? If you like Will Ferrell, stay away from this movie. If you want to think, rent it and enjoy.

Southland Tales
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings

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