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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
- Reviews Counted: 96
- Fresh: 35
- Rotten: 61
- Average Rating: 4.6/10
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Biggest. Letdown. Ever.
I fell in love with Kelly's first film, Donnie Darko, because - despite some of the confusion and unanswered questions - there was enough coherence in the film to at least create something meaningful out of it. And at least Donnie Darko begged to be watched again and again. Not so with Southland Tales. This movie is a huge step in the wrong direction for Kelly. He tried too hard. It is a mess. The acting is awful, the humor is dead-pan, the cinematography is amateur, and the dialogue is hideous. This is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And that is coming from a Darko fan. But now that I've seen Southland Tales, I've realized that maybe Donnie Darko was just a happy accident.
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2008
- © 2006 MHF Zweite Academy Film GmbH & Co. KG. All Rights Reserved.
- Southland Tales (Original Soundtrack)
- Various Artists