Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
More than anything else, Ask the Dust feels like a compendium of desires - for a city, for a woman, for youth.
The A.V. Club
Ask The Dust may find Towne a little past his prime, but after so much time in the Hollywood wilderness, it's good to see him trying again.
Ask the Dust does manage to cast a spell. The film is not only an evocation of a bygone era but an emanation of it as well.
The film is faithful to the book's tone of dark ache and much of its detail and for the most part terrifically cast. But Towne can't overcome an essential challenge of the material: Arturo and Camilla are constructs and ciphers as much as they are vivid characters -- difficult roles, to be sure. Neither the screenplay nor the actors manage to get far under their skin.
L.A. Weekly
What seduces most about Ask the Dust isn't its verisimilitude, but its gloriously old-fashioned backlot sheen - the L.A. of old Hollywood movies and of our collective fantasies.
Rolling Stone
The film, which is literary to a fault, includes an earthquake, but if the earth moves at all, thank Hayek, who gives the tale a smoldering life that finally lifts it from the page.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Something is missing, though. The themes are all there, but the movie doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and rev you up.
Highlighted by a strong and sensual performance from Salma Hayek as the doomed heroine, elegant pic's muted quality and the central character's vexingly contrary behavior will keep auds from connecting with characters who themselves have trouble establishing bonds.
Ask the Dust is the ghost of a cult novel; it can't bring itself to life.
Entertainment Weekly
The movie lacks even the misplaced fervor of obsession. It's lifeless kitsch.

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