Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Director Griffin Dunne's adaptation of Dirk Wittenborn's fiercely personal novel ambles pleasantly through coming-of-age movie territory, then takes a jarring Agatha Christie detour.
The film is worthwhile primarily for the fun, breezy first hour. After that, it's a case of watching to find out how things turn out.
Whereas most of the injustices suffered by "Nanny's" nanny are of the skin-deep variety, the hopelessly reductive Fierce People ups the ante.
Whenever Sutherland comes on scene, any inadequacies in the film's depiction of the well-to-do become irrelevant.
The platitudes in this gratuitously sentimental movie are taken a lot more seriously than the people.
What might have read as a dense allegory comparing the rituals of the super-rich with the tribal customs of the violent Ishkanani tribe in the Amazon becomes a tedious, over-ripe soap opera on screen.
Chicago Tribune
The idea that rich people are an alien tribe is just one of many that get lost in Wittenborn's distracted script. Instead of exploring the concept, he throws out random incidents until he hits one that sends the film into a dark, grotesque spiral.
Not even the always reliable Diane Lane can save this one.
Fierce People is no ordinary dud. This seedy soap opera is the most outlandish, campy romp through the mud since "Showgirls."
Plays like a movie that some teenage boy cooked up in his chemistry lab. There are lots of potent things floating around in it - sexual initiation, drugs, fantasy-land wealth, brute violence, primitive rituals, Diane Lane and Donald Sutherland - but the mix just sits there without producing any notable reactions.

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