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Southland Tales (2006)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  7 December 2007 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 31,742 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 234 user | 171 critic | 26 from

During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos Amezcua ...
Robert Benz ...
Tab Taverner
UPU 4 Officer 3 (as Chris Ciulla)
Aaron Dillar ...
Shari Dunn ...
USI Dent Reporter
Michele Durrett ...
Jon Falcone ...
Soldier Falcon
Leila Feinstein ...


Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. Written by TheGuyInThePj's

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Internet is the Future. The Future is Just Like You Imagined. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence, sexual material and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


| |


Release Date:

7 December 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A káosz birodalma  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$123,428 (USA) (16 November 2007)


$273,420 (USA) (14 December 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


UPU stands for Urban Pacification Unit. See more »


When Boxer Santaros confronts Serpentine and Dr. Inga Von Westphalen, the boom microphone is visible as the camera pans from one to the other. See more »


[first lines]
Private Pilot Abilene: [narration] In the aftermath of nuclear attacks in Texas, America found itself on the brink of anarchy.
[overlapping news reports]
Private Pilot Abilene: World War III had begun.
Private Pilot Abilene: The accelerated conflict in the Middle East placed significant restrictions on American access to oil. Alternative fuel sources became a lucrative commodity. Americans were transfixed by the terrorist's threat, and were willing to prevent another attack by any means necessary. Military checkpoints were erected at each State line. ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME" See more »


Featured in Atop the Fourth Wall: Raver #1 (2013) See more »


Written by Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme (as Christopher Wolstenholme)
Performed by Muse
Courtesy of Warner Music UK
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not as bad as you've heard... never would have done well
12 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie, maybe more than any other I've seen, is a commitment. If you think that 144 minutes is a lot to commit to a movie, the running time is only the tip of the iceberg.

In the DVD cut of the movie, a lot of things are obscured: what the big picture is, why characters are motivated to do certain things, why multiple identities are a recurring theme, why certain characters/actions are necessary.

What is in the DVD cut is an extensively detailed alternate world. Unfortunately, to make the actions in that alternate world make sense, you basically have to either watch the movie multiple times, or at least know what you're dealing with.

There are at least 4 layers to everything that's going on: 1) political/social commentary on contemporary American society and the apocalyptic undercurrent therein; 2) sarcastic/caustic pop culture references (Philip K. Dick is a big one, but also subtle things... for instance, the Rock was Sean William Scott's protector in "The Rundown" and plays a similar role here); 3) a self-consciousness or self-referentialism: actors cast against type, some similar themes to Donnie Darko, actions that play out in the film are largely based off of the AWFUL screenplay written by one of the characters (as seen in the graphic novel prequels); 4) the actual plot of the movie, which has deep ties to the Book of Revelation, and makes much more sense if the graphic novels are read first.

These layers are pretty consummately intertwined. This is part of what makes this movie to be compelling enough to make me want to put in the necessary effort. Its imagery was provocative, and because Richard Kelly has created such a densely layered world for himself, putting in the time actually is incredibly rewarding.

It should also be said that this film, like Blade Runner or There Will Be Blood, does not let its plot set specifications on its scope, or what it's about. If you hone in on what the director thinks its scope/purpose is, it's much easier to appreciate.

I'm not sure exactly how to rate this movie, since as a stand alone movie it is a failure, but if you take the time to get inside Kelly's mind, it's worthwhile. So. My advice? View it as an investment or don't view it at all. Don't throw it on for an evening's entertainment. If you do, you might be entertained, but you'll probably be confused and angry.

72 of 113 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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