Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Delivers equal parts overwrought tedium and mind-bending beauty, spiked with brilliant throwaway images that more than make up for Kelly's heavy-handed hot-button pretensions.
Southland Tales has a mood unlike anything I've seen: dread that morphs into kitsch and then back again. It's a film that tried my patience, and one I couldn't shake off.
Richard Kelly's Southland Tales isn't just a movie. It's an apocalyptic piñata that's been bazooka-ed open.
Chicago Tribune
To be clear: The odds are in favor of you hating it. I hated a lot of it when I saw a barely dry work-in-progress print, 163 minutes long, at the Cannes Film Festival. It's 19 minutes shorter and better now, though “better” is relative when you're dealing with a whatzahoozy such as this.
An ambitious hodgepodge that is all bang and bluster.
Dizzyingly incoherent and subversively surreal, this sophomore effort from the man who made the great, strange "Donnie Darko" is certain to have its fans. I'm not going to be one of them.
Southland Tales does have enough energy and audacity to suggest significant potential. But was it ready for public consumption? The answer is no. It's as simple as that.
There's a lot of "stuff" here, and Kelly's biggest problem -- he's got more than a few -- is that he can't tell his good material from his bad.
The Hollywood Reporter
The English term "shambolic" best describes a slow-paced, bloated and self-indulgent picture that combines science fiction, sophomoric humor and grisly violence soaked in a music-video sensibility.
A mess, and that's really a shame.
I recommend that Kelly keep right on cutting until he whittles it down to a ukulele pick.

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