Critic Reviews

44

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
Salon.com
If it arrives in final form as (still) a total mess, it's such a passionate and ambitious mess -- overcrowded with extraordinary images, incomprehensible ideas, literary and pop-cultural references and colliding subplots -- that it transcends its adolescent awkwardness and approaches being magnificent.
70
Village Voice
In its willful, self-involved eccentricity, Southland Tales is really something else. Kelly's movie may not be entirely coherent, but that's because there's so much it wants to say.
67
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.
60
L.A. Weekly
Southland Tales pilfers large chunks of its plot and visual style from Alex Cox’s "Repo Man," Kathryn Bigelow’s "Strange Days" and Shane Carruth’s Sundance-winning "Primer," and unlike the makers of those films, Kelly hasn’t digested his influences and made them his own -- he’s more like the slacker college kid who’s just enough of an intellectual poseur to bluff his way to an A. That said, Southland Tales isn’t entirely without its pleasures, chiefly The Rock.
60
Los Angeles Times
You get the sense that Kelly is too angry to really find any of it funny. It's easy to empathize with his position, not so easy to remain engrossed in a film that's occasionally inspired but ultimately manic and scattered.
50
Love it or laugh at it, you will gaze on Southland Tales with awe.
40
The film is just too much exposition, too long, too convoluted, too many characters and ultimately a huge disappointment.
38
Premiere
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.
30
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.
30
Rarely has a picture been so self-consciously designed to be a culturally meaningful touchstone, and fallen so woefully short, as Southland Tales.

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