(2005)

Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Chicago Sun-Times
What a simple and yet profound story this is.
100
It grabs you from a symbolic opening scene of gang members rolling the dice -- the odds, it soon becomes clear, are stacked against them getting lucky -- and never lets go.
100
TV Guide
Powerful crime drama does more than just expose the criminal underbelly of South African township life.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
Brutal but believable, the film in some ways harks back to early Hollywood, when Jimmy Cagney or Richard Widmark played callow villains out of their depth in everyday life.
75
Based on a play by Athol Fugard, Tsotsi is South Africa's entry in this year's Oscar race for Best Foreign-Language Film. This remarkable movie means to shake you, and boy does it ever.
75
Though the story teeters on easy sentimentality, it doesn't succumb. Though unabashedly emotional, it isn't maudlin. Tsotsi's story feels believable. It is made all the more engaging by a wonderful soundtrack of African Kwaito music.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
Evocatively shot by cinematographer Lance Gewer in warm browns and reds that make Tsotsi seem all the more chilling, the film records his gradual metamorphosis from id-driven brute into empathic, if crude, care-giver.
75
New York Daily News
Tense, fiercely optimistic movie.
75
Chicago Tribune
It's compelling material, even if you don't completely buy Tsotsi's transition.
70
Wall Street Journal
Presley Chweneyagae's Tsotsi makes his presence deeply felt. In a world of heedless children wielding guns, his tale is a heartening one.
50
Entertainment Weekly
More calculated than a Starbucks sampler CD, the picture could win the up-from-hardship award.

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