(2005)

Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Tsotsi emerges as being among the finest films ever to come out of Africa. It is a brilliant, jolting and altogether powerful blast of energy and emotion.
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
Rolling Stone
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
ReelViews
When a director can take a reprehensible monster and, over the course of a scant 90 minutes, turn audience reaction from distaste to sympathy, that's the mark of an adept filmmaker. This occurs in Tsotsi.
70
Variety
Powered by a pounding soundtrack of dance hall Kwaito music, the pic has vital, urban energy similar to the Brazilian crossover "City of God" but with a tauter, more conventional storyline.
70
To his credit, Mr. Hood's meditation on truth and reconciliation doesn't traffic in the cheap thrills of art-house exploitation, like "City of God"; he wrings tears with sincerity, not cynicism.
50
Village Voice
A widescreen wallow in socially enforced slum nihilism brought to you by Miramax, Tsotsi could be pegged as "City of God" relocated to the Soweto shanties, but it eschews the ironic swagger and strobe-speed action of Fernando Meirelles's lurid jigsaw for a more conventional arc.
50
The A.V. Club
In trying to find the decency in a killer, the film anxiously accounts for his every misdeed. It's a little like watching "City Of God" morph into "Three Men And A Baby."
50
Entertainment Weekly
More calculated than a Starbucks sampler CD, the picture could win the up-from-hardship award.
50
Tsotsi never comes across as anything but a brutal cipher, and serious issues such as black-on-black crime in the townships are left unexplored.

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