Up 998 this week

The Burning Plain (2008)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  5 November 2009 (Argentina)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,503 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 56 user | 125 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A dramatization of Lori Petty's teenage years spent in small town Iowa.

Director: Lori Petty
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javon Johnson, Sophi Bairley
Garden Party (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

April (15) is running from one bad situation into another, hoping to find an answer that doesn't involve nudity, and falls in with a group of confused kids chasing their dreams. The black widow in the web is the sexy, pot-dealing Sally.

Director: Jason Freeland
Stars: Erik Smith, Tierra Abbott, Vinessa Shaw
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Director: Debra Granik
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt
Sleepwalking (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The drama follows a 12-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment.

Director: Bill Maher
Stars: Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb
The Beaver (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.

Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Kathryn Vale (Lena Olin) is a reclusive ex-movie star with a dark secret and a daughter hoping to follow in her mother's movie-star footsteps. When Kathryn attempts to make a career ... See full summary »

Director: James Oakley
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Lena Olin, Dean Winters
Like Crazy (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Director: Drake Doremus
Stars: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After moving with her mother to a small town, a teenager finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. Things get more complicated when she befriends a boy who was the only survivor of the accident.

Director: Mark Tonderai
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot
North Country (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.

Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner, Frances McDormand
Serena I (2014)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Sean Harris
Young Adult (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt
The Bill Engvall Show (TV Series 2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A story revolving around the life of therapist, Bill Pearson, and his family.

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Patrick Martin, Skyler Gisondo


Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Man
Cristobal (as Diego Torres)
José Gallardo Jr. ...
Rosalia De Aragon ...
Aunt Rebecca (as Rosalia de Aragon)


The Burning Plain follows the story of several different people separated by time and space -- Sylvia, a woman in Oregon who must undertake an emotional odyssey to rid herself of her past; Mariana and Santiago, two teenagers trying to piece together the shattered lives of their parents in a New Mexico border town; Maria, a little girl who goes on a border-crossing voyage to help her parents find redemption, forgiveness, and love; and Gina and Nick, a couple who must deal with an intense and clandestine affair... because they are both married. Written by sundance7490 from Scottsdale, Arizona

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love heals. Love absolves. Love burns.


Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

5 November 2009 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Ravnica u plamenu  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$58,749 (USA) (18 September 2009)


$200,399 (USA) (20 November 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title can be translated to Spanish as "El Llano en Llamas", the title of Juan Rulfo's short story collection, one of Mexico's most famous. See more »


The headboard in the bedroom of the trailer has a different carved design when Gina and Nick are using it for their rendezvous than the one shown in the burned out trailer after the explosion. See more »


Laura: Late night?
Sylvia: I guess.
Laura: Again?
Sylvia: Again.
Laura: Hmm. Same guy?
Sylvia: No.
Laura: Do I know him?
Sylvia: Maybe.
Laura: Do you know him?
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 5 September 2009 (2009) See more »


Falling Star
Written by Ali Dee (as Ali Theodore), Henry Hey, Alana Da Fonseca (as Alana da Fonseca),
Zach Danziger (as Zach Denziger)
Performed by E. Wilson
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Forced and forceful, gradually makes sense and gets to you...give it time
26 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Burning Plain (2008)

Following a growing trend toward taking a straight forward story and making it complicated by telling it out of order, The Burning Plain might have shown the fault lines in that method. And it's not that the story, a kind of Romeo and Juliet with child story, isn't riveting. It is. And it's not that the telling of it isn't interesting. It is. But the telling is so forcefully complicated, it draws attention to itself, and away from the more human drama that is at work.

That said, it's also true that every high point here there is a storytelling gaffe. The cross cultural Mexican/American themes are generally underplayed (the exception being the insults thrown at the funeral), and convincing. The basic love story is strong enough, too, and given a nice second layer through time, as you'll see. But there are some quirks that are made both improbable and overly dramatic. One of the tenderhearted heros of the story is shown too visibly as a disturbed stalker. And the lead woman, played with a kind of virtuosic exuberance as usual by Charlize Theron, has almost too much to juggle, emotionally and literally. It just doesn't wash.

Most troubling is the writing. Not the big picture, the plot and the large sequence of events, but the actually dialog. This kind of gritty and dire movie laced with real love has to be convincing above all, and there are dozens of moments and individual lines that just smack as screen writing rather than real characters thinking and speaking.

So it's a mixed bag. An ambitious and promising mixed bag, with some moving and beautiful moments. I think it's worth seeing, but with tolerance.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
puzzled by critics reviews camphiho-1
What does the title mean? Truman_Burbank
Amazing Movie!!!!! moviefan1901
East of Eden Clag56
Burning Plain K Mart footage destroyed nmsu_southpaw
Oscar... Filus76
Discuss The Burning Plain (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: