(2003)

Critic Reviews

47

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Film Threat
The story of lust, love and betrayal intriguingly bemoans racism and prejudice of bygone times while peppering the “history” with more modern references.
70
TV Guide Magazine
This unusually rich film tackles not only the social structuring of criminality and sexuality but race as well, and explores the ways science has been used to justify the ruthless pursuit of market interests and, eventually, apartheid itself.
63
New York Daily News
John Greyson and Jack Lewis' experimental drama, about two prisoners who have a dangerous affair, is a challenging, flawed look at a little-known slice of history.
50
Variety
Proteus has enough erotic and exotic content to win back some of the arthouse viewers previously beguiled by Greyson's "Lilies." But pic lacks that gem's lush aesthetics and impassioned complexity, ending up a tad remote.
50
Ultimately, the sex scenes seem of far more interest to the filmmakers than the narrative or characterizations, which are rendered in frustratingly vague and often deliberately confusing fashion.
50
Proteus is involving and affecting even if it is not completely coherent or fully realized.
40
L.A. Weekly
Proteus carries an air of forced-wit experimentation that never quite gets its anachronisms in order -- this 18th-century tale features a Jeep, a radio, and female court reporters with typewriters and bouffant hairdos.
38
New York Post
This Canadian-South African labor of love has its heart in the right place, even if the leads seem to have been cast more for their hunky looks than their stiff acting.
30
Tricked up with an elaborate flashback structure, subtitled dialogue in three languages and as many gratuitous aesthetic touches as the traffic will bear, Proteus emerges as a heavy, pretentious and derivative film.
25
Takes its name from the king protea, the national flower of South Africa. The stunning, artichoke-like shrub may be fragrant, but the movie's pretty much a stinker.

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