Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
Powerful, profound and beautifully rendered.
In The Burning Plain, another directorial debut, sensationalism is on order, but it's buttressed by fear, suffering, and desire – the schizo-blend that makes Arriaga's scripts so unique.
For a film that strives so hard to show the sheer messiness of real people's lives, Burning Plain does have an impossibly neat ending.
Told chronologically, it might have accumulated considerable power. Told as a labyrinthine tangle of intercut timelines and locations, it is a frustrating exercise in self-indulgence by writer-director Guillermo Arriaga.
Boston Globe
The best performance here comes from a Mexican child actress, Tessa Ia, as half of one of the fraught mother-daughter relationships.
An ambitious, visually handsome production which fails to ignite.
Many of the weaknesses and few of the strengths of Guillermo Arriaga as a scripter are evident in his directing debut, The Burning Plain.
The characters in The Burning Plain are so narrowly defined by tragedy that they reveal no other facets of humanity.
Village Voice
The writer's most successful works--"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" and "Amores Perros"--were bolstered by directors who brought genuine emotion to the screen, but The Burning Plain marks Arriaga's behind-the-camera debut, and his obviousness is staggering.
This film’s greatest accomplishment is that its theatrical gestures manage to feel preposterous, pretentious and routine at the same time.

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