In 1959, Kit (Martin Sheen), who has killed several people, and his new girlfriend Holly (Sissy Spacek), who watched him do it, are adrift in a double fantasy of crime and punishment across South Dakota and Montana. They’re playing make-believe but the bullets and bloodshed are very real. The film was inspired by a real-life 1958 Midwestern killing spree. Writer/director Terrence Malick imaginatively transforms their story into a provocative study of people alienated from everyday life – but fascinating to us. Beautifully shot and memorably acted, Badlands is a spellbinding journey. —Warner Bros.
Terrence Malick is one of the great enigmas of contemporary filmmaking, a shadowy figure whose towering reputation rests almost entirely on a pair of near-perfect features released a generation ago. A visual stylist beyond compare, Malick emerged during the golden era of 1970s American movie-making, bringing to the screen a dreamlike, ethereal beauty countered by elliptical, ironic storytelling; resonant and mythic, his films illuminated themes of love and death with rare mastery, their indelible images distinguished by economy and precision. Born in Waco, TX, on November 30, 1943, Malick spent many of his formative summers working as a farmhand, an experience upon which he would draw extensively in his films. Upon graduating from Harvard with a degree in philosophy, he entered Magdalen College in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, but exited prior to completing his final thesis. On returning to the U.S., he became a freelance journalist, with his byline appearing in such publications as Life… read more
Beautifully shot. Sheen is superb. An excellent debut from the reclusive visionary.
Welcome to 1973, when Martin Sheen could shotgun blast his way through the Midwest and still earn a "PG" rating. On a second viewing, "Badlands" was much darker and more beguiling than I remembered. The insular way the story is told - we rarely, if ever, leave the POV of our two kids - and the sociopathic nature of the characters made the film feel detached from reality. I started to view the movie as a modern day fable, which seemed to work. All these decades later, "Badlands" remains a timeless piece of art and a signpost for the greatness to come from Terrence Malick. As ever, Criterion offers a topnotch Blu-ray restoration.
Perhaps the first hand-knitted movie poster announces the newest film from a master of homespun horror.
Mania (1918) rediscovered, restored and on tour. A rare Malick interview. Casting news and more.
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Cheap to fund, digitally shot portraits of everyday life compose the heart and soul of contemporary American independent film. But when a director
Terrence Malick mined a familiar trope with his ’lover’s on the run’ film debut, essayed previously and definitively by Arthur Penn in 1967’s ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. An entire generation was energised… read review
Badlands has never a moment where something unrealistic occurs. This is the first feature film from Terence Malick, and he leads his film along with a true and meaningful way on both the psychological… read review
For a directorial debut, Badlands is quite an achievement. In this crime story, Martin Sheen plays Kit, a twenty-something garbage man in small-town South Dakota. Sissy Spacek plays the waifish and… read review