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4,470 Ratings

Southland Tales

Directed by Richard Kelly
United States, France, 2006
Sci-Fi, Comedy


With the U.S. under the threat of nuclear attack, several people’s lives converge. Movie star Boxer plans his next film with the help of porn actress Krysta and policeman Roland. Meanwhile, Marxist revolutionaries, corporations, and government agencies pursue their agendas among a paranoid populace.

Our take

Richard Kelly’s much-anticipated but fiercely lambasted follow-up to Donnie Darko has rapidly achieved modern cult status overwriting the critics baffled by the film’s exuberant, Pynchon-esque satire of a near-future America. 14 years later, the prescience of Kelly’s madcap vision is breathtaking.

Southland Tales Directed by Richard Kelly

Critics reviews

For all its political satire, high-toned literary and Biblical references, lowbrow sex jokes, and grand sci-fi spectacle, the troubled heart of Kelly’s film maudit lies in Dwayne Johnson’s confused stares and twiddling fingers, with only a levitating ice-cream truck and a reconciliatory meeting of the self offering a pathway to… well, some kind of salvation, maybe.
November 18, 2015
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A confusing, hallucinatory work.
May 23, 2008
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What are people saying?

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Southland Tales

    Well, it seems that we are not so many to have loved this film. Too bad because tomorrow will be merciful to us. Richard Kelly is an UFO in the sad Hollywood sky, his screenplays reflect the anxieties of an artist in front of the world he lives in. His vision is smart, coherent and, most of all, bitter. Masterpiece.

  • Jorge Mourinha's rating of the film Southland Tales

    Hyperactive, sweeping sci-fi satire of near-future America, a visionary bastard son of Lynch and Lucas; its critical disaster and re-emergence as a cult classic fail to do justice to its richly detailed, unnervingly plausible universe.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Southland Tales

    Misunderstood masterpiece or perfect failure? 14 years later the film seems ahead of its time with much of its so-called satire simply being our new reality. Casting is quite inspired even within the performances that fall flat adding a kind of meta quality to the bizarre narrative. In the end its a question of one's taste if this succeeds or fails for the viewer. One still hopes Kelly will create again.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Southland Tales

    A train wreck of undignified proportions. As amazing as Donnie Darko was, this is blithering idiocy of the highest magnitude. Bad choices for actors, bad roles for the actors. I don't even know what it's ambition is. I'm not sure you could edit this into a film that even made sense.

  • VincentVendetta's rating of the film Southland Tales

    It was obviously supposed to be much bigger than this, as many plot points fall limp by the wayside, the space-time shenanigans are as lame and tiresome as ever, and Moby still sucks. Kelly doesn't have the creativity, the emotion, the intelligence or the satire of a David Lynch or a Paul Verhoeven, but he does have the raw energy of a paranoid, drugged-out, video-store-educated suburban kid, so... it balances out.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Southland Tales

    It's admittedly a problem that the central plotline—about an amnesiac action star whose hackneyed screenplay may be coming true—is the least interesting thread here, but as a piece of pop prophecy you could do far worse than "Southland Tales." What seemed like an exaggerated pantomime of Bush Era paranoia in 2007 now reads as a strangely prescient rendering of our current political divide. And it's funny too.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Southland Tales

    Southland Tales is a fascinating, fascinating movie, even if only for the ideological discussions it brings out in one. It's one of those rare films that's both great & terrible, sometimes in the same scene. It's the very definition of a mixed bag. I won't go into detail about the plot, much of which is convoluted to death and impenetrable, but Southland Tales is without a doubt a movie with a lot on its mind [cont.]

  • Michael H. CLAES's rating of the film Southland Tales

    Monstrous mating of 2 monstertrucks. Monstrous couple between S.M. GELLAR (Buffy) and - the Rock - Dwayne - JOHNSON, oscar of rolling eyes. Monstrous Zelda RUBINSTEIN (Poltergeist). ==== Monstrueux accouplement de 2 monstertrucks. Monstrueux couple S.M. GELLAR (Buffy) & la montagne de muscles Dwayne JOHNSON, oscar du roulement d'yeux. Monstrueuse Zelda RUBINSTEIN (Poltergeist).

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