Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: Promised Land (2012)

Reviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: La battaglia che l’ILVA e la magistratura stanno combattendo a Taranto in questi giorni non è molto diversa dall’interrogativo al cuore del film di Van Sant: consentire una produzione inquinante e disastrosa per la salute e l’ambiente oppure rassegnarsi al declino economico e industriale?
  • Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
    • Excerpt: Promised Land is an embarrassment to those who agree with the film’s position on the subject it covers, not so much as for its blatant bias but for how clumsy, even downright idiotic the characters turn out to be.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: There’s something inherently less than compelling in spending the entirety of a film waiting for its main character to come around to the point of view that we know its creators — and for that matter, most of its audience — walked in with.
  • Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International
    • Excerpt: In Gus Van Sant’s comic drama, Frances McDormand and Matt Damon play sales people who’ve become almost sincere about the con games they play on rural people’s economic fears.
  • Christopher Bourne @ Twitch
    • Excerpt: While initially “Promised Land” does a good job setting up its characters and the moral and environmental stakes for all involved, it ultimately stumbles badly into a transparent and painfully obvious tale of redemption that feels predetermined from the start.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
    • Excerpt: A very nice movie on a very old-fashioned model… until it gets to the end, and the end smashes the whole thing in the face with a hammer.
  • Joshua Brunsting @ CriterionCast
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @
    • Excerpt: An engrossing and thought-provoking drama about fracking, big money, small town life, saving the environment, and trying to live with integrity in hard times.
  • Daniel Carlson @ Pajiba
  • [New – 5/16] | Stephen Carty @ Flix Capacitor
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …the film’s biggest drawback is it’s third act twist…
  • Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: The performances ultimately save it from mediocrity, but it stakes its claim to the middle of the road and steadfastly refuses to sell for anything else.
  • Jim Dixon @
    • Excerpt: “Promised Land” is determined to make Matt Damon look like an underdog. This is a hard sell. Would Jimmy Stewart have worked for an oil company?
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: only becomes shakier as it progresses.
  • Dustin Freeley @ Movies About
  • Panagiotis Gkaris @ Movies Ltd
    • Excerpt: For those are not well acquainted with Van Sant’s oeuvre, the film may provoke unfair criticism as wearing its righteousness on its sleeve. Even the twist amidst the third act may feel phony, a calculated script machination.
  • Susan Granger @
    • Excerpt: Sensitive and sympathetic, appealing primarily to environmental activists.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @
    • Excerpt: At every turn, and via a simple narrative that is so effortless it barely feels constructed at all, nothing here is quite what it seems, and everything is even more than what it is.
  • Danny King @ The King Bulletin
    • Excerpt: [A] quiet, tempered affair that finds the correct tone early on and, save for a third-act reveal that feels more mechanically unconvincing than anything else in the film, maintains it throughout.
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
    • Excerpt: This is an artless message movie from artful people so carried away with their good message that they forgot to make a movie.
  • Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight
    • Excerpt: To say it is an important film would be an understatement. To say it was a great film would be an overstatement.
  • Jason McKiernan @ Next Projection
    • Excerpt: What Promised Land explores, without cynicism or irony, is the humanity we share and the forces that can easily taint it.
  • Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]
  • Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: Eggers, Krasinksi and Damon have developed a film about the soul of America and investigates the path we should take in the face of the numerous influences seducing us to one side or the other.
  • Tiago Ramos @ Split Screen [Portuguese]
  • Jonathan Richards @
    • Excerpt: For all its good qualities and good intentions, it squanders its promise in a wallow of sentimentality, improbability, and preachiness.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: There’s nothing here that couldn’t better be handled in a documentary.
  • Tom Santilli @
    • Excerpt: Promised Land may raise some awareness about what fracking is and why it may be dangerous, but it stops short of being important and instead tries to pose as if it is indifferent.
  • Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: However cynically persuasive Dave Eggers’s treatise on national corporate misconduct regarding the widespread purchase of private lands for hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. “fracking”), the story flails as a result of its ambiguous protagonist.
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: However cynically persuasive Dave Eggers’s treatise on national corporate misconduct regarding the widespread purchase of private lands for hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. “fracking”), the story flails as a result of its ambiguous protagonist.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guy’s Opinion
    • Excerpt: An old-fashioned, painfully earnest film.
  • Jean-François Vandeuren @ [French]
  • Phil Villarreal @
    • Excerpt: If M. Night Shyamalan made a movie about gas companies’ pillaging of the heartland, Promised Land would be it.
  • Ron Wilkinson @
    • Excerpt: Touching and believable.
Updated: July 10, 2015 — 11:06 am

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