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Skin 2009

Critics score:
85 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Kevin B. Lee, Time Out: Unable to probe the complex relationships engendered by a biracial society, Skin simply becomes an example of colorless, by-the-numbers apartheid cinema. Read more

Ted Fry, Seattle Times: Skin is a moving and smartly made account of a truly peculiar episode from the period of apartheid that existed as national policy in South Africa until just 15 years ago. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Laing's life, despite its inherent melodrama, does not automatically lend itself to the screen. And without the aid of a smart script or a prevailing sense of delicacy, a movie about her or apartheid risks being a blunt instrument. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: In a day when it's difficult to say something new about the racial divide, Sandy's story has a poignant power as it underscores just how deeply the fissures run even when it's all in the family. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: Provocative. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Sophie Okonedo, so good in Hotel Rwanda, is fine here as well. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Potent, still relevant and inspiring while maddening, Skin shows some of our best and much of our worst. Read more

Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly: Skin is a tragic, enraging, and uplifting tale. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: This unadorned but affecting drama about Sandra Laing, who attracted media attention in the 1950s when her white parents fought the South African system, suffers from a one-note script, but still does right by its tricky subject. Read more

V.A. Musetto, New York Post: The direction is never more than conventional, with a tear-inducing finale better suited to a TV soap opera. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Every emotion is underscored with sugary music, every narrative plot progression telegraphed with the mechanical structural stiffness of a made-for-TV movie. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: As told by director Anthony Fabian, Skin is both exasperatingly choppy and exceptionally moving. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This great film by Anthony Fabian tells this story through the eyes of a happy girl who grows into an outsider. Read more

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle: Director Anthony Fabian lets the story sell itself, and it does so partly on the strength of the lead performance by Sophie Okonedo. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It feels hurried, looks cheap, and works overtime to simplify a complex, flawed character into a noble, tragic heroine. The film speaks fluent cliche. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: Director Anthony Fabian and his team of writers have lost sight of the conflicts inherent in her story, relying on TV-movie cliche and tired, unsuccessful attempts at emotional manipulation. Read more

Dennis Harvey, Variety: Read more

Ella Taylor, Village Voice: Workmanlike, but enormously moving. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: What takes that story of heartbreak and makes it ultimately heartwarming is that Sandra's story, much like the history of apartheid itself, doesn't end there. Read more