The Dead Lands 2014

Critics score:
69 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Dennis Harvey, Variety: Impressive scenery and action elevate a tale of pre-colonial Maori warfare that is nonetheless brutal to the brink of monotony. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: Abstract, synth-scored finale notwithstanding, it's another plodding take on the hero's journey, with New Zealand's rugged terrain cut into an indistinguishable mass of karst rock and dry grass. Read more

Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter: The characters are all well-drawn and acting is tough, iconic and credible. Read more

Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times: A fable about New Zealand's indigenous Maori people before the arrival of European settlers, "The Dead Lands" values entertainment over archaeology. Read more

Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News: The plot may not be the most original, but the specifics of the Maori culture are unique.There's also neat use of modern electric music, which helps make The Dead Lands come alive. Read more

Nicolas Rapold, New York Times: Honor and shame are frequently announced concerns in the story, and the staginess recalls Mr. Fraser's experience as a theater director. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Once you get past an awkward and artificial beginning and roll with the movie's crazy rhythm, The Dead Lands is also a blast, and one that delivers an unexpected emotional wallop along with gore, thrills and spectacular scenery. Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: Action fans will enjoy the fight scenes while the rest of us may find the film perversely interesting from a socio-anthropological perspective. Read more

Daisy Bowie-Sell, Time Out: A fun thriller that'll have you reaching for the travel brochures. Read more

Aaron Hillis, Village Voice: Essentially a single, overlong, wearyingly violent chase sequence with shout-outs to honor and maintaining traditions, the story isn't much more than an excuse to keep the artery-spraying war of attrition going. Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: It feels like a typical action movie that's been sawed off and sanded down - its blunt edges sharpened, its soft center drained out. It's not particularly original, but it is mean, relentless, and bracing. Read more