Out of the Blue (Aramoana)
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Out of the Blue (Aramoana)
Out of the Blue, New Zealand writer-director Robert Sarkies' long-awaited follow-up to his 1999 feature debut, Scarfies, recreates the events that led up to and surrounded David Gray's November 13, 1990 mass murder of 13 locals in the town of Aramoana, New Zealand. Sarkies, however, approaches the material not as exploitation nor as an action picture, but -- like Terrence Malick in his 1973 true crime picture Badlands -- as an understated and detached drama. Sarkies uses a contemplative and reflective approach and a small-town pace and resists gratuitousness, intersecting several tales… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The usual dramatic affectations applied to such true-life material are largely absent; instead, Sarkies focuses on various quotidian elements that take on weight as the inevitable draws closer."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"Without such thematic resonance, it plays like a more elaborate version of one of the dramatic re-creations seen on any number of true-crime television programs."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"A claustrophobic dramatic reconstruction of a 22-hour shooting spree in the sleepy coastal town of Aramoana, New Zealand, that left 13 people dead."
‑ Cath Clarke, Guardian
"Harrowing and heartbreaking, this is the film of the week by many a mile. Despite playing in just a handful of cinemas, I urge you to track it down."
‑ , Daily Mirror [UK]
"The massacre still touches a raw nerve in New Zealand but, filming at a neighbouring town and informed by survivors' accounts, Sarkies manages both a sensitive and excruciatingly taut docu-thriller that's refreshing for the genuine weight of its tragedy."
‑ , Total Film
"Sarkies avoids the genre's conventional trappings and prefers instead to concentrate on the ways in which the people of Aramoana deal with the unfolding event."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Like Steven Spielberg's historical epics, the film shows the nastiest incidents from a great distance, or cuts away before a bullet's impact to show an onlooker's shocked reaction. The director confronts horror without wallowing in it."
‑ Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times
"Brilliantly directed, thoroughly gripping thriller that is both deeply moving and genuinely terrifying -- this is one of the best films of the year."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"A strong drama clearly dedicated to exploring its real life events, if not hugely memorable in its own right."
‑ Steve Watson, Film4
"In no way an easy watch, but as a meticulous record of a tragedy and the feats of bravery it inspired, this is an excellent movie."
‑ Rob Daniel, Sky Movies
"Robert Sarkies' dramatization of that event is as sensitive to its subject as it is stark in its rendering."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"There's some nifty soft-focus cinematography and fine performances, but otherwise, not much to resonate on this side of the pond."
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"This is not a feel-good movie by any stretch, but it gets amazing marks on almost every front and really needs to be seen."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Scrupulously avoiding sensationalism, the film concentrates much less on the killer, than on the other locals engulfed in the tragedy."
‑ Thomas Dawson, BBC.com
"A haunting, uplifting and never-exploitative portrayal of a terrifying real-life tragedy."
‑ Mark Dinning, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Out of the Blue (Aramoana) on Rotten Tomatoes