Smoke Signals
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This dramatic feature was written, directed, and co-produced by Native Americans. Native American writer Sherman Alexie scripted this adaptation of his 1993 short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Director Chris Eyre's previous short Someone Kept Saying Powwow is incorporated into the 88-minute feature. Developed at the Sundance Lab in 1995, the film was a winner of both the Audience Award and the Filmmakers' Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. In 1976, an infant survives a fire that kills his parents. In a flash forward to the present day, the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It was shocking to realize that as late as 1998, this was still one of the few movies made by insiders, written, directed, and acted by Native Americans. The father-son narrative is conventional but it has humor and is well acted."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A resolutely so-so movie puffed beyond all recognition by non-First Nation critics looking to expiate their dimly-felt sense of historic debt."
‑ Martin Scribbs, Low IQ Canadian
"The good news is that Smoke Signals is a movie that requires no dispensation ..."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The central character is so superficially conceived that you never feel the force of his culture or ethnicity."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"A brilliantly performed movie....Beach is a knockout"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"A moving and engrossing look at life on The Rez for two Native American youths. Adam Beach's performance is admirable. Irene Bedard is gorgeous and mesmerizing."
‑ Brian Mckay, eFilmCritic.com
"The film pokes fun at the interface between life on "the rez" and the dominant white culture. It also reveals how ritual and friendship can be healing medicine."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Smoke Signals won the 1998 Sundance Festival film of the year."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Native American themed story has great moments"
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"It wasn't perfectly put together, the actors were sometimes too enthusiastic or not enough ... but it really touched me."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"best film ever made that captures the real character and spirit of modern Native Americans"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for Smoke Signals on Rotten Tomatoes