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A man is put in jeopardy when he's forced to help a family with nowhere to turn in this drama from Italian filmmaker Emanuele Crialese. Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio) is an elderly fisherman who lives on the Sicilian island of Linosa. The fishing business has gone into a slump and many on the island have either opened businesses catering to tourists or moved elsewhere, though his 20-year-old grandson Filippo (Filippo Pucillo) works with him over the objection of his more pragmatic mother (Donatella Finocchiaro). Political and economic unrest in North Africa has caused a growing number of people… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Terraferma offers a sun-splashed meditation on compassion, tradition, tolerance, and generational change."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Involving, thematically rich ... yet also quite timeless ..."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"The visuals are memorable, and so are the characters and their moral dilemmas."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"Another fine piece of work from one of the world's major filmmaking talents."
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"[a] story of stark choices and uncertain futures."
‑ Chris Barsanti, PopMatters
"For the most part the multi-faceted story works."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"Emanuele Crialese's film burns with a sense of this situation's inhumanity, and he gives a palpable sense of life in a place where the beauty attracts tourists, but the natives are barely getting by."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"As the protagonist's solidarity is put to the test, however, Terraferma slides from detail-rich fable to Important Issue statement, its symbolism growing leaden and its characters shedding their eccentricities for masks of nobility."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Film Comment Magazine
"looks great and the screenplay, by director Crialese and Vittorio Moroni, is a nicely layered work that composes its several stories like a symphony."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Also a poignant consideration of traditional ways and so-called "progress" touted to improve things, Terraferma is a nostalgic type of high-quality foreign drama that, in the old days, would have "stuck" on screens or become classic in some sense."
‑ Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International
"Crialese and co-screenwriter Vittorio Moroni portray a way of life on that island in complete uproar .."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"The visceral passion of these tales of poverty-stricken but tight communities, dreaming and striving for better futures for their children, gripped me."
‑ Ella Taylor, NPR
"It's well-meaning, properly on the side of human rights, but also schematic and thematically heavy-handed."
‑ Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
"uses an astonishingly beautiful setting to explore just who has a right to it."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Ignore the bad reviews from my jaded colleagues. This is not only a compelling story that goes to the heart of the immigration debate, it is a lovely work of art in the grand Italian neorealist tradition."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
More reviews for Terraferma on Rotten Tomatoes