The Burning Plain
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Sylvia's cool, professional demeanor masks the sexually charged storm within. When a stranger from Mexico confronts her with her mysterious past, she is launched into a journey through space and time that inextricably connects her to disparate characters, all of whom are grappling with their own romantic destinies. In Mexico, a young motherless girl, Maria, lives happily with her father and his best friend until a tragic accident changes it all. In the New Mexico border town of Las Cruces, two teenagers, Mariana and Santiago, find love in the aftermath of their parents' sudden deaths.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The burning is mostly on the plain, not in this labyrinthine story."
‑ Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter
"Possibly the stories fit too neatly. If so, it's hardly a fatal flaw."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"What's that smell? The plain isn't the only thing that's charred in screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut; subtlety goes up in flames too."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Film Comment Magazine
"Babel director shows his hand too soon"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"A melancholy but also profoundly uplifting film by the talented Guillermo Arriaga. Storytelling is an artform and Arriaga is a master"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Throw in enough symbolism to choke an English-lit major and you have a film challenge that too often feels like a chore."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"It's serious stuff, intended for serious movie people. The only problem is, serious movie people have already been there, done that."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Deep-seated emotional problems are examined in a complex movie that, as ever with Arriaga, refuses to fit into a straightforward narrative."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"Arriaga's multi-narrative format got the best of him. Rather than deliver a sense of shock and awe, it's swallowed up by complexity, leaving you to wonder, "This is it?""
‑ Perri Nemiroff,
"I think Ariaga needs to find another structuring device: this is way too complex, and Arriaga is so busy time-shifting that it takes quite a while to figure out who the characters are, and the way their relationships come together."
‑ Julie Rigg, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"If Arriaga had allowed us to spend more time with the key characters in this extended tragedy, or had spent some time punching up the plot, The Burning Plain might have had a chance."
‑ Greg Quill, Toronto Star
"The result is confusion, not catharsis."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"Knowing ... that it's a 20-year old story, one can only conclude the idea behind the film would have been best left unfilmed, an unfinished step toward greater things."
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
"When so many cinema releases are instantly forgettable, The Burning Plain clings to the memory..."
‑ David Stratton, The Australian
"It's a hard film to love, partly because of its air of deadly seriousness."
‑ Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
More reviews for The Burning Plain on Rotten Tomatoes