The Sheltering Sky
The Sheltering Sky (1990)

In Bernardo Bertolucci's adaptation of Paul Bowles' novel The Sheltering Sky, an American couple (Debra Winger and John Malkovich) travel to North Africa in the late '40s with the hopes of resparking their love and their… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 14, 2002
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Critic Score: 50% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

A disappointingly reductive adaptation of Paul Bowles's first novel.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

A long, beautifully modulated cry of despair.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Filled with stunning visuals.

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Variety Staff

Those who haven't read the book will be left bewildered.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The book is so complete, so deep and so self-contained that it shuts the movie out. Bertolucci shows us the outsides and the surfaces, and a person seeing this movie without having read the book might ask what it is about.

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Time Out

As you'd expect, it's a big, handsome film, rich and strange in psychological depths and eroticism. Malkovich and Winger play woundingly well.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Bowles's gentle, avian features, the obvious wisdom of his years and his distinctive presence are practically worth the price of admission.

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brimming with obscure meaning and devoid of drive and fervor, the film dries up in that symbolic desert sun, the victim of its own pretensions and a casualty of trying to film something best suited to the realm of cult literature.

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More reviews for The Sheltering Sky

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
The worst!!! When its finally over you find yourself asking, how can so many talented people make something this pretentious and odious.
Anthony Valletta
Bertolucci's worst film. I would rather tear my eyes out than see this again.
Mike T.
I would feel like I was overlooking some considerable flaws if I called this movie perfect, but I am perfectly okay with saying that I loved it.… More
Audrey Lush
A painfully long movie...