The Burning Plain
The Burning Plain (2009)

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… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
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Critic Score: 36% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: This heavily symbolic, melodramatic multi-narrative drama lacks emotional resonance.

Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail

Throw in enough symbolism to choke an English-lit major and you have a film challenge that too often feels like a chore.

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Tom Long
Detroit News

It's serious stuff, intended for serious movie people. The only problem is, serious movie people have already been there, done that.

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Martin Tsai
Critic's Notebook

If you are willing to turn a blind eye to the inherently hackneyed nature of "The Burning Plain," though, the film turns out to be somewhat rewarding.

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Greg Quill
Toronto Star

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.

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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader

The result is confusion, not catharsis.

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Melissa Anderson
Film Comment Magazine

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.

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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Possibly the stories fit too neatly. If so, it's hardly a fatal flaw.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

The film is strikingly photographed and intensely acted, but the tone is overwrought melodrama.

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Mike Edwards
What Culture

Deep-seated emotional problems are examined in a complex movie that, as ever with Arriaga, refuses to fit into a straightforward narrative.

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More reviews for The Burning Plain

Flixster Audience Score: 56% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
The only reason to watch this film is the remarkable performance by Jennifer Lawrence, who recently garnered a Golden Globe nomination for another film. She… More
Chris Garman
The Burning Plain opens with a trailer in the middle of the desert that is engulfed in flame. It just sits there, an inferno with a background that John Ford… More
Fernando Rafael Quintero Castañeda
The first film by Guillermo Arriaga since his public breakup with professional partner Alejandro González Iñárritu, a collaboration that rendered such lauded… More
Leigh Ryan
It took me a little bit to start piecing things together, but I did and it turned out to be an okay film. Wouldn't watch it again...
Cynthia S.
This was really good. Charlize Theron is such a great actress. It took me a little while to figure out who was who in this movie, cuz they were jumping around… More
familiar stranger
Initially, it was a bit difficult to keep in track with the timeline, but after a while, I was able to get it. However, the movie is not worth the exercise!!!