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Based on 33 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 63
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    The film, which is literary to a fault, includes an earthquake, but if the earth moves at all, thank Hayek, who gives the tale a smoldering life that finally lifts it from the page. show more

  • 25
    Ruthe Stein San Francisco Chronicle

    The film is a particular disappointment considering its pedigree. show more

  • 50
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Though the film offers a meticulously rendered Depression-era L.A., it's not in the same league as "Chinatown," for which Towne wrote an Oscar-winning script. Here, the characters seem shallow, their motivations murky. show more

  • 50
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Ask the Dust is beautifully shot -- sepia becomes the ravishing, affecting Ms. Hayek. Unfortunately the images of the heaving waves of the Pacific in the moonlight, of mountains rising over scrub and cactus in the sunlight here, serve only to emphasize the emptiness of the drama unfolding in the foreground. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    Its portrait of an artist hungry for experience is as timely today as when it was written. show more

  • 63
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    The sepia-tinted palette of Ask the Dust drips, reeks and creaks of the seamy side of a city that takes more often than it gives. show more

  • 70
    Sheri Linden The Hollywood Reporter

    The film is faithful to the book's tone of dark ache and much of its detail and for the most part terrifically cast. But Towne can't overcome an essential challenge of the material: Arturo and Camilla are constructs and ciphers as much as they are vivid characters -- difficult roles, to be sure. Neither the screenplay nor the actors manage to get far under their skin. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Ask the Dust requires an audience with a special love for film noir, with a feeling for the loneliness and misery of the writer. show more

  • 75
    Chicago Tribune

    Eccentric, miscast (though stimulatingly so), not for all tastes but far from flavorless. show more

  • 75
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    Occasionally overrated as a writer but consistently underrated as a director, Towne does a marvelous job resurrecting all the seedy jumble of the long-gone Bunker Hill neighborhood. show more

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