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Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 60

    But it's to little Benny that the film's heart belongs -- an adorable kid who seems to live only half in this world and the rest of the time in his own imagination, Benny's on a regimen of Ritalin and Lithium and other meds that sometimes leave him even dreamier than is his norm. show more

  • 50
    Andrew Schenker Slant Magazine

    Rather than bringing out the symbolic inner lives of the characters, these sequences seem like the intrusion of an aggressive authorial personality on a film whose subject-as well as the fact of Har'el's outsider status-demands that the filmmaker simply sit back and observe. show more

  • 80

    The fact that Alma Har'el is still stuck in music video director mode makes for an interesting new breed of documentary. show more

  • 100
    Eric Kohn indieWIRE

    The beautiful desolation of Bombay Beach makes it difficult to describe as a documentary. Alma Har'el's directorial debut takes a nonfiction setting and displays its haunting qualities in poetic terms. show more

  • 90
    Andrew O'Hehir

    You either like this kind of ambitious, brave, borderless experiment or you don't, and I think it's absolutely magical and tragic. show more

  • 90
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Looks and feels like a fever dream about an alternate universe. Suffused with a sense of wonder, it hovers, dancing inside its own ethereal bubble. show more

  • 80
    Village Voice

    That it documents rural poverty in the American West without exploiting or sanctifying its subjects would be cause enough for praise. But this doesn't begin to approach what Alma Har'el pulls off with her hybrid documentary knockout Bombay Beach. show more

  • 60
    Los Angeles Times

    More lyrical tone poem than straightforward documentary. show more

  • 50

    In an inspired twist, Har'el brings surreal levity to the potentially downer subject by interrupting her elegiac regional portraiture with a series of amateur dance numbers. Still, without dramatic momentum, this fringe-appeal snapshot feels less like a film than a coffee-table photo project come to life. show more

  • 58
    Noel Murray The A.V. Club

    This aestheticizing of troubled lives proves problematic over the long haul. show more

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