• Released
  • April 22, 2011
  • (Limited 4/22)
  • R , 1 hr 46 min
  • Drama
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70

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
Writer-director Steven Silver (with an able assist from cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak) captures this brutal time - which led to the country's first free, multiracial elections in 1994 and the end of apartheid - in vivid, often bold, but never overpowering strokes.
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60

Movieline

By Stephanie Zacharek
Unfortunately, Silver's movie doesn't cut deep enough: It glosses over some thorny questions and hammers too fixedly on others.
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60

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
The story has heat, even if the movie is more entranced with its subjects than in what they're trying to achieve.
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50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Michael Rechtshaffen
When all is said and done, their Pulitzer-winning photographs prove more potent than this well-intended but frustratingly generic picture.
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50

NPR

By Ian Buckwalter
A slideshow of actual photographs by the Bang Bang Club during the end credits packs more emotional punch than anything that precedes them, displaying in their still frames the singular focus that the movie lacks.
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50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Liam Lacey
Ultimately, his (Silver) film settles for a queasy mix of high-toned intentions and commercial compromises.
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50

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
This question, which will instinctively occur to many viewers, is never quite dealt with in the film. The photographers sometimes drive into the middle of violent situations, hold up a camera, and say "press!" - as if that will solve everything.
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50

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
Writer-director Silver, who trained in documentaries, appears flummoxed by the challenges of getting the audience inside the heads of these young men.
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40

Time Out New York

By David Fear
A single arresting shot of a photographer chasing a man on fire says more about journalistic ethics and the queasy power of the image than all of the speechifying and star-posing combined; if only the rest of this muddled movie had as much insightful Sontagian bang.
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38

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
Seldom does The Bang Bang Club show much interest in the big picture of South Africa. When moral issues do come to the forefront, the big worry seems to be not questionable behavior but bad publicity.
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48 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.