Waiting for the Barbarians (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Waiting for the Barbarians2020

Waiting for the Barbarians (2020)



Critic Consensus: Admirable in theory but disappointing in execution, Waiting for the Barbarians struggles to turn strong performances and worthy themes into affecting drama.

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Movie Info

The Magistrate (Mark Rylance) of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire looks forward to an easy retirement until the arrival of Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp), whose task it is to report on the activities of the 'barbarians' and on the security situation on the border. Joll conducts a series of ruthless interrogations, which leads the Magistrate to question his loyalty to the empire. Adapted by Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee from his own book, Directed by Ciro Guerra, co-starring Robert Pattinson.

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Mark Rylance
as The Magistrate
Johnny Depp
as Colonel Holl
Robert Pattinson
as Officer Mandel
David Dencik
as The Clerk
Sam Reid
as The Lieutenant
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Critic Reviews for Waiting for the Barbarians

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (13)

This is proficient, measured filmmaking from a director who has already peered more deeply, and persuasively, into colonialism's heart of darkness.

August 9, 2020 | Full Review…

Despite its nostalgic trappings, the film, Colombian director Ciro Guerra's English-language debut, soon reveals itself as timely in the extreme: This is a parable of the good cop.

August 7, 2020 | Full Review…

Despite the sincerity that's in every scene with Rylance's performance, the movie's good intentions remain wistful, and thoroughly frustrating.

August 7, 2020 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's a collision of talents, technique and even philosophy: The much-honored Mr. Rylance can be an antidote to actorly artifice; Mr. Depp is a delivery system for eccentricity.

August 6, 2020 | Full Review…

Sparks fly thanks to the star power of Depp, Pattinson and Rylance, but not enough for award-winning Colombian director Ciro Guerra to save this anti-imperialist allegory from the thuddingly obvious.

August 6, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

On a screen, we tend to crave more specificity. The result, coupled with a too-languorous pace, is a film that's intermittently engrossing and always interesting, but less potent than it could have been.

August 6, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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