Black Gold

Black Gold

Set in the 1930s Arab states at the dawn of the oil boom, the story centers on a young Arab prince torn between allegiance to his conservative father and modern, liberal father-in-law. 2.0 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
Black Gold

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Drama
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast Mark Strong, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed, Jamal Awar, Lotfi Dziri, Eriq Ebouaney, Mostafa Gaafar, Akin Gazi, Ziad Ghaoui, Corey Johnson, Liya Kebede Tahar Rahim
Studio Warner Bros UK
Release Date February 2012
Running Time 130 mins
 

Set in the 1930s Arab states at the dawn of the oil boom, the story centers on a young Arab prince torn between allegiance to his conservative father and modern, liberal father-in-law.

Reviews

Screen

Matt Mueller

If the script were less stilted and over-explanatory, the storytelling less herky-jerky, Black Gold could be looking at a rosy future on the international circuit. As it is ... it’s a less satisfying journey than it ought to have been.

26/10/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Still, if you can look beyond a cast that's more United Nations than United Arab Emirates – and that's not easy, what with Banderas's unwaveringly Spanish accent – Black Gold holds up as a respectable attempt at a good old-fashioned epic, complete with a sweeping James Horner score and some impressive camel-vs-armoured-car battle scenes.

26/02/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

It's a tepid, timid affair, sexually, dramatically and politically.

26/02/2012

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

In its eagerness to reflect a broad span of Arab opinion, the film sees good and ill in both rival rulers, a narrative approach unsuited for a would-be epic, since we watch with resolutely academic interest. Moreover, aspirations to Arab cultural authenticity look shaky in the face of box-office casting, foisting the story with unconvincing international leads, of whom only Strong emerges with much credit.

21/02/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

Two hours in, you’re hoping it’s all a mirage.

24/02/2012

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Total Film

Matt Mueller

As conniving moderniser Nesib, Banderas is watchable in a Christmas panto way; Freida Pinto makes a fetching if unlikely Arab princess; and Strong brings dignified nobility to the fiercely traditional Amar. But it’s Rahim’s transition from bespectacled wallflower to unifying crusader that gives Gold its supposed backbone, and while the A Prophet star has some compelling moments with Strong, he’s less convincing as a dynamic leader intent on uniting feuding Bedouin tribes.

13/02/2012

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

Its most basic weakness is the dullness of its drama, which wastes a potentially good period setting: the early days of the Arabian oil boom.

26/02/2012

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

A sprawling epic with plenty to please the eye, but the pace of a movie made 50 years ago, and little to interest the modern movie-going public.

24/02/2012

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Empire Magazine

Angie Errigo

All this no doubt sounded grand in conception, but the execution approaches unintentionally funny with a tritely clichéd script spouted by a cast too international for its own good, British and Spanish accents and styles contrasting absurdly with some mightily inept if authentically Arab thespians.

20/02/2012

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia it is not. Indeed, the whole farrago makes Annaud's earlier films, which include Quest for Fire and The Name of the Rose, look even better than they seemed at the time.

24/02/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Proves Einstein’s theory that space is curved. The screen is as wide as the universe, but the further you go in either direction the more you realise you have been there before.

23/02/2012

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The Guardian

Andrew Pulver

Despite its honourable intentions, Black Gold hits the ground with a terrible clunking thud, its broken-English dialogue squeezing the life out of it practically from the off.

23/02/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Whoever wrote the script has a preference for bluster where clarity would have been useful: it's the kind of film in which someone shouts, "We'll follow you to the other side of hell!" while failing to provide much clue as to who "we" might be.

24/02/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

This deathly dull period drama ... renders a fascinating story rich in historical significance thoroughly mundane. Blame director Jean-Jacques Annaud, whose misplaced sense of grandeur has convinced him that sweeping shots of deserts and vaguely ethnic-looking Euro actors spouting exposition-heavy dialogue makes for compelling drama. It doesn’t, and nor does the screenwriting-101 approach to the themes.

23/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Punishingly tedious.

23/02/2012

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