Waiting for the Barbarians

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

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.

Cast

  • Mark Rylance
  • Johnny Depp
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Gana Bayarsaikhan
  • Greta Scacchi
  • David Dencik
  • Sam Reid
  • Harry Melling
  • Bill Milner
  • Gursed Dalkhsuren

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POPULAR TAGS
#slow
#boring

Metacritic

60
Sep 12, 2019

The critique of those in power and their need to put down others — preferably foreign or different-looking people — in order to stay on top is as relevant in 2019 as it was in 1980, when the novel was first published. But like its noncommittal production design, which combines various North African, Middle Eastern and Asian influences for the locals and locales, the critique itself remains finally quite dull and dispersed because it's so broad and unspecific.

Metacritic review by Boyd van Hoeij
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
30
Sep 12, 2019

Despite meticulous visuals and a strong central performance by Mark Rylance, the film feels dramatically ponderous and emotionally inert.

Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily