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Beyond the Gates Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… moving and wrenching … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The greatest failure of the film, written by David Wolstencroft, is its inability to enter into the lives of the Rwandans, Tutsi and Hutu alike. The movie never moves beyond the tragic facts to show us the human face of either victims or perpetrators. All we get are white people shaking their heads and cursing Western governments.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    John Hurt is magnetic as a Catholic priest running a school where terrified Tutsi have taken refuge, while Hugh Dancy, as a naive teacher, represents white commitment to black Africa at its most impotent and unreliable.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    If Beyond the Gates were merely a well-intentioned bore, the reality might seem jarring. As is, the coda fits and feels like the only possible ending--proof that surviving to help tell the story of a genocidal nightmare is the best revenge.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Another devastating look at Rwandan genocide.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the violent images in this film about genocide in Rwanda are hard to look at, especially scenes of children's bloody bodies. While the killings depicted in the movie are, famously, conducted primarily by machete, most of these attacks actually occur just outside the frame, though the killers' intent and effects are clear (lots of bloody aftermath). Militia men appear in various states of hysteria, aggression, and drunkenness. In one very sad scene, a father asks the departing UN captain to shoot the refugees left behind so that they won't have to suffer death by machete. Some language, drinking, and smoking, and one character admits her own racism.

  • Families can talk about the events that the movie was based on. How could you learn more about the slaughter in Rwanda and what took place during and after the genocide? What roles did the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union take? How does this film compare to the 2005 movie Hotel Rwanda? How does what happened in Rwanda compare to more recent events in the Sudan? Are the situations different or similar? What is the media's role in cases like this?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Brutal rebels are relentless in their pursuit of genocide; UN soldiers are ordered not to fight back; white Europeans are evacuated, while black Rwandans are left to be killed; the film indicts many official and personal decisions. Racism is an issue; one white, British character admits to her own racist beliefs.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Brutal, frequent murders occur by shooting and -- mostly -- by machete (though most of the hacking occurs just out of frame, it's clear what's going on, and the blades are bloody); UN soldiers don't fight back against Tutsi militia members, who maraud with weapons, yelling and terrifying the Hutus; bodies shown frequently are bloody, decaying (flies buzz), and upsetting (several children's bodies appear explicitly); suggestion that nuns have been raped (Father Christopher covers their bodies in a particular way).

  • sex false0

    Sex: Very mild flirting between Joe and Marie.

  • language false5

    Language: Several "f--k"s, plus other profanity, including "hell," "s--t," and "s--te."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette smoking and beer drinking.