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The Constant Gardener Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A masterwork of suspense, romance and political intrigue.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Robert K. Elder

    A sweaty, vital masterpiece that's always one step ahead of its audience.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    In the end, The Constant Gardener is hardly more than yet another study of white, upper-middle-class martyrdom rather than the hard look at third-world suffering it might've been.

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    His (Fernando Meirelles) impressionistic, guerilla style of filmmaking works surprisingly well in capturing the hypnotic urgency of le Carre's fiction. And his viewpoint is less British and more Third World.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie is smart, serious, and adult about something that matters, but not at the expense of a kind of awful, sensual revelry as le Carré's capacious plot hurtles to its big finish.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Government intrigue in Africa, for older teens+.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie begins with an abrupt, violent car crash scene resulting in two deaths. The film features complex betrayals (personal, corporate, and political) that will be difficult for younger viewers to follow. It also includes images of impoverished and ailing individuals in Kenyan villages and hospitals, violence (men on horseback chase after villagers), chase scenes, and brief sexuality (a soft-filtered, loving scene with the couple nestled in white sheets). Some language (uttered in anger), and much discussion of disloyalty, lies, and greed on the part of British government officials and international drug corporations.

  • Families can talk about love and betrayal and how the movie begs questions of individual, institutional and political trust. How does the film use "Africa" as an idea as much as a location? How does the film indict bureaucracies and champion individual acts?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Government and corporate corruption, lies and arguments between friends.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Violent car crash at start, violence inflicted on villagers, a woman miscarries.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Romantic, pretty sex, some nudity (pregnant body).

  • language false3

    Language: Used in anger or frustration.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Discussion of drugs products and patents.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Brief smoking, drinking; drugs given to patients.