The Sunset Limited


The Sunset Limited

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,390
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Movie Info

A God-fearing ex-con (Samuel L. Jackson) saves a despondent college professor (Tommy Lee Jones) from throwing himself in front of a speeding subway train, and struggles to comprehend the suicidal man's unwavering despair during a series of intense philosophical debates. Adapted from the play by Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses, The Road). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Sunset Limited

All Critics (1) | Fresh (1)

  • A thinking man's drama that rolls deep, heavy thoughts around and around, trying to puzzle out where the truth lies. Or, indeed, if what we see as the truth is just that: a lie.

    Feb 10, 2012 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The Sunset Limited

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Sunset Limited is a good watch for the characters and the acting. Cynical viewers will scoff at the ideas presented, though the film is not really about ideas. It is more about the interaction between the individuals (and brings up an obvious comparison to My Dinner With Andre). At times the lines come across as having been written (as with the Counselor) but many other times the delivery is excellent in spite of the "written" quality of the lines. I rate The Sunset Limited up mainly on the acting performances since the material does not strike me as being very easily portrayed as being the natural and spontaneous thoughts of the characters.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2014
    Based on Cormac McCarthy's play, <i>The Sunset Limited</i> arranges the conditions necessary for two drastically different points of view to clash in a rather engaing discussion, where their intellectual and philosophical limits are simultaneously put to the challenge and strengthened with the hopeless purpose to arrive to an impossible point of metaphysical agreement. When watching play adaptations to the big screen, suspension of disbelief with respect to to the depiction of realistic settings, rational behavior and believable dialogue delivery is absolutely indispensable for dissecting the (most of the times) rich content worth of thought and reflection that the original creators envisioned in the first place. Samuel L. Jackson is Black: a pseudo-Christian whose beliefs are primarily based on his own preconceived notions about life, faith, death, existence, free will and God's will, lightly inspired by the Holy Bible, a book that clearly does not represent a priority in his life even if he claims otherwise. Tommy Lee Jones is White: one of the thousands of men on this rotten Earth governed by the devil with alarmingly nihilistic, Nietzschean and self-destructive behaviors that have finally fully materialized into acts that nearly drove him to a suicide, represented by the Sunset Limited, a violent and material means which immediacy is ultimately attractive for an atheist that envisions the terms "suffering" and "human destiny" to be mutually explainable between each other. Performances? Excellent. Less impactful and slightly inferior to Roman Polanski's attempt with <i>Carnage</i> (2011) to bring a play to the celluloid realm, but conveniently more thought provoking thanks to its subject matter, <i>The Sunset Limited</i> is a recommended directorial effort by Tommy Lee Jones, who was capable enough to materialize the most important points debated in the play to an engaging and never boring running time of 90 minutes. Again, this is one of the films that will cause problems in regular viewers not only because of its lack of realistic credibility and its 100% dialogue-driven structure, most probably because they are not used to the concept of a <b>play adaptation</b>, but to those with an open mind - <b>A MIND SUFFICIENTLY OPEN NOT TO SEE THIS AS AN ACCURATE DISCUSSION BETWEEN ATHEISM AND THEISM, WHICH IT CERTAINLY ISN'T</b> - the film shall provide very important food for thought in an entertaining way, especially about how both characters are one-sided fundamentalists seemingly trying but obviously not attempting to accept the existential state of opposite realities to their own beliefs. The cover suggests that "nothing is ever black or white", a statement that obviously couldn't be farer from the truth, because even if the world is composed by an infinite number of grey tones in a very big number of human themes, the terms of "good" and "evil" for God are definitely absolute, and as long as humans refuse to see that, their lives will never make sense, not even for the hypocritical, religious persons like "Black". <i>"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!</i> Isaiah 5: 20-21 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2013
    A terrific, dialog driven philosophical discussion between two men with completely opposite world views being totally honest with one another. Shy away if you need action. This is really just two men talking, but I was completely immersed in the interplay between a man who sees no reason to go on, and one whose life was given back to him when confronted with his own mortality, and who now does what he can to bring an opportunity to change to others. I found myself in sympathy with both men, as I still live in the intersection between faith and reason. I give it five stars, because I want to watch this one again and again, to absorb the implications of what each man expresses.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2012
    A confined dialogue driven film adapted from a stage play, very much in the style of The Big Kahuna. The chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson works tremendously, with each bringing a captivating presence to every scene (perhaps better worded as shot for this film). This makes the film work, there is really no action (or much movement for that manner), but we see development through the characters and their dialogue. At the same time, the material is certainly better suited for a play, it's just a little too confining for what it is. The script is very intelligently written, however, and succeeds at being engaging, but fell apart for me at the end a little, with a melodramatic monologue from Tommy Lee Jones that didn't see completely in-tune with his earlier actions and was perhaps overwritten. Still, a smart drama. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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