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Don't Come Knocking

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United Kingdom, France, Germany · 2005
Rated R · 2h 3m
Director Wim Wenders
Starring Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Gabriel Mann
Genre Drama

Howard Spence has seen better days. Once a big Western movie star, he now drowns his disgust for his selfish and failed life with alcohol, drugs, and young women. If he were to die now, nobody would shed a tear over him. Until one day Howard learns that he might have a child somewhere out there...

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What are critics saying?


New York Post by

It's all interspersed with strange attempts at comedy that fail on two levels: They're not funny, and they puncture what little drama there is.


L.A. Weekly by Ella Taylor

So radiantly awful that, given the egghead credentials of the director and his screenwriter and star Sam Shepard, I initially took the charitable route and assumed I was in the presence of parody.


New York Daily News by Jack Mathews

In what is more a cry of regret than a coherent story, Shepard's character mopes his way through meetings with an old girlfriend (Jessica Lange) and the grown children he sired, the only apparent lesson being that bad behavior has a way of circling back on you.


Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman

Shepard's charisma has always reached back to an earlier time, so it's easy to accept him as a kind of pre-counterculture hero - Eastwood without the sneer - who aged into the era of tabloid scandal.


Christian Science Monitor by Peter Rainer

Judged on any kind of rational level, this film is a mess, and Fairuza Balk, as a punky friend of Howard's son, gives the single most annoying performance I have ever seen. But Franz Lustig's cinematography has a Walker Evans-like power.


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

Filled with haunting visual panoramas. One of the most resonant is a nighttime shot of the Elko skyline dominated by a glittering casino. Evoking a once and future gold rush, it says more about the Old West and the New West than all of Mr. Shepard's elliptical, stagy dialogue can muster. Such powerful images make Don't Come Knocking well worth contemplating.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

Strikes some resonant chords but also hits notes that simply don't ring true and are borderline risible at times

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