Waiting for the Barbarians (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Waiting for the Barbarians2020

Waiting for the Barbarians (2020)



Critic Consensus: Admirable in theory but disappointing in execution, Waiting for the Barbarians struggles to turn strong performances and worthy themes into affecting drama.

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Movie Info

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. Adapted by Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee from his own book, Directed by Ciro Guerra, co-starring Robert Pattinson.

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Mark Rylance
as The Magistrate
Johnny Depp
as Colonel Holl
Robert Pattinson
as Officer Mandel
David Dencik
as The Clerk
Sam Reid
as The Lieutenant
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Critic Reviews for Waiting for the Barbarians

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (21)

There's not much here for even the most ardent fan of overdetermined political fables.

November 22, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Its declarations are too easy, its conclusions too neat.

September 11, 2020 | Rating: 2/5

The screenplay is written by J.M. Coetzee, adapting his own 1980 novel with a strikingly free hand but the message left intact - the eternal awful irony of which Them should really fear which Us.

September 2, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

It's a mixed bag, but worth seeing... The main reason to see it is for Mark Rylance's performance.

August 17, 2020 | Full Review…

The heavy-handed allegory, with Johnny Depp as a ruthless government agent, relies too much on abuse and would-be Big Ideas.

August 10, 2020 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

This is proficient, measured filmmaking from a director who has already peered more deeply, and persuasively, into colonialism's heart of darkness.

August 9, 2020 | Full Review…

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