The Burning Plain

111 mins
Poster for The Burning Plain

A trailer is burning in the middle of a plain. The bodies of two adulterous lovers are found. Scenes from... More

Where to watch The Burning Plain

The Burning Plain is available to stream in New Zealand... More now on YouTube and Google TV and Apple TV Store.

The Burning Plain | Ratings & Reviews

"A frustrating exercise in self-indulgence..."

Roger EbertRoger Ebert

"It's a hard film to love, partly because of its air of deadly seriousness."

Sydney Morning HeraldSydney Morning Herald

"Despite an OK-to-good cast... this remains an elaborate writing exercise with few emotional hooks."


"Humourless and sanctimonious..."

Slant MagazineSlant Magazine

"When so many cinema releases are instantly forgettable, The Burning Plain clings to the memory..."

The AustralianThe Australian

"Overheated, half-baked banality."

The New York TimesThe New York Times

"The heavy misery and self-importance... becomes overwhelming."


"(Arriaga) has an uncanny understanding of damaged human beings. He needs to step away to let them live."

The TimesThe Times

"(Arriaga's) obviousness is staggering."

Village VoiceVillage Voice

"Fate breeds fatalism in a tale that Guillermo Arriaga masterfully writes and directs."

Film ThreatFilm Threat

"Heavy on symbolism and melodrama but empty on ideas."

Film School RejectsFilm School Rejects

"For all the pretenses of roiling or suffocated desires, the cast appears to have been ordered to deaden all sensation (except for Basinger, who frets away in an underwritten part)."

Time OutTime Out

"The characters aren't compelling enough to ask viewers to give their brains a workout to determine exactly what's going on."

New York PostNew York Post

"Arriaga’s directorial debut... sinks into full-on self-parody, slogging through themes of guilt and redemption with joyless, artless determination."

A.V. ClubA.V. Club

"The scenery (prettily captured by... Robert Elswit) is littered with heavy symbolism (fire! rain! dead birds!); the performances are merely heavy."

Entertainment WeeklyEntertainment Weekly

"The result is confusion, not catharsis."

Chicago ReaderChicago Reader

"Throw in enough symbolism to choke an English-lit major and you have a film challenge that too often feels like a chore."

The Globe and MailThe Globe and Mail