As reversible misunderstandings grow into irreversible tragedy, it slowly dawns on you that this is a superior, heartbreaking film.
Los Angeles Times
Its step-by-step tragedy is so ruthless in its unfolding, you may find yourself wishing it were less well done, that it left you some room to breathe. But House of Sand and Fog has a story to tell and it means to tell it, no matter what the cost.
A faithful, powerful and superbly acted adaptation of Andre Dubus III's international bestseller.
This is a hard, challenging motion picture. It demands much from the audience, and repays that investment with powerful, engrossing drama that does not offer insulting, facile answers. House of Sand and Fog is gripping and unforgettable, one of the best movies of 2003.
Just because a scenario turns dark doesn't mean that it's convincing. House of Sand and Fog is artful until it lunges for Art.
Novelist Andre Dubus's plotting may be too much for a two-hour movie. But the story's details feel fresh. The vivid clarity of the images, the compressed fury of the tale, are impossible to get out of your head.
The New York Times
The nearly flawless execution of a deeply flawed premise.
The Hollywood Reporter
The carefully laid foundation of suspense and dread, with its symmetries and crisp dialogue, is squandered in a clumsy pileup of credulity-stretching cataclysmic events.
The clunky manipulations of plot, and the sorry fate awaiting everyone in this foggy House is less wrenching than acted.
Everything about the movie seems excessive to the material. What should have been a small, independent feature without marquee casting -- the story's protagonists, after all, are meant to be the kind of people nobody ever notices.