Entertainment Weekly - 08/13/2004
"Directed by Bronwen Hughes with striking verve, STANDER efficiently conveys the anarchic ironies of the situation..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 07/01/2004
"The film does an impressive job of dramatizing the brutality of the apartheid era..."
Uncut - 06/01/2005
"[A] cross between GOODFELLAS, CITY OF GOD and Michael Mann's THIEF, with a jumping David Holmes score and a career-making turn from Jane....STANDER absolutely rocks."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2005
"[T]he film's energy and zip keep it consistently watchable..."
Unfolding with the speed and rhythm of an action movie and showcasing stylistic flourishes that hint at Quentin Tarantino, STANDER takes on one of history's most infamous injustices with a surprising amount of humor and vivacity. Set in 1976, the film tells the true story of Andre Stander, a young police captain in Johannesburg, South Africa. His apex of official power coincided with the pinnacle of the devastating policies of apartheid. As the movie illustrates in an evocative and pivotal scene, Stander's view of his society and position within it is profoundly shaken when he kills an unarmed black man during a chaotic anti-apartheid riot. Aware that he lives in a society so devastatingly racist that he is free to murder without consequence, Stander stages an unconventional political protest by robbing banks. As he becomes more and more successful at maintaining a double life as a criminal-cop, his addiction to the thrills and accoutrements of the outlaw lifestyle begin to overshadow any political purpose.
Director Bronwen Hughes (best known for helming studio flicks FORCES OF NATURE and HARRIET THE SPY) has skillfully woven together elements of a political tract, character study, and heist movie to a unified and compelling whole. But the movie belongs to its star, Thomas Jane, who seems to dissolve into his complex role, making Stander an irresistibly contradictory antihero.
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