Joseph Brown’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Oh I have an idea, let't put The Rock, Justin Timberlake, and Mandy Moore in a movie about the apocalypse," Richard Kelly must have said once when he was drunk.
Considering the actors, script, and the man behind it all, you're aware going in that Southland Tales will not be a nicely packaged piece of film-making craftsmanship. Frankly, it's a mess. But because it knows it won't be taken seriously, the 2.5 blissful hours of Southland Tales is a film free of any restraints of expectation. Truly anything can happen, and really just about everything does. It succeeds because it abuses the film medium to create its own universe. Once you surrender yourself and your precepts of film, everything makes sense (a similar code can be applied to any of Kelly's films).
I've always seen greatness in film as when the ambition is great and that ambition is fulfilled. Southland Tales has an extraordinary amount of ambition, none of which sticks the landing. It's rare these days that we are gifted with a film so gloriously, magnificently, wonderfully terrible.