Box art for Beyond the Gates

Beyond the Gates


Based on true events and filmed in Rwanda with genocide survivors as cast and crew, Beyond The Gates tells their shared story of humanity in the most inhumane circumstances.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another devastating look at Rwandan genocide.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the violent images in this film about genocide in Rwanda are hard to look at, especially scenes of children's bloody bodies. While the killings depicted in the movie are, famously, conducted primarily by machete, most of these attacks actually occur just outside the frame, though the killers' intent and effects are clear (lots of bloody aftermath). Militia men appear in various states of hysteria, aggression, and drunkenness. In one very sad scene, a father asks the departing UN captain to shoot the refugees left behind so that they won't have to suffer death by machete. Some language, drinking, and smoking, and one character admits her own racism.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the events that the movie was based on. How could you learn more about the slaughter in Rwanda and what took place during and after the genocide? What roles did the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union take? How does this film compare to the 2005 movie Hotel Rwanda? How does what happened in Rwanda compare to more recent events in the Sudan? Are the situations different or similar? What is the media's role in cases like this?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 28
    see all Beyond the Gates reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews


- Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune, Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rotten: I think Beyond the Gates is an important film, and it's too bad that it's not a very good one.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Wednesday, March 7, 2007


- Brett Michel, Boston Phoenix, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

font=Century Gothic]It would be the easiest thing in the world to simply write off "Beyond the Gates" as another tearjerker but it has got more things on its mind than that.(A very unsentimental ending does raise it to another level.) In telling the story about two white Englishmen, Christopher(John Hurt, who is fantastic), a priest who intially believes the situation in Rwanda in 1994 to be no more serious than a coup, and Joe(Hugh Dancy), a neophyte teacher, who give sanctuary to thousands of Tutsi's during the resulting genocide, the movie covers a lot of the same ground that "Hotel Rwanda" and the documentary "Shake Hands with the Devil" have already covered, especially in the impossible situation that the United Nations troops were placed in, under orders not to fire their weapons. But the movie turns a mirror onto its own Eurocentrism. Joe gets Rachel(Nicola Walker), a reporter, to cover their situation by mentioning the Europeans there and later that same reporter confesses her own racism in covering similar atrocities in the Balkans. /font] font=Century Gothic]/font] font=Century Gothic]All of which brings to mind the non-action that has been happening towards Darfur the last couple of years. Just as there is no difference between Hutu and Tutsi, there is no difference between black and white. We are all one people on this planet and must come to the aid of those in desperate straits no matter where they are./font]

- gator681, Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2 stars

Too self-serving, and supplies absolutely no insight into the vital question of why Hutu hatred for the Tutsis could have reached such a boiling point.

- DocHalister, Friday, November 30, 2012

3 stars

As with all movies based on genocide, this movie is not easy to watch. The focus of this story is the spiritual conflict of two British men that are running a school and church in Rwanda when the government is overthrown. In the end each must make his own difficult choice. This can't be a happy story, but the cast was great and the plot was well developed.

- Hamee, Monday, July 30, 2012