yush’s review published on Letterboxd:
this makes perfect sense as a followup to donnie darko, not only because kelly keeps consistent with his brand of ambitious narratives propelled by characters spouting irony after irony with downright lynchian effect (literally, 60% of the lines in this burn with the same absurdity as "i seriously doubt your commitment to sparkle motion!"), but because while in that film he was exploring suburban ennui at a time when the media was slowly encroaching further and further upon the american consciousness, southland tales examines just how (literally) apocalyptic the effect of the media has become today, to the point where he makes crystal clear how people become misappropriated by images, how people misappropriate what and how they see in images, how clusters of images become so overwhelming such that they collectively instill only a basic, general, common "truth" (lie), and how, ultimately, the only option is to fight fire with fire. kelly juggles so many ideas but i can't find this at all frustrating when they all seem to converge to a very singular feeling. i'd love to know why people who like donnie darko don't like this.