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While all the reviewers appreciate the broad coverage of an interracial wartime love story, the majority are in agreement that Alan Parker does not do history justice with Come See the Paradise. While the film is indeed historically accurate, retelling tales of actual events before and during the internment years, it focuses so much time on the love story that it undercut the significance of the internment during the war. Parker is accused of being so overly dramatic in every aspect of the film that the true drama is lost on the audience, and many of the reviewers did not appreciate the Caucasian male lead as a valuable part of the story. The film was only a moderate success.

Ansen, David. "History a la Hollywood." Newsweek 14 January 1991: 54.
Ansen is disappointed in Parker's depiction of history. He believes that the story should not have been told with the parallel perspectives of the Kawamuras and Jack McGurn but that it would have been more effective without the "vantage point of a white hero." Ansen compares "Come See the Paradise" to Richard Pearce's "The Long Walk Home," another historic film that relives feminism and the struggle for civil rights in the ‘60s; in the end, Ansen prefers "The Long Walk" to "Paradise."
Armstrong, Douglas. "Wartime Japanese-American Injustice Plumbed in ‘Come See the Paradise.'" Milwaukee Journal 3 February 1991.
"lan Parker's fictionalized story of one . . . family in 'Come See the Paradise' is an often deeply moving account of [the civil rights] injustice [of the detention camps], a film that personalizes the deplorable ordeal."
Arnold, William. "‘Paradise' May Have a Few Flaws But Overall It's a Heavenly Film." Seattle Post-Intelligencer 11 January 1991.
"The main problem with [‘Come See the Paradise'] is that it starts off as a teary-eyed love story and ends up being something else. The tragedy of the lovers gets so diffused that we end up feeling detached from their personal plight. Parker . . . doesn't have the novelistic command to make his strands come together. An Englishman, he also has trouble capturing an American milieu with total credibility."
Baltake, Joe. "Love Story Weakens Heartfelt Pulse of Pain in 'Paradise.'" Sacramento Bee 1 February 1991.
"Alan Parker brings a simple, direct force and a brilliantly controlled anger to 'Come See the Paradise,' his vivid look at the 1941-'42 internment of 100,000 Japanese-Americans in isolated detention camps during World War II. This richly detailed movie is less an attack on government-sponsored bigotry than it is a sorrowful, almost matter-of-fact chronicle of the social injustice that is so much a part of this country's history. It is the story of people who are punished for the crime of looking different, people who lost their rights, their status as citizens and their dignity or what little dignity this country let them have to begin with. And to draw us in, Parker has designed it less as an epic about the persecution of a minority than as a drama about the dissolution of one family. Unfortunately, however, he's tied it to a one-dimensional, interracial love story an excuse, I suppose, to make a Caucasian actor, Dennis Quaid, the lead player in an otherwise all-Asian cast. This Sayonara aspect of the movie is largely dull."
Baltake, Joe. "A New Breed of Hero: Costner, Williams, Quaid Redefine Masculinity On Screen." Sacramento Bee 20 January 1991.
"Kevin Costner is one. Definitely. But Sylvester Stallone isn't. Robin Williams is one. But forget about Mel Gibson. Arnold Schwarzenegger, amazingly, is one. But little Macauley Culkin isn't. No way. One what? Well, to be honest, I haven't quite figured out the best expression for it. Costner, Williams and Schwarzenegger fall into the new, select group of screen heroes who surmount great odds and survive, at least in their current films, not because of strong fists or superior cunning, but because of their patient, nurturing ways. In ‘Dances With Wolves,' ‘Awakenings' and ‘Kindergarten Cop,' respectively, they all eschew the traditional, patriarchal, he-man movie images of masculinity. And, come to think of it, so does Dennis Quaid in ‘Come See the Paradise.'"
Baron, David. "‘Paradise' Paints Troubled Era With Masterful Strokes." Times-Picayune 12 April 1991.
"Alan Parker's 'Come See the Paradise' -- a belated New Orleans arrival that seems to have faltered at the box office . . . -- is a love story set against the backdrop of worsening Japanese-American relations in the late 30s. . . . The only thing I found baffling about [it] was its maddeningly obscure title."
Blank, Ed. "It's Almost ‘Paradise,' But Not Quite." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 19 April 1991.
"While 'Home Alone' was working on its first $250 million, several higher-budgeted adult movies with awards potential opened and died. 'Havana,' 'The Bonfire of the Vanities,' and 'The Sheltering Sky' among them were misconceived. Another much better effort was 'Come See the Paradise' by writer-director Alan Parker. But it was the fastest flop of the lot."
Clark, Mike. "‘Paradise Lost on the Premises." USA Today 21 December 1990.
Giving the film half a star out of four, Mike Clark is disappointed that Parker does far too much and can't "reconcile the stories" in the end. He also brings up a point that was illustrated in another review, regarding the narration to Mini; haven't Mini and Lily talked about any of this before?
"Come See the Paradise." Variety Movie Reviews 1 (1990): 27.
This review barely mentions the historic value of the film, choosing to focus on the lead actors, Quaid and Tomita, and the relationship between McGurn and Lily Kawamura. The only nod to history occurs when the writer mentions that "[Alan] Parker avoids most of the complexities behind the internment in favor of a broad, sentimental tale that emphasizes emotions."
"Come See the Paradise." Time 7 January 1991. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2030389,00.html
This anonymous reviewer explains the history behind the internment as well as mentioning a story in Time two weeks after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The review says nothing much about the film, except to allude to a dislike for Parker's work, calling him a "political cartoonist among writer-directors."
Cosford, Bill. "‘Paradise' Splendid to Watch, Period Piece Sappy At Times But Powerful." Miami Herald 25 January 1991.
"In 'Come See the Paradise,' his pretty period piece about racism and paranoia in World War II America, Alan Parker pulls out all the stops. . . . 'Come See the Paradise' isn't really about the internment of Japanese-American civilians so much as it's about Parker's idealized fantasies of life in wartime America."
Dawes, Amy. "Come See the Paradise." Variety 16 May 1990: 21.
Dawes focuses more on McGurn's character and Quaid's acting than the Kawamura family, and thus the reason behind the film takes a backseat to comparisons with Quaid's other films. Dawes uses "broad, sentimental tale" to describe the movie, as many of the other reviewers did, and likewise agrees that Parker focused so much time on the love story that the war and the internment part seems rushed. She defends the use of a Caucasian in the story, believing that "it actually works quite well as a turnaround comment on cultural suspicion."
Denerstein, Robert. "British Director Blows Chance in ‘Come See the Paradise.'" Scripps Howard News Service 23 January 1991.
"I wish Parker's extremely dull movie had more than rudimentary educational value. But even the camp scenes -- which should be devastating -- are given a glossy look that turns oppression into a form of aesthetic expression."
Drummond, William. "‘Come See the Paradise' About WWII Japanese Camps." National Public Radio Morning Edition 21 January 1991.
"Last year the United States government started mailing out $20,000 checks to compensate Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II. This weekend the first movie to depict the internment experience was released nationwide. "Come See the Paradise" is the creation of writer-director Alan Parker, who directed the films ‘Midnight Express' and ‘Mississippi Burning.' On the West Coast where the movie already has been playing for several weeks, Japanese-American leaders are not entirely pleased with Parker's latest effort."
Ebert, Roger. "‘Paradise' Examines the Value of Freedom." Chicago Sun Times 18 January 1991. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19910118/REVIEWS/101180301/1023
Writing eloquently, Ebert clearly expresses his anger at the injustice of the mass incarceration of the Japanese American people. He justifies Jack McGurn, the Irish American, with the statement that "the theme of the whole movie is that all of its characters are Americans, too," where many other reviewers criticized Parker for this character. Ebert focuses on the relationships between Lily, Jack, and Mini, while touching on Mama and Papa Kawamura at points. He appreciates the film for its purpose: "‘Come See the Paradise' is a fable to remind us of how easily we can surrender our liberties, and how much we need them."
Elliott, David. "After a Promising Beginning, ‘Paradise' Bogs Down." San Diego Union 1 February 1991.
"Buttered and battered by Randy Edelman's 'stirring' music, the film becomes a parade of quick lessons. We feel the pain and shame of a mistaken policy, yet in a way that too obviously clicks off points, without enough searching ideas to make up for the decline in nuanced drama."
Fine, Marshall. "Parker's Reminders are Painful." USA Today 24 December 1990.
"‘Come See the Paradise' is a heart-rending romance set against a backdrop of an American policy that does no one credit. More than outrage, it should provoke thought and, perhaps, greater understanding."
Frankel, Sara. "American Lesson, British Eyes: 'Paradise' Director Alan Parker Attacks U.S. Social Problems Through Love Story." San Francisco Examiner 23 December 1990.
Interview with Parker: "‘I set out to do an interracial love story . . . And that just happens to be the most significant thing that happened to that particular ethnic group, the fact that they were interned and they had their civil rights taken away from them. So I couldn't just ignore it.' It's not his problem, he says, that no American filmmaker has tackled the subject."
Froelich, Janis. "This Is ‘Paradise?'" St. Petersburg Times 24 May 1991.
"The theme of forbidden love would have been enough hardship to explore in 'Come See the Paradise' . . . But writer/director Alan Parker also looks at labor unions during the Depression and them the internment of Japanese-Americans after the outbreak of the war. . . . If this sounds like a film with incredible impact, it could have been."
Garner, Jack. "A Flawed But Emotional Blockbuster About a Wart on U.S. History." USA Today 22 January 1991.
"‘Come See the Paradise' greatly increases our knowledge about a distinct flaw in the U.S. character during a time when there was otherwise much to admire about our reactions to World War II."
Glieberman, Owen. Rev. of Come See the Paradise, dir. Alan Parker. Entertainment Weekly 11 January 1991. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,312955,00.html
Glieberman feels strongly that Parker was in over his head by choosing a period in American history that, while a travesty, didn't have enough edge for Parker to work with. Glieberman doesn't seem to object to the beginning of the film when the "typical cross-cultural Hollywood romance" between McGurn (Quaid) and Lily (Tomita) starts, but he is opposed to Parker's handling of the internment: "When the war breaks out and Tomita and her family are incarcerated behind barbed wire in the middle of the beautiful California desert, the movie stops dead in its tracks, never to revive."
Guthmann, Edward. "Parker's on History Trail: Director Re-creates World War II Tragedy of Internment Camps." San Francisco Chronicle 20 December 1990.
Guthmann interviews Parker about discovering the truth behind the internment, his decision to change focus from a Caucasian perspective to the minority, and the scrutiny he expects because the film is being released during the delivery of the first checks to surviving internees as redress for the actions of America during World War II.
Haberstroh, Joe. "Japanese-Americans Want ‘Paradise' Seen; Flawed Film Affirms Internment, Many Say." San Diego Union 27 January 1991.
Haberstroh examines the perspective of Japanese-Americans who saw the film. The people he spoke to felt that the story didn't "begin for them until the Kawamura family received their orders to relocate." The presence of a big-name Caucasian actor was explained as "a trade-off . . . for the attention a big budget film can bring to the internment issue." Parker's attention to detail was described as "disturbing and real." The article discusses some of what the film left out, such as what fueled the racism that caused the internment, as well as what happened after World War II ended.
Hagen, Bill. "Director Lost ‘Paradise.'" (San Diego) Evening Tribune 31 January 1991.
Hagan is most taken with the plot surrounding the Kawamuras as a family and loses interest when Quaid returns to the screen. He is of the opinion that Parker chose a topic that may be too current, since the Japanese government was then negotiating assistance with the U.S. for the allied troops in the Gulf War.
Hartl, John. "A Passionless ‘Paradise.'" Seattle Times 11 January 1991.
"‘Come See the Paradise' is Parker's own script, and it fails almost completely to dramatize the material. The story is narrated rather than developed, the characters are ideas rather than people, and one scene has pretty much the same weight (or lack of it) as the one preceding or following it. As much as one wants to respond to this film and be moved by it, it misses."
Horn, John. "‘Paradise' Found." (Long Beach CA) Press-Telegram 4 January 1991.
"Former internees have praised [‘Come See the Paradise'] for its brutal and honest portrayal of life in concentration camps, although some took exception to the emphasis on the interracial love story and disruptions caused by the ‘No-No Boys,' Japanese youth who refused to sign a loyalty oath." Quotes from interview of director Parker as well.
James, Caryn. "Review/film: When a Population Was Victimized at Home." New York Times 23 December 1990: 42.
James writes an eloquent piece about the historical importance of seeing the Japanese internment through the experiences of the Kawamuras. While she believes that having a star like Quaid is a "convenience," she touches on the parallel struggle of the unions and the Japanese, which makes Quaid's character a necessity. James realizes that "The rage that burns just beneath the surface of ‘Come See the Paradise' speaks eloquently to dreams of freedom that were lost and to love that survived."
Kempley, Rita. "Come See the Paradise." Washington Post 18 January 1991. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/comeseetheparadiserkempley_a0a0d0.htm
Kempley is less appreciative of Parker's interpretation of the events that the Kawamura family suffer than other reviewers. The film "suffers from divided sympathies" between the arrogance of the West and the resilience of the East. She does appreciate the acting but doesn't believe that the British Parker does the film justice because of his concerns over "charges of racist revisionism leveled at his 1988 film ‘Mississippi Burning.'" Because everything is given dramatic weight, nothing really stands out in the film. She notes the irony of the film being released as the United States declares war on Iraq.
King, Dennis. "Come See the Paradise." Tulsa World 24 March 1991.
"'Come See the Paradise' is based on Parker's own script, and while it's well-meaning, impassioned and informative, it fails to give full dramatic weight to the material."
Klinghoffer, David. "‘Paradise' Lost in Limp Drama on Internment." Washington Times 18 January 1991
"‘Come See the Paradise' is pretty clearly a public-service announcement, well-intentioned but limp."
Lyman, David. "Poorly Told Tale Waters Down ‘Paradise' Drama." Cincinnati Post 2 March 1991.
"For all its well-meaning performances -- especially those of Ms. Tomita and Stan Egi as her fiery brother -- 'Paradise' is a surprisingly listless film."
MacCambridge, Michael. "‘Paradise' Is Hardly Heaven." Austin American-Statesman 8 March 1991.
"'Come See the Paradise' repeats many of 'Mississippi Burning's' mistakes: it's an oversimplified, overwrought piece of playing fast and loose with history that portrays (almost) all white Americans as evil and (almost) all of a minority as faceless victims."
Matthews, Tom. "Come See the Paradise." Boxoffice December 1990: 42-43.
Focuses on the purpose of Dennis Quaid's character Jack McGurn far more than other reviews. Matthews believes that McGurn allows the viewer to accept and appreciate the love story while connecting us with the Japanese culture in America. When the internment occurs, it is felt more deeply "because Parker has allowed us time to live with these people," though this forced him to almost overload the second half of the film with information. While the length and the period setting may turn off some people, "those who do attend . . . will find a beautiful, sweeping romantic drama."
Millar, Jeff. "‘Come See the Paradise' -- Topical Tale Depicts Period of Shame in American History." Houston Chronicle 1 February 1991.
In this review, Millar spends more time discussing the plot developments than he does critiquing the film. His introduction touches on the comparison of how the U.S. government handled the civil rights of Japanese Americans versus Arab Americans in the then-present day, but does not elaborate on this comparison. The review reiterates much of what other authors already discussed; the film is lengthy, preachy, and could have been so much more had Parker chose a sharper focus.
Mills, Michael. "Paradise is Manipulative, Full of Cliches." Palm Beach Post 25 January 1991.
"The best sequences [in ‘Come See the Paradise'] are the ones that focus on the Japanese-Americans and their bewilderment at their sudden loss of status in a land they have embraced as their own. Parker tries to slip in some educational tidbits from time to time, but he often lets the characters and their situations speak for themselves, especially in the segments set in an internment camp."
Mooney, Joshua. "‘Come See the Paradise' Looks at Heated Race Issues." Fort Worth Star-Telegram 28 June 1991.
"['Come See the Paradise'] has a social consciousness that 'Mississippi Burning' lacked, and Parker (who also wrote the script) works hard to develop his Japanese characters."
Movshovitz, Howie. "‘Come See the Paradise' Travels Dull, Didactic Path." Denver Post 18 January 1991.
Movshovitz's review focuses on the way Parker uses Lily to narrate the film, believing that this creates a very plodding tale that seems unnecessary given that she's narrating the story to someone who has lived through it with her. Since several years have passed between the bombing of Hiroshima and Jack's return (judging from the growth of Mini in that time), the topics narrated must have been discussed with Mini, making the narration seem less like Lily telling Mini and more like Parker dictating a lesson to the American public.
Nhu, T.T. "A Four-Hankie Weeper About Internment." San Jose Mercury News 18 January 1991.
"‘Even though the movie was flawed, I'm glad it was made,' said Noriko Bridges, the widow of labor leader Harry Bridges. ‘Most people know so little about what happened to Japanese-Americans and why it happened during the war that this kind of movie brings the subject to the forefront and stops the denial.'"
Novak, Ralph. "Picks and Pans Review: Come See the Paradise." People 28 January 1991. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20114289,00.html
Novak may have only gotten Jack McGurn's livelihood half right in his second paragraph, but he appreciates the use of Quaid's character as a "conduit into the story for non-Japanese Americans." Novak focuses on the emotional aspects of the film, commending Sab Shimono and Shizuko Hoshi for their dramatic roles as Mr. and Mrs. Kawamura. Novak points out that Shimono spent time in a camp and Hoshi was actually Nisei in her off-screen life -- who better to exemplify the suffering and confusion than those who experienced it. Novak appreciates that the film "makes you angry and sad and still adds to your understanding."
Orme, Terry. "Parker's ‘Come See the Paradise' Reveals Nation's Hypocrisy." Salt Lake Tribune 18 January 1991.
"‘Come See the Paradise' tells its story without being strident. While the picture deals with a number of characters, it carefully develops each one -- allowing them to become individuals and not mere representations of a political idea or a historical tragedy."
Osborne, Robert. "Troubled Love in ‘Paradise.'" (Long Beach CA) Press-Telegram 23 December 1990.
"Alan Parker . . . tackles a highly explosive theme in ‘Come See the Paradise.' . . . A surprise, and pleasantly so, ‘Paradise' turns out to be not so much of a drum-beater about displaced persons and injustice but instead a love story."
Parker, Alan. Interview by William Drummond. "‘Come See the Paradise' About WWII Japanese Camps." National Public Radio Morning Edition 21 January 1991.
"I didn't make their film; I made my film. I started with a love story, and a love story is what I wanted to tell. . . . I didn't set out to do a definitive story of the internment of Japanese Americans. . . . A hundred and ten thousand people were interned, and there were 110,000 different stories. This is just one."
Pollack, Joe. "Horror of War At Home For Internees: ‘Come See the Paradise.'" St. Louis Post-Dispatch 19 January 1991.
"‘Come See the Paradise' could have been a perfect Parker picture, but director Parker gave writer Parker too much freedom, and it all got out of hand. Instead of one story, there are at least three, but by trying to tell them all, and by golly he tries, he falls short on each."
Polunsky, Bob. "‘Come See the Paradise' Only a Historical Footnote." San Antonio Express-News 8 March 1991.
"The story of Japanese-Americans imprisoned in American detention camps during World War II is a potential fireball, but the movie never catches fire. Alan Parker's script suggests sensationalism but never gets into it, while the characters act and react on one level of emotion and the most sensational events are announced instead of dramatized."
Rickey, Carrie. "Love and Internment for Japanese Americans." Philadelphia Inquirer 21 January 1991.
"Come See the Paradise is compelling without being absorbing. Meaning that . . . but rarely involves you. Parker has so little faith that a general audience would care about watching Japanese-Americans that he turns a piquant story of civil-rights abuses into a bland interracial romance."
Ringel, Eleanor. "Film Review." Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution 1 February 1991.
"The movie shows us what it means suddenly to become The Other. To have no other identity than -- in this case -- your race. To be stripped of your individuality and your possessions. . . . Surprisingly, rather than his usual incendiary self, Mr. Parker is, if anything, oversentimental."
Russell, Candice. "Drama About Japanese Internment Unfocused: ‘Come See the Paradise.'" Sun Sentinel 25 January 1991.
"The problem [with this film] is that Parker doesn't know whether to make a film about the U.S. government's incarceration of Japanese citizens during World War II or the gritty life of an outspoken union organizer or a cross-cultural romance. So he makes all three. Yet, it is the terrible injustice done to the Japanese that is the most compelling aspect."
Seidenberg, Robert. "‘Paradise' All Too Real For Tomita." (Long Beach, CA) Press-Telegram 27 January 1991.
Seidenberg interviews Tamlyn Tomita about her role in "Come See the Paradise" and how her family's history surrounding the internment years made it both easier and more difficult to prepare for her role: easier, because she saw what the internment had done emotionally to her father; harder, because her character didn't know what was coming next, though Tomita did. The interview is an interesting perspective into the actor's perception of their role in a film that hits very close to home.
Simon, Jeff. "‘Paradise' Becomes Tiresome After a While." Buffalo News 26 January 1991.
Simon leaves no question as to his scathing opinion of Alan Parker daring to create another project having to do with American history. Simon uses phrases like, "the road to hell" and "fatuous, self-righteous and boring" to describe the film.
Skinner, M. Scot. "Weak, Contrived ‘Paradise' Misses Golden Opportunity." Arizona Daily Star 29 January 1991.
This review compares Parker's accuracy of historic events to those of "Mississippi Burning." Skinner states that while "Come See the Paradise" is "truthful and far less offensive," it's not as good a film as the other, probably because "it feels stagey, remote and didactic."
Stone, Judy. "‘Paradise' a Lost Cause: Alan Parker's Look at Internment of Japanese Americans." San Francisco Chronicle 22 December 1990.
"With the exception of John Korty's 1976 TV production, ‘Farewell to Manzanar,' the personal traumas in that [forced evacuation during World War II] move have been largely unexplored in TV or film dramatizations. It is the kind of vital social theme that attracts Alan Parker, but his ‘Come See the Paradise' . . . is so abysmally written that it defeats the best of intentions."
Strauss, Bob. "Parker Again Draws Color Line." Daily News of Los Angeles 23 December 1990.
"Alan Parker, the British director with the uncanny ability knack for misunderstanding other cultures . . . bent over backward to make his new film about Japanese-Americans . . . as scrupulously accurate as possible. . . . Unfortunately, Parker's fundamental racial myopia is still fully intact. As much as he wants to understand a minority's struggle, he remains as distanced from it as Jack McGurn is from the life force of this movie."
Strickler, Jeff. "Syrupy Melodrama Kisses Off a Tragic Wartime Internment." Star Tribune 25 January 1991.
"‘Come See the Paradise' can stand as a case study on the differences between a gripping epic and a drowsy, overdrawn melodrama. Many of the epic elements are there . . . but the effort eventually unravels for want of a well-written script. This one is poorly focused, illogical and filled with nonsensical dialog."
Takeuchi, Floyd K. "Two-Edged Sword for Asian Actors." USA Today 13 June 1991.
"Asian-Americans are demanding more roles in mainstream movies and on Broadway, but when they get them, they simply end up perpetuating ethnic stereotypes."
Tawa, Renee. "Quest for Perfection in ‘Paradise' -- ‘Mississippi' Left Parker Burning for Authenticity." Daily News of Los Angeles 26 December 1990.
An interview with Alan Parker about his concerns that "Come See the Paradise" was as historically accurate as possible, and about his wish that people and critics understand his intentions were to make a period film about an interracial love story, not a film specifically about the internment years.
Thompson, Gary. "Internees Story Lost in ‘Paradise.'" Philadelphia Daily News 18 January 1991.
"The movie's accomplishments -- unblinking accounts of the shabby treatment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants during World War II -- are undercut by its fatal lack of dramatic verve. It is a good civics lesson, but not a stirring motion picture."
Turnquist, Kristi. "Plight of Internment Trivialized." Oregonian 12 January 1991.
Turnquists's article mentions that Parker had a photograph by Dorothea Lange depicting a man and his grandchildren waiting to be bussed to an assembly center before being interned. She also mentions that Parker has a rather unfortunate skill at fictionalizing history rather than telling a gripping tale of real people. The review causes one to contemplate why Parker would want to create fiction when there were so many true stories to tell.
Vadeboncoeur, Joan E. "‘Paradise' Sacrifices Storyline." Syracuse Herald-Journal 21 January, 1991.
[Parker's] "latest effort, ‘Come See the Paradise,' grapples with the U.S. government's treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Like all Parker films, it looks splendid, . . . but, like ‘Mississippi Burning,' this is a seriously flawed film even though its accuracy seems incontestable."
Wilmington, Michael. "Parker's Inconsistencies Confine ‘Paradise.'" New Haven Register 25 January 1991.
"Two sensibilities seem at war with each other in "Paradise'" . . . Parker the director . . . fills the movie with his own rage against injustice, with color, strength, movement, and a vivid panorama of the past. But Parker the writer seems bent on sabotaging his director at every opportunity."