The Gist: America has turned into a police state after a nuclear attack, and now the government tracks and controls your every move. A scientist has found a way to create clean energy, but the dirty energy conglomerates don't want it adopted. A campaign for president is underway and the stakes are high for the future of America. Meanwhile, an action film actor, a porn star, and a police officer all experience different tales.
If the preceding paragraph made you feel quite confused, now you know what the whole movie will make you feel like, so you're welcome. The difficulty of summarizing Southland Tales in a few lines comes primarily from it being a crazy mess.
I usually don't read about movies in advance, because I don't want any spoilers. Unfortunately, that also means that I sometimes pick titles that would be best left in a dustbin.
This is definitely one of them, and the director's name should have been a clue, since he is responsible for that other hot mess, Donnie Darko.
The Bottom Line: In Southland Tales there's just too much going on, all mixed together, and linked up with tenuous tendrils, that ultimately results in a terrible experience. Oh, and campiness abounds. I would advise to keep your distance from this title at all costs.