Provided by Metacritic.com
It’s a taut setup that risks veering into soapy territory, but Farhadi reveals just enough involving details to pause at individual moments and rest on more intimate observations.
Farhadi’s storytelling has overpowering force.
Making fine use of a top-flight Spanish-speaking cast, Asghar Farhadi deftly inserts love, resentment, class, money and family ties into a propulsive narrative replete with doubts, accusations, intimations, red herrings and other welcome ingredients from the suspenseful-drama arsenal.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The mystery becomes popcorn-chompingly compelling, each new piece of information adding shading and dimension to the true shape of the family. Nobody is above suspicion or below empathy.
The A.V. Club
Quintessentially, and maybe to a fault, this is a Farhadi movie: another of the writer-director’s gripping studies of a family torn asunder by a compounding mess of deception and revelation.
Though the film is slow to reach a place where its revelations can have an impact, once that starts to happen, it becomes compulsively absorbing.
Farhadi’s genius is to be able to take the most ordinary of situations (say, a separation) and turn it into the stuff of gripping sociological drama. But largely, this time out, he’s rather done the reverse: given a gripping premise and a game cast he has engineered perhaps his most ordinary film.
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
If the film remains largely watchable it is because Farhadi has cast some of the finest actors in Spain and they know how to breathe life into their characters even when they don’t have all that much to do (though a few of them have quite a lot to say).
Arguably, this is the Iranian’s most mainstream film to date, and lacks the subtlety of his early work, yet he still shows he has the ability to deliver devastating blows that leave you stunned. While not on top form, Faradhi demonstrates he is still a master craftsman, albeit in a more conventional mould.
Farhadi’s screenplay does an artful job of keeping vital fragments of each of its characters secret until the very end. But the climate of over-determined melodrama is rather less involving: characters synopsise their grievances so often, and so thoroughly, that many pivotal scenes have the corny texture of a “previously, on last week’s show” clip reel.
See all 38 reviews on Metacritic.com
See all external reviews