User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 233
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  1. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    The neorealism and morbidity of of the subject might shy away some viewers, but everything about this movie is handled with such delicate care - the acting, the cinematography, the absence of a film score - that it really does suck you into it's existence, forcing you to feel the hardships of living in a state of oppression. Moral of the Story: don't live in a place where abortions are illegal.
  2. GraziB.
    Feb 3, 2008
    10
    Devastating movie. Besides the abortion plot. It's a movie about female friendship. Anamaria Marinca is amazing, Bravo!
  3. roses
    Oct 31, 2009
    10
    I run a boutique cinema. This movie drew my smallest crowed of 2009. It was the only one I cannot remove from my mind, and I think the fact that it hasnt won an award reveals the hypocrisy of the Oscars. Harrowing and mundane in the same breath. If you can get out of this film without white knuckles, you are made of strong stuff.
  4. JessS.
    Sep 2, 2009
    9
    A powerful and great foreign drama, the cinematography in this picture is simply stunning, the acting faultless lead by the mesmarising Anamaria Marinca . When i know I've seen a great film is when i could watch it with no sound or subtitles and it still has an effect on my emotions and i can safely say i could with this film, the location of this film was filmed perfectly to portray A powerful and great foreign drama, the cinematography in this picture is simply stunning, the acting faultless lead by the mesmarising Anamaria Marinca . When i know I've seen a great film is when i could watch it with no sound or subtitles and it still has an effect on my emotions and i can safely say i could with this film, the location of this film was filmed perfectly to portray what life was like in 1987 romania, those who don't find the simplicity in this film capturing must have no heart. The only reason i didn't score it a 10 was because i didn't like the ending as much as the other parts of the film. I hope foreign cinema has some more delights like this up there sleeves. Expand
  5. ValentinM
    Jan 20, 2008
    10
    One of the "must see movie" of all times.
  6. dyld
    Feb 3, 2008
    9
    This film is bleak--and that will put off many people. But don't let it put you off. This film is a strong experience--relentless tension. Admits that people make mistakes under pressure, which is difficult to watch. Above all, however, the film rings true. And on the rare occasions this happens in cinema you have to confront the ideas of the film.
  7. usmanhaider
    Feb 9, 2008
    10
    this is not a movie.its an experience.how can a movie be so real so grasping.........i do not envy as such but feels competitive with a person named mungiu.whole abservation of life is so deep and true.it comes from inner consciousness.i firmly can claim this to be the most brilliantly acted and directed movie i have seen and i can see in future.the minute details are hard to understand bythis is not a movie.its an experience.how can a movie be so real so grasping.........i do not envy as such but feels competitive with a person named mungiu.whole abservation of life is so deep and true.it comes from inner consciousness.i firmly can claim this to be the most brilliantly acted and directed movie i have seen and i can see in future.the minute details are hard to understand by everyone.its unforgettable and matchless.no exxagaration but the truth.i cant see anyone could have done a performance like anmaria.its not "acting".its performance.this film is a must see for those who see Expand
  8. EmanuelA.
    Mar 29, 2008
    10
    Only people that lived during that Romanian/Ceausescu era can understand this movie!Very well done and love the overall story.A+
  9. Tomegun
    Apr 2, 2008
    9
    A little slow at first for my taste....but it drags you in and gets pretty intense!
  10. AndyM.
    Jun 30, 2008
    9
    I was quite excited about seeing this movie, what with the fantastic reviews. And... I can't say I was disappointed, really. It had superb acting, and on the whole it was very well done. It was gripping, to the point that my friend and I were enthralled by every detail the film threw at us as we watched. The sad part is that, after all the thrills and the suspense and the drama, it I was quite excited about seeing this movie, what with the fantastic reviews. And... I can't say I was disappointed, really. It had superb acting, and on the whole it was very well done. It was gripping, to the point that my friend and I were enthralled by every detail the film threw at us as we watched. The sad part is that, after all the thrills and the suspense and the drama, it didn't deliver. We wanted it to go in a Hollywood direction, we wanted that I.D. at the desk to mean something, for that little mention of a phone number to lead somewhere, but it didn't. It was comical, really, how much... MORE wanted. In any other film, this would have been devastating, but the incredible single takes and the emotion that the viewer couldn't help but feel along with the actors made it all too good otherwise. It's a worthwhile watch, just don't go into it expecting anything near your conventional film. Expand
  11. MichaelB
    Oct 9, 2009
    10
    This is frighteningly realistic rendition of life in the Eastern Bloc under communism. The awfulness of everything down to the clothes and the offensive drunk waiters make compelling viewing. Easily the best film I saw last year, and I saw Cargo 200!!!
  12. Iainf
    Jan 9, 2009
    9
    I don't really know what to say about this film really. Right off the bat, you're probably wondering whether you should watch it, and yes, yes you most certainly should. The film itself is amazing, I just don't really understand why to be honest. Nothing really happens in it! But the acting, the emotions it makes you feel and several all factors help pull it through. It I don't really know what to say about this film really. Right off the bat, you're probably wondering whether you should watch it, and yes, yes you most certainly should. The film itself is amazing, I just don't really understand why to be honest. Nothing really happens in it! But the acting, the emotions it makes you feel and several all factors help pull it through. It doesn't deserve the near perfect reviews in my opinion, but it still the best film I've saw in a while. Expand
  13. AaronS.
    Jan 12, 2008
    10
    This was easily one of the best films I saw in 2007. Clearly there is something stirring in Romanian cinema as '4/3/2' is another outstanding work for that country's burgeoning film scene.
  14. GabiU
    Jan 10, 2008
    10
    brilliantly acted! you can feel the tension and the lack of edited scenes brings you into the drama. the camera doesn't even exists, you don't feel it like a movie but like a fact, a scene happening in front of you. i'm not surprised it's a rewarded film. not recommended to youngs (they can't fully understand the scale of the event or sense the minor details).
  15. DmitryP.
    Jan 23, 2008
    10
    If Andrei Tarkovsky made a Dogma 95 movie, it might look and sound and feel like this. Cinematically, this is a masterpiece of artistic discipline, the perfect marriage of form and content, the freshest thing in years, a brand-new way to get your truth twenty-four times a second, blah, blah, blah. . . .Dramatically, it does the last thing you expect from an issue movie: give you an If Andrei Tarkovsky made a Dogma 95 movie, it might look and sound and feel like this. Cinematically, this is a masterpiece of artistic discipline, the perfect marriage of form and content, the freshest thing in years, a brand-new way to get your truth twenty-four times a second, blah, blah, blah. . . .Dramatically, it does the last thing you expect from an issue movie: give you an engaging, realistic central character, so you forget about political abstractions and start worrying about what will happen to her and what she's going to do. This is a time capsule movie, a Voyager spacecraft movie, a great and perfect film that may all on its own redeem traditional narrative cinema for the next few years. Expand
  16. CoraN.
    Jan 27, 2008
    10
    Terrifyingly grey, as everyday life in communism, and exceptionally beautiful, as Otilia's friendship and unselfishness.
  17. philmoooten
    Feb 11, 2008
    9
    this is an involving and very moving film. highly recommended. to shaun b - you sound so pompus. firstly one film doesn't 'prove' anything, especially when your point of view is supposedly the evidence, and the film doesn't even reply to your silly sweeping statement about the french - the film is romanian.
  18. PeteC
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    I've seen it three times already and enjoy it every time. Brilliant acting, image, camera work. The scenes with long moments of silence are my favorite. You can see here how powerful can be acting without saying anything.... Ana Maria Marinca transmitted with her back at the camera things that many actors have to use face and words to do it.
  19. KateR.
    Feb 20, 2008
    10
    As good a film as any I've ever seen or expect to see again.
  20. ConnorS
    Mar 9, 2008
    9
    Felix K. This movie came out in 2008 how can the academy give this a foreign language nod when this movie came out in 2008. The Oscars are for 2007! that being said this was was very well made and beautiful film.
  21. LAKISP.
    Apr 5, 2008
    10
    Pure filmaking . Answer to all these kind of movies which sucrifice a good idea for an oscar.BRAVO Romania.
  22. Iulian
    Jun 6, 2008
    10
    Some of the finest acting I have seen on film. Beautiful shots and not melodramatic. I have found nothing in it to falsify reality (1980s in Romania).
  23. TonyP
    Jan 28, 2009
    10
    A powerful, disturbing film with amazing performances. You will feel sick to your stomach after watching this - which is an indicator of great filmmaking that draws you in forces you to face realities that you'll never be comfortable with. Easily the best film I've seen in many, many years.
  24. Anna
    May 29, 2009
    10
    Excellent movie, not for the light hearted, though. paradoxically enough, it is not really about what seems to be the main event: an abortion. Instead, it captures in a both subtle and gripping manner the essence of communism: a system corrupt to the bone that rules through fear, where everyone keeps an eye on someone else and the only way to survive is to become part of that system. The Excellent movie, not for the light hearted, though. paradoxically enough, it is not really about what seems to be the main event: an abortion. Instead, it captures in a both subtle and gripping manner the essence of communism: a system corrupt to the bone that rules through fear, where everyone keeps an eye on someone else and the only way to survive is to become part of that system. The inherent dehumanisation such a system brings about does not escape the director. Expand
  25. CocoBunny
    Jun 23, 2009
    9
    One of the most compelling and heartbreaking films I've ever seen. It tackles the hard subjects of totalitarianism or abortion without beating you over the head with a given message. It simply tells the story of these two girls--a very sad one at that.
  26. LeahR
    Jan 10, 2010
    10
    Filmgoers are so used to being spoon-fed their neatly shrinkwrapped "takeaway" messges from Hollywood that they flounder helplessly when a film staunchly refuses to tell them what to think.
  27. raymondh
    Jan 13, 2008
    10
    The best movie I have seen in years and the only 10 I have ever given
  28. ThomasV
    Jan 15, 2008
    10
    this is perhaps one of the finest european movies, one of the best of this decade along with cache, head on, the lives of others, hamble con ella etc. approaching Romania's recent traumatic history in a touching way without many political references and inacuracies. a simple story of abortion, powerfully shot and performed with just a hint of historical reference...Romania 1987...pure art
  29. ErikH
    Jan 24, 2008
    10
    I know it's only January, but I'd be surprised if any film is better than this one. The direction is superb and Anamaria Marinca gives a riveting performance. Do not miss under any circumstances. [Warning: There are some very graphic and realistic scenes relating to the abortion at the film's center]
  30. David
    Feb 11, 2008
    10
    Perfect. Beautifully acted and crafted into a powerful experience. Bleak to the point of attempted suicide but throughly enjoyable.
  31. Paul
    Feb 15, 2008
    10
    Excellent film, one of the best I've seen in a long time!
  32. RalphD.
    Feb 17, 2008
    10
    Powerful, stunning, honest, superbly crafted, with exceptional performances by the leads. The fact that it was snubbed for an Oscar nomination is as much of a disgrace as most of the critics say.
  33. LH
    Feb 18, 2008
    10
    Fearless, unflinching and harrowing. A true masterpiece.
  34. JackL.
    Feb 8, 2008
    10
    A truly work of art and deep thoughts. Poignantly acted and beautifully crafted to almost perfection. A must see!!!
  35. EmilP.
    Mar 16, 2008
    10
    10+++. NO words.We can not run away from our reality.Outstanding sendingout emotions!
  36. MD.
    Mar 22, 2008
    10
    Both a true-to-life drama about life in Romania in the eighties and a tense thriller. Must-see.
  37. TrevorF.
    Apr 12, 2008
    9
    I've only one complaint. The movie is too slow to be a thriller, which is what it is marketed as. It is a truly masterful drama. The woman who plays Otilia is an extraordinary actor. Not since 2001: A Space Odyssey has the ending to a film been so devastating to me ! Very great film.
  38. ChadS.
    May 8, 2008
    10
    When planning a murder, always remember to bring a plastic sheet, to catch the blood, to leave without a trace. Patrick Bateman(Christian Bale) remembered his plastic sheet in Mary Harron's "American Psycho". Gabita (Laura Vasilia) forgot hers, so she'll have to make do with a plastic bag. In our minds, we're thinking like Roy Scheider in "Jaws", as the bag is being laid When planning a murder, always remember to bring a plastic sheet, to catch the blood, to leave without a trace. Patrick Bateman(Christian Bale) remembered his plastic sheet in Mary Harron's "American Psycho". Gabita (Laura Vasilia) forgot hers, so she'll have to make do with a plastic bag. In our minds, we're thinking like Roy Scheider in "Jaws", as the bag is being laid out on the bed: You'll need a bigger... What if the bleeding doesn't stop? As is custom, we're worried that the woman won't survive the procedure. Most, if not all, of us, never consider the fetus, never give the unborn a second thought. But the film does, miraculously, without sanctimony. Catholic pedagogy doesn't make up our minds for us. It's our familiarity with genre conventions that does the trick. "4 luni, 3 santamani, 2 zile" stages the abortion, and more importantly, the aftermath, like a murder had just transpired. When Otilia(Anamaria Marinca) is pressed into action, remembrances of dead bodies rolled up in carpets from other crime movies, not that kind, old woman "Vera Drake", hit us square between the eyes. Expand
  39. MelissaM.
    Nov 12, 2009
    10
    Incredible piece of filmmaking. Now, I am no diehard movie fan, let alone an indie-film or foreign-film connoisseur; I am simply a fan of a sharp, brilliantly told and expertly conceived story. This movie offers that. Tremendous acting surrounds a refreshingly simple plot. Stellar work about an important and still-relevant subject.
  40. KrisR.
    Feb 1, 2009
    9
    This was an emotionally riveting, haunting film. The acting was extraordinary.
  41. EvanW
    May 1, 2009
    10
    An excellent piece of foreign cinema. You can feel it slowly clasp onto you, then push you down to the ground. It leaves with you with an emotional feeling that is hard to find with movies.
  42. JoshuaGeake
    Jan 22, 2008
    10
    It feels like a perfect illustration of a story and the feeling you get while watching 4 months, 3 days and 2 weeks can only be described as identical to the electric, tense and addictive sensation of reading a superb book. It's just amazing and once again just like your new favourite book - if it wernt for the worry that I may find it less enthrawling I'd go and watch it again.
  43. AdeA.
    Feb 12, 2008
    10
    Wonderful!! Filmaking, storytelling, acting. This is what I'd call a true horror film, strongly connected to reality and deepest human nature introspection. The story is told in an implicit, but - at the same time - direct manner. This is a subtle and powerful film. It will follow you long after you left the theatre.
  44. Dave
    Feb 13, 2008
    10
    This was a fantastic film from start to finish, and I have to add that I doubt I'll see a better film than this the rest of the year. This will surely create a lot of discussion in the abortion debate, and I think the director is clearly not on one side or the other based on the ending. It's really a shame this wasn't one of the foreign film Oscar nominations. Although I This was a fantastic film from start to finish, and I have to add that I doubt I'll see a better film than this the rest of the year. This will surely create a lot of discussion in the abortion debate, and I think the director is clearly not on one side or the other based on the ending. It's really a shame this wasn't one of the foreign film Oscar nominations. Although I have not seen them, I would be surprised if they are better than this. Oh, and Andy C, you are an idiot!!! Poor storytelling and they needed to explain more what was happening??? Huh? I really don't see what was confusing about the film at all. Maybe you should just stick to seeing Rambo or Hottie and the Nottie. Expand
  45. AmyH.
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    glen f's comment comparing this film to Juno is hilarious! ("Juno was a much funnier pregnant-girl movie.") Best laugh I've had this week!
  46. AlexH
    Sep 24, 2009
    10
    Finally seen this and was not disappointed, my partners(romanian) tales of communist Romania were verified in this movie, it was gritty, commanding and masterful. that was life in Romania prior to the revolution in 89, they were the people and the movie is a true representation of Romania at the time.
  47. Feb 27, 2012
    9
    Powerful. Not a happy story by any account but a story of mis-guided friendship where there is no happy ending for the 'good one'. Its a dark novel brilliantly transformed to the movie screen.
  48. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    I can't remember a movie where I cared so much about what I was watching. Though it moves slowly and inconspicuously, it builds an incredible amount of momentum by the midpoint. I found myself thinking "please please let things work out for these two girls", as if they were good friends of mine. And I'm usually overly critical and not easily drawn in. It helps that Mungui manages toI can't remember a movie where I cared so much about what I was watching. Though it moves slowly and inconspicuously, it builds an incredible amount of momentum by the midpoint. I found myself thinking "please please let things work out for these two girls", as if they were good friends of mine. And I'm usually overly critical and not easily drawn in. It helps that Mungui manages to avoid a single false note in the entirety of the film with his direction. Anamaria Marinca plays her very difficult role without a trace of self-pity. This is a truly amazing movie that surprised me. Collapse
Metascore
97

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 88
    It is filmmaking as it should be but usually isn't.
  2. This year’s foreign language Oscar scandal – there is always at least one – is the snub of director Cristian Mungiu’s disturbing, masterful realist drama following two college roommates as they carry out plans for one’s black market abortion in Communist Romania.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    The film is bold stroke that hopes to push Romanian society forward by staring into the dismal failures of its recent past.