A Separation

A Separation Image
Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 470 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in contemporary Iran, A Separation is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father. Her request having failed, SiminSet in contemporary Iran, A Separation is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents' home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his father in his wife's absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just his marriage. [Sony Pictures Classic]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 41
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 41
  3. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Feb 29, 2012
    100
    It's a mystery wrapped inside an enigmatic nation, flawlessly acted and difficult to predict. I'm always impressed when a movie informs about a foreign culture while it entertains, and this one is powerful art in that regard.
  2. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 4, 2012
    100
    Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 20, 2011
    100
    The drama it might remind you most of, oddly enough, is "Six Degrees of Separation," also about the snowballing connections between unlikely people. And as in that urban clash, the bedrock of it all is social responsibility, ever crumbling and rebuilding. A total triumph.
  4. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 26, 2012
    100
    The movie is hugely compelling on a moral and emotional level - I was completely hooked - yet it also revealed to me in numerous small and concrete ways what it's like to live in a contemporary theocracy.
  5. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jan 3, 2012
    90
    The writer and director, Asghar Farhadi, has thus created the perfect antithesis of a crunching disaster flick, such as "2012," which was all boom and no ripple.
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jan 19, 2012
    88
    Much like Robert Altman during his forays into the genre, writer/director Asghar Farhadi isn't really interested in the answers. Instead, he keeps expanding the questions, until that singular title comes to seem a misnomer.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 30, 2011
    75
    In the compelling but slow-moving Iranian film A Separation, a downbeat family drama of no particular distinction gradually turns into a mystery that raises painful moral questions. There may be several guilty parties.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 76
  2. Negative: 5 out of 76
  1. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    This is the film of the year. Its concerns are universal. The drifting apart of a married couple and their daughter, as tensions build up andThis is the film of the year. Its concerns are universal. The drifting apart of a married couple and their daughter, as tensions build up and small lies spin out of control. Everyone has good reasons for what they do and their own truth which looks like lies and distortions to others. This does not add up to a harmonious life. That it all this place in contemporary Iran with its strictures and deprivations only adds to the drama as social classes and degrees of religious observance collide and clash. The characters are flawlessly acted and their imperfections completely authentic. The camera work is brilliant with frequent closeups of actors who seem completely real. There is no preaching or taking sides, the film is humanistic in its sympathy for all the characters even when they transgress. This is movie-making at its best, reminiscent of the films that came from central and eastern Europe during the communist era and its immediate aftermath. Expand
  2. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    A riveting drama that feels so real and is so heart wrenching, that you really come to care for the characters, feel as if their decisionsA riveting drama that feels so real and is so heart wrenching, that you really come to care for the characters, feel as if their decisions affect you equally. A masterpiece. Expand
  3. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    Extremely good. The best written and best acted movie of 2011 for me. There's such a good harmony between the script and the actors, you couldExtremely good. The best written and best acted movie of 2011 for me. There's such a good harmony between the script and the actors, you could doubt that most scenes were improvised, or even real. Expand
  4. Jul 4, 2012
    10
    I was constantly attached to the masterful drama that so well executed by the relatable characters and fantastic actors. Even at face valueI was constantly attached to the masterful drama that so well executed by the relatable characters and fantastic actors. Even at face value the movie is involving and interesting, providing morally stimulating circumstances that will keep you in a trance of thought. Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2012
    9
    "Wow!". I'm genuinely surprised by how well this film turned out. I was fooled into believing this would be a dull, family drama, but 'A"Wow!". I'm genuinely surprised by how well this film turned out. I was fooled into believing this would be a dull, family drama, but 'A Separation" is extremely engaging. Its serious, intelligent and simply a very satisfying viewing experience. The deterioration of a marriage and ripple effects it has on the family and individuals outside the family is wonderfully evoked through assured film making and a string of wonderful performances from the foreign cast. The movie flows and unfolds with good timing and closes with one of the finest conclusions of the year. This is simply a very good movie. Expand
  6. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A truly outstanding movie that ratchets up the tension from jump. The acting is uniformly excellent - it presents such interesting windows into the lives of each character. The glimpse into the Iranian legal system is incredibly interesting. What I initially considered to be organized chaos actually started to make some sense by the end, as I loosed up on my western notions of how these disputes should be resolved. It puts an incredible amount of power into a single magistrate's hands, but it sure does cut down on the red tape! Though trusting the suspect in a murder case not to talk to a key witness as he summons her from the hallway of the courtroom seemed a bridge too far. Then again, the judge seemed to know how to deal with the possibility of corruption in that process. The notion of honor, as reflected in honesty - from citizen to society, and from father to daughter - transcends the legal process. At least in this case, among this group of peole. I would have liked to have known a bit more about the mother's motivation to leave the country, but it's not something that detracted from the film. This is an easy recommendation. Expand
  7. Oct 19, 2014
    0
    Probably one of the most boring movies I ever watched in my life. Even the title is misleading, because only the first and last scene haveProbably one of the most boring movies I ever watched in my life. Even the title is misleading, because only the first and last scene have something to do with the actual separation. We see Simin (the wife) and Nader (the husband) in front of a judge debating the reasons why they want to split. Actually, Simin wants to split, Nader seems not to care one way or the other – which certainly does not give much motivation to continue a marriage.

    I am sure such a story based in Europe or the US would not have won an Oscar, but it is not the first time – nor will be the last – that a movie wins a prize for obscure reasons that have nothing to do with cinematography.
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See all 76 User Reviews

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