Metascore
95

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

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 350 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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, 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)

    Expand
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: Michael Phillips
    Jan 26, 2012
    100
    The film is a singular achievement, a piece of realist cinema with the pull of a suspense thriller.
  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 71
  2. Negative: 3 out of 71
  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 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. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    This is a film of an intimate story of a family torn by love, duty, innocence, religion and law. It deservedly won an Academy award as best foreign film. If you are reading this review, or considering this film, you understand the difference between a great movie and a great film. If you're looking for the former, then youâ Expand
  3. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    Nearly flawless in every aspect of its construction, from the intricately crafted screenplay (STAKES STAKES STAKES!) to the almost bizarrely consistent top of the line performances across the board to subtle camerawork that established spatial relations between each character in crucial ways to the overall product, the result is a deeply felt humanistic piece with deep implications of social critique, gender relations, hegemonic religiosity, class struggles, justice systems and basic questions of moral and personal truthful ambiguity of right and wrong that can make the slightest statement or action make you as squeamish as the rapiest torture sequences in Dragon Tattoo. Expand
  4. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    Another story from Iranian master of suspension Asghar Farhadi is a gripping moral and social drama set in present-day Iran. The story is not only about men and women, children and parents, justice and religion in today's Iran, but that raises complex and globally relevant questions of responsibility, of the subjectivity and contingency of 'TELLING THE TRUTH', and of how thin the line can be between inflexibility and pride especially of the male variety and selfishness and tyranny. Believable performances from the strong cast and crisp photography, hand-held and intimate without ever being jerky, help to seal the package and also make the movie more acceptable. Though the film lasts over two hours,good and fast-moving editing keeps the action tensely involving from start to finish. Expand
  5. Feb 27, 2014
    9
    A Separation is almost flawless. It can compete with any heavyweight drama in this country, or the world for that matter. The fact that there were English subtitles didn't take away from the experience at all (the mark of a good foreign film). I didn't particularly care for the ending, but the rest of the movie surely makes up for it. Expand
  6. Feb 27, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A tragedy of errors with a very easy to see political analogy:

    The old father is Iran. A country with Alzheimer forgetting its own people. An incontinent regime pissing on its youth. The unborn child stands for a free democratic Iran, killed before birth. Where? On the same street where the green revolution, the embryonic state of democracy, was killed in 2011.
    Pregnant Razieh tries to rescue the old man/the country/her income for the sake of the future generation.

    The two couples stand for the majority in Iran.
    In spite of good intentions most of the time they lie, fight or escape the country.
    Too loyal or afraid to see the truth: Rashomon in Iran.
    Very ironic that the Iranian leaders praise the movie and don't see the obvious, like fish don't notice the sea or the five blind men can't recognize the elephant they feel. Only the children see the reality and offer some hope. The little girl plays with the oxygen levels.
    The choice of Termeh in the final scene is the choice the youth in Iran stands for:
    leave the country or stay and revolt, again.

    Shirin Yazdi
    Expand
  7. Mar 1, 2012
    2
    Don't waste your time. This movie is just a lot of shouting and arguing and little else. I can't believe it won an Academy Award. What were they thinking? Collapse

See all 71 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. 2012 Oscars: Winners, Analysis, and Reviews

    2012 Oscars: Winners, Analysis, and Reviews Image
    Published: February 27, 2012
    What did critics think of this year's Oscar telecast? How accurate were the experts and Metacritic users in predicting the winners? Find out inside, where we also have a complete list of winners at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.
  2. The Best and Worst Movies of 2011

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2011 Image
    Published: January 5, 2012
    Get our final rankings for the past year's best- and worst-reviewed films and see how 2011 compared to previous years.
  3. 2011 Film Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 11]

    2011 Film Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 11] Image
    Published: December 8, 2011
    Throughout the next two months, we
  4. 2011 Film Awards and Nominations

    2011 Film Awards and Nominations Image
    Published: December 5, 2011
    Over the next three months, we