Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The tale is simply told but stunningly photographed and superbly acted in the best tradition of modern Iranian cinema.
  2. Presents us with characters of such humanity and dignity that it begins to seem obscene that until now we haven't exactly given all that much thought to the Kurds.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Deeper and richer in humanity than all but a handful of the American films released this year.
  4. The nonprofessional cast of Bahman Ghobadi's remarkable, slow, rough edged feature reveals a simple, piercing grimness and determination framed by the gray, icy landscape of Iranian Kurdistan.
  5. 91
    A profoundly anxious picture that from its first frame holds you, clenched, never able to let go, even after its unresolved coda.
  6. 90
    It's difficult to imagine a more eloquent tribute.
  7. 90
    It simultaneously wows you with the stark beauty of its images, a beauty that leads to another, related kind of truth that is equally crucial. It's not to be missed.
  8. Showing us a world through a child's eyes, A Time for Drunken Horses speaks so truthfully and well that it breaks the heart and scars the conscience.
  9. 80
    A central work in the new, boldly politicized Iranian cinema.
  10. A film of simplicity and power, beautifully shot and effortlessly acted by nonprofessionals.
  11. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    It is all the more heart-wrenching for being realistic. Its portrait of child labor brooks no sentimentality and no cliches.
  12. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    More grim and less sentimental than other Iranian films featuring plucky children, this strikingly photographed work stresses the harshness of daily life in Iranian Kurdistan.
  13. 75
    Brief, spare and heartbreaking.
  14. A disturbing and forceful drama.
  15. The real hero here is Ghobadi, whose love and respect for the culture in which he was raised shines through every frame.
  16. In its austere visual understatement rests a ton of emotional power.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Truly in a class by itself.
  18. Because of its relentlessness, its crawling pace (the 77 minutes pass like 2 1/2 hours) and its sometimes confusing story, A Time for Drunken Horses may not be for every taste, but it's still an affecting, and in its way beautiful, movie.
  19. Reviewed by: Marrit Ingman
    Ghobadi works squarely in the neorealist tradition of countrymen like former mentor Abbas Kiarostami, using nonprofessional actors and documentary technique to tell small, spare stories of the human condition through the eyes of children.
  20. Ghobadi (himself an Iranian Kurd) takes some gorgeous shots against the snow, but his storytelling is uneven and often slow.
  21. The welcome hints at emotional excess are compromised by the blunt force of the movie's political point-making.
  22. 60
    Single-minded, sometimes harrowing.
  23. In Bahman Ghobadi's heart-tugger about Kurdish orphans, those wide eyes are too often used as a manipulative device.

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