Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 75
    Gitai's characters are meant to represent the Israeli people as a whole. Just as they question their lives, the filmmaker questions 21st-century Israel.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    An ensemble drama laced with lighter moments that depicts the vitality, resilience and moral dilemmas of the people of Tel Aviv, the film is absorbing and at times moving.
  3. Almost a comedy, though not an entirely successful one: It's too acerbic to be funny and too detached to be really moving.
  4. Israel's one-man new wave, Amos Gitai, surveys his nation's hardscrabble quotidian in Alila, which dallies with both Kiarostamian spirit and Altman-esque fabric, examining the intersecting lives of a dozen or so Tel Aviv residents.
  5. The film's drawback, and it is a serious one, is that few of its characters wear very well. The more we see them, the less they involve us and hold our interest, a situation not helped by the bombastic, theatrical style of acting a few of the performers have felt free to employ.
  6. The movie...tries to juggle too many characters at once (its title means "story plot" in Hebrew), and in several cases their connections aren't adequately explained.
  7. Ultimately lacks the textural depth and emotional precision that marks the work of obvious influences here like Robert Altman, but it does offer a pungent slice of contemporary Israeli life that should prove resonant for audiences interested in the social complexities of the region.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Gitai's film is an interesting, if not entirely successful, adaptation of an excellent book.
  9. 50
    Though absorbing enough, Alila must be counted a noble failure, if only because its efforts to follow the screwed-up lives of 12 hapless souls in a seedy Tel Aviv apartment building finally add up more to mere mimicry than commentary.

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