Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    This slice of American life, as seen through the eyes of Palestinian immigrants, is nuanced, engaging and authentically observed.
  2. Dabis, a Palestinian-American, has thoroughly re-energized the genre with refreshing wit, honest emotions, incisive observations and a perfect cast.
  3. 88
    A heartwarming film, not a political dirge. Much of this warmth comes from the actress Nisreen Faour.
  4. It's one of the funniest and most perceptive films of the year.
  5. 75
    This small gem takes a basically optimistic view about the struggles that generations of immigrants have endured.
  6. Filmmaker Dabis based Amreeka on her own family's experiences in the rural Midwest during the first Gulf War. Although the drama heads on a predictable course, Faour brings intelligence and humor to her performance and Muallem, as the smart adolescent turned surly and scared, is likewise sharp.
  7. The acting is good, particularly by Faour, who plays the naive, zaftig heroine as warm and appealing despite her troubles. It's also nice to see veteran Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass ("Lemon Tree"), who plays Muna's sister.
  8. 75
    It’s one of the richer movies you’re likely to see about average Arabs in America.
  9. A kind of stealth political film that confronts issues of ethnic tension and American xenophobia.
  10. Only one of a number of recent immigrant tales to hit theaters, but with its blend of sweet humor and topical relevance, it's one of the more compelling -- and surprising -- in some time.
  11. If the story were more arresting, and the filmmaking more original, then the notions of post-9/11 assimilation might be more compelling. As it stands, the movie just serves up another warmed-over Ellis Island rehash.
  12. Faour and Muallen give solid performances, but there are a few too many by-the-numbers moments.
  13. 89
    Amreeka is anything but a depressing digression on American wartime paranoia.
  14. Amreeka is strategically inviting and carefully mild even when making unsubtle points about Palestinian suffering and American insensitivity.
  15. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    There's nothing bitter or cynical about Amreeka, which is directed with impish wit, an observant visual competence, and an open, conciliatory spirit.
  16. This is a pointed, emotional story of a divorced Palestinian woman and her son who immigrate to the U.S. just after the invasion of Iraq, a story that benefits from Dabis' background as a child growing up in the Midwest during the Gulf War as the daughter of a Palestinian father and a Jordanian mother.
  17. Reviewed by: Jan Stuart
    Abetted by an observant cast, she (Dabis) navigates across politically and emotionally fraught terrain with a warming inflection of humor and a mother-hen's attention to the needs of all of her characters.
  18. 70
    When most filmmakers want to say something important about cultural conflicts, they labor to bring tears to our eyes. Dabis, by contrast, makes us laugh at ourselves and, in turn, each other.
  19. One of the most accomplished recent films about a non-European immigrant coming to the United States.
  20. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    Writer-director Cherien Dabis shot Amreeka in a gritty documentary style that reflects the often grim reality of the characters' situation. But he also knows how to mine the comic situations that are often part of the immigrant experience.
  21. With her large, expressive eyes, abundant warmth, and radiant energy, Faour commands our sympathy, even through some weak dialogue and even weaker plot points.
  22. 58
    Amreeka lacks the sense of humor that set "Aliens In America" apart--and frankly, it’s rarely as insightful about the biases and strengths either of Arab émigrés or of sheltered Midwesterners.
  23. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    A culture-clash dramedy whose background in Middle-East conflict is leavened with vibrant energy, balanced politics and droll humor by first-time feature director Cherien Dabis.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Apr 10, 2014
    "Amreeka", Cherien Dabis directorial debut, has fantastic story, strong heroine and strong messages. It is really unbiased to neither"Amreeka", Cherien Dabis directorial debut, has fantastic story, strong heroine and strong messages. It is really unbiased to neither Palestinian's nor Americans, but instead shows the contrast and the difference between both traditions, which is really bold. Moreover, it never feels to keep you interested in the character development, in which all characters live in a stereotypical country. "Amreeka" is a heart warming experience, filled with Superb performances and a great laughs. It is not that easy a film earns a full rating, this one actually does! Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2010
    Dabis is lucky to have such a wonderful cast on the debut film as director But this story about post 9/11 xenophobic America feels patchy atDabis is lucky to have such a wonderful cast on the debut film as director But this story about post 9/11 xenophobic America feels patchy at times and does not avoid the trap of introducing Hollywood-esque feel-good moments in an otherwise strong drama. Full Review »
  3. BobW.
    Jan 18, 2010
    Very subtle yet well made movie. Lead actress Nisreen Faour is very likable and performs admirably.