Ararat Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family are faced both with Turkey's denial of their catastrophic past and with their own complicated present. (Miramax)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. As ever, Egoyan assembles a devoted repertory cast, including Christopher Plummer.
  2. Until its final moments this almost great movie feels as if it's racing against itself in a neck-and-neck battle between its troubled heart and its egg-shaped head. The heart wins by a nose.
  3. The resulting project matters much and should be seen, but how much it'll be FELT depends on your specific level of patience for a director who presumes audience comprehension to be at about a fourth-grade level (at least he's a shoo-in for Hollywood).
  4. 63
    Whatever the reason, the characters often seem only half-formed and there's a strange artificiality about the entire endeavor. Egoyan has never been a realist, and his style has contributed to his ability to deliver a knockout punch. Here, that punch is missing.
  5. 60
    Though typically engaging, Ararat occasionally suffers from what's previously been a virtue in Egoyan's filmmaking. His distancing techniques, rather than sharpening his ability to deal with a subject that lends itself to high emotion -- sometimes just seem distancing.
  6. Reviewed by: Jon Strickland
    60
    Egoyan has always constructed dense ensemble films, and here again the writer-director hopes to reinforce his themes by piling layer upon layer of character. Unfortunately, the layers end up cluttering the story.
  7. 50
    If the movie feels cumbersome and overstuffed, it's because Egoyan's characters, so often aphasic, are this time driven by a compulsion to speak -- though the noisy tumble of words mostly underscores their failure to communicate.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 5 out of 24
  1. TinaB
    Nov 25, 2002
    7
    Okay ... this was, in fact, a generally good movie ... however, being Armenian myself, I felt as if though it somehow failed to educate those Okay ... this was, in fact, a generally good movie ... however, being Armenian myself, I felt as if though it somehow failed to educate those who STILL don't know the events that took place in 1915. There were so many different complications in the movie, and it made it confusing. The writer didn't clarify the association between some of the events, and what the symbolisms were and what they meant to Armenian people. Those who don't know the sacred Wedding Dance don't understand why that was such a degrading memory, and it could have been explained better. Also, the director knew what kind of audience he would be targeting and I felt as if though that whole sex scene between Celia and Raffi was completely and utterly inappropriate ... there was absolutely no point in that scene, at all. (It's kind of embarrassing when you're sitting next to an 80-year-old woman while that scene was in motion.) And what exactly did the marijuana have to do with anything? How did it affect the movie? I just don't know ... it IS better than nothing, and I am proud that finally a movie was made to educate others of my proud culture, but still ... the expectations were high, and I do feel failed ... if I somehow missed something and that is why my appreciation for the movie isn't as high as it should be, feel free to let me know... Thank You. Expand
  2. TinaB
    Nov 25, 2002
    6
    Okay ... this was, in fact, a generally good movie ... however, being Armenian myself, I felt as if though it somehow failed to educate those Okay ... this was, in fact, a generally good movie ... however, being Armenian myself, I felt as if though it somehow failed to educate those who STILL don't know the events that took place in 1915. There were so many different complications in the movie, and it made it confusing. The writer didn't clarify the association between some of the events, and what the symbolisms were and what they meant to Armenian people. Those who don't know the sacred Wedding Dance don't understand why that was such a degrading memory, and it could have been explained better. Also, the director knew what kind of audience he would be targeting and I felt as if though that whole sex scene between Celia and Raffi was completely and utterly inappropriate ... there was absolutely no point in that scene, at all. (It's kind of embarrassing when you're sitting next to an 80-year-old woman while that scene was in motion.) And what exactly did the marijuana have to do with anything? How did it affect the movie? I just don't know ... it IS better than nothing, and I am proud that finally a movie was made to educate others of my proud culture, but still ... the expectations were high, and I do feel failed ... if I somehow missed something and that is why my appreciation for the movie isn't as high as it should be, feel free to let me know... Thank You. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews