Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Noah Berlatsky
    Mar 5, 2014
    90
    In a spy story, Bethlehem insists, there are no good guys or bad guys, and no victor—just day-in, day-out deceit and betrayal, the weary work of hate.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Mar 6, 2014
    88
    A taut, expertly constructed, and suspenseful police procedural, it also explores the issues of loyalty, trust, betrayal, and revenge that those engaged in such morally ambiguous if essential activities would prefer not to think about.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 5, 2014
    83
    Superficially similar to Hany Abu-Assad’s Oscar-nominated Omar, it’s a considerably more complex and nuanced examination of the conflicted loyalties and dangerous relationships that characterize daily life in the Middle East, featuring remarkably strong, charismatic performances by a host of mostly non-professional actors.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 23, 2014
    8
    “Bethlehem” is a German/Belgium/Israeli film which tells the story of an Israeli agent and his Palestinian “asset” and the intense, complicated and involved relationship the two experience. Well directed by Yuval Adler who also co-wrote the film with Ali Wakad, the film stars Tsahi Halevi as the Israeli agent and Shadi Mar’l as his teenage informant.

    More than just an interesting view of this relationship, the film attempts to help the viewer understand the clashing cultures among those in the Israeli government, Hamas and the Palestine Authority as the 3 jockey for control and jurisdiction in this troubled part of the world. I give the film and 8 and suggest that it be seen by all who are seeking a better understanding of the almost impossible situation in the middle East and why, in the land of miracles, it will take one to bring peace to that part of the world.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2014
    8
    One can characterize this movie as a physiological drama or a thriller. Two main characters are Razi, Israeli secret service officer, and his teenage informant Sanfur. Sanfur's older brother is a leader in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, responsible for many terrorist acts against Israelis and as such is wanted by Israelis. Sanfur is struggling with conflicting loyalty: on one hand, he loves his brother and wants his family to be proud of him (and the only way to get such respect is to take part in armed actions against Israelis). On the other hand, there has been an emotional bond between him and Razi who treats him better than his own father. He has to walk a very tight and dangerous rope as a double agent. And he is only a kid.

    Razi's feelings are also troubled: he is sympathetic towards the boy yet these emotions conflict with his professionalism. For Razi's boss Sanfur is only an asset but for Razi he is almost like a son.

    The movie allows us a glimpse into working of Israeli intelligence and, on the other hand, into conflicts among different Palestinian militant groups.

    Overall, the movie is a very strong debut for director Yuval Adler.
    Full Review »