Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 7, 2013
    Even as Mr. Mungiu maintains a detached, objective point of view, allowing the details of the story to speak for themselves, he also allows you to glimpse the complex and volatile inner lives of his characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 6, 2013
    Beyond The Hills has a rich understanding of the appeals and perils of religious values that provide structure and meaning to some while seeming cruel and irrational to outsiders. It’s a world within a world, and Mungiu peers from a clear window.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 4, 2013
    This is not an anti-religious polemic, though it easily could have gone that way. Instead it is a much more thoughtful film and in some ways more troubling. No one is trying to do the wrong thing here, but, as with most things in life, it becomes increasingly hard to know what the right thing might be.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Mar 5, 2013
    The haunting final image suggests how quickly such stories can be lost...which makes Beyond the Hills, above all else, a powerful and necessary act of reclamation.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 4, 2013
    It’s a deceptively impersonal style, because Beyond the Hills seethes with astonishment and rage at a broken society marooned between the 21st century and the 16th.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 14, 2013
    Of all the movies culminating in a rite of exorcism, Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's remarkable Beyond the Hills stands alone.
  7. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Mar 7, 2013
    What this means is that at times the pace of Beyond the Hills is nerve-wrackingly slow. But Mungiu has his own way of creating suspense, and he has a gift for making a known outcome as shocking as a twist.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Boone
    Mar 7, 2013
    Beyond the Hills is an arthouse film from Romania, yet, in its slow, lurching progress toward a tragic exorcism, it is a stylistic nephew of America's "The Exorcist."
  9. Mar 1, 2013
    It's Cristian Mungiu's staging and compositional skill that lends the material its true sense of dawning dread.
  10. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    Apr 4, 2013
    Beyond the Hills is an undeniably difficult (not to mention lengthy) film to endure. But for those with the fortitude, there is grace and enlightenment hidden in this harsh Romanian winter tale.
  11. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Feb 21, 2013
    Deceivingly complex, with an emotional center that peels away like an onion the longer it unfolds, this is a powerful effort from Mungiu in which love and faith are both different kinds of poison.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    "Beyond the Hills" is a simple story about two friends, one of them has found solace at a covenant in Romania, while the other works in"Beyond the Hills" is a simple story about two friends, one of them has found solace at a covenant in Romania, while the other works in Germany, and has returned to her country in order to convince her friend to come to Germany to her. This results in themes of religion, faith, and mostly the contrast between the two characters, which seem to see the world through different eyes. To be honest, this isn't a bad movie, but the script which features an exorcism, feels dimmed and monotone. While the lack of music brings a fantastic sense of reality through the detailed natural sounds, this is a double edge sword because it also kills the tension. It's like this movie sucks you in and then, before you know it, all the excitement disappears, just so that you could get sucked in again. It feels as if it never manages to shock us or keep us engaged, like Mungiu's 2007 Palme D'Or winner "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days".
    So, this is a raw experiece without music or detailed frames, but I'm afraid the quiet and interesting universe it creates, it's a bit more interesting than what happens in it. Still, the performances are very good, as much as the script allows, and this still deserves a watch even if it feels like a sneeze that its ready to blow, only it doesn't.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. A group of nuns and a priest symbolically crucify a lesbian who is trying to get her former lover to leave the convent. This stunning film is not only a scathing indictment of the evil done in the name of religion but of the backwardness of Romanian society as a whole. Full Review »
  3. Mar 11, 2013
    A quietly powerful film which is all the more interesting to me, coming from a mixed family Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox. The EasternA quietly powerful film which is all the more interesting to me, coming from a mixed family Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox traditions are well represented here, and the bull-in-a-china shop Alina is shocking in her brash willingness to pull her loved one away from the monastery at all costs. This movie is a tonic for the banal slate of films Hollywood has given us during this first quarter of the year. Full Review »