Beyond the Hills

Beyond the Hills Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Alina (Cristina Flutur) arrives at a remote monastery to visit her friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), one of the nuns in training. Alina wants Voichita to leave her cloistered life and return with her to Germany, but as the fateful hour draws near, Voichita does not want to go, so AlinaAlina (Cristina Flutur) arrives at a remote monastery to visit her friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), one of the nuns in training. Alina wants Voichita to leave her cloistered life and return with her to Germany, but as the fateful hour draws near, Voichita does not want to go, so Alina decides to stay, which is when the real trouble begins. [IFC Films] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 7, 2013
    100
    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. Mar 1, 2013
    88
    It's Cristian Mungiu's staging and compositional skill that lends the material its true sense of dawning dread.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 4, 2013
    88
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Feb 21, 2013
    80
    Enthralling, mysterious and intimately upsetting – a terrible demonstration of how poverty creates a space which irrational fear must fill.
  5. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 7, 2013
    80
    With its long takes and deliberate pacing, Beyond the Hills is demanding but always engrossing, even during its repetitive middle section.
  6. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Mar 18, 2013
    75
    The movie deals with themes of secular and religious love, of how they may intersect and diverge, that are suggestive of Bergman or Carl Theodor Dreyer.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric D. Snider
    Mar 3, 2013
    25
    Assisted by passionless central performances and dull dialogue, Mungiu succeeds only in exhausting our patience, not in conveying a message.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    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. Expand
  2. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  3. Mar 14, 2016
    8
    Between faith and winning a heart back.

    This is my second Romanian movie in 3 weeks to review in WCA. And both of them were the Oscars sent
    Between faith and winning a heart back.

    This is my second Romanian movie in 3 weeks to review in WCA. And both of them were the Oscars sent movie that never made into the final stage. My Romanian movie count is not exceeded to double digit, but I think now I started to like them and hoping to watch many more in the days to come. This movie was less expected by me, well, I was delaying it for some times, eventually finished it with highly satisfied.

    From the director of the Golden Globe Nominee movie '4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days' brings the story of two young women who were once abused when in orphanage that led them to bond closely before going their separate ways after leaving the place. One of them returns from working in Germany to win another's heart back who has now found a place in a convent. How the things work out between them, with their new life and the past attachment that affect not only them but entire convent.

    If 'Ida' made into the Oscars, I don't know why this one failed to make. Both of them were kind of similar, about the characters who were caught between the faith and emotion. One's true commitment to the faith is tested with the unexpected encounter with the desires. Is the religion too innocence in the modern world? While the human civilisation shifting its phase to the next stage, the 2000 years old belief is struggling to pull together. In that platform this movie was narrated a wonderful story.

    "Continuity is essential in our spiritual realm.
    You can't stop for a break when you feel like it."

    The tale was quite clearly displayed when one has to choose between two, even knowing what the reality is, but fixed with their devoted mind on one. Maybe like coming from the orphanage, knowing all the struggles about life, this is the way they pledged to help the society. In the perspective of hardcore believers, the movie might be a little hurtful, but nothing serious offensive. It was just a movie, and sometimes it was a dark comedy that was not intended, but anyway I had a few good laughs.

    I am really happy for the movie, I won't consider it an outcry about religious cruelty. Unlike hospitals that legally runs performances, while a monastery like this raises a few questions within its practice that performed against someone's will. After all it was inspired by the real even that took place in the 2005 and mostly factual than fiction.

    This was set in the present time, but most of the movie shot in a convent just outskirt of a city, so gives the feel of the 60s, 70s or earlier to that. Because their lifestyle that disconnects from the rest of the world, including their financial struggle. An ideal location for the story and its title. Shot in two different seasons similar to change in the phase and pace of the tale to the intensified conclusion. I loved everyone's performance. Definitely it is not in the line of 'Spotlight', but you can't ignore where the movie is pointing out on what went wrong. In my opinion, it is a must see and surely suggest it for all, well, mostly adults for its sensitiveness.

    8/10
    Expand
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    7
    It tries way too hard to be a great film but it does suceed in being a decent watcher.
  5. Apr 8, 2014
    7
    "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.
    Expand

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