Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Makhmalbaf continues her rise as Iran's most promising young female filmmaker, and Iranian cinema extends its reign as one of the world's most exciting cultural phenomena.
  2. The stripped-down dramatic constructs, austere imagery and abstract characters are equal parts poetry and politics, obvious at times but evocative and heartfelt.
  3. 88
    Makhmalbaf finds room for moments of humor and humanity.
  4. 88
    Like so much Iranian cinema, Blackboards is a work of lyrical propaganda. But its metaphors are opaque enough to avoid didacticism, and the film succeeds as an emotionally accessible, almost mystical work.
  5. An indelible and ultimately moving vision of humanity buffeted by the elements and by international political tides.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    A fascinating allegory of life in Iranian Kurdistan, a remote borderland still deeply scarred by years of war with Iraq.
  7. Director Samira Makhmalbaf made this raw and effective parable with the recognizable help of her father, legendary director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
  8. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    Slyly powerful.
  9. Like many other Iranian films, Blackboards counters the generally broadcast ideas about this part of the world. It is a testament of quiet endurance, of common concern, of reconciled survival.
  10. We've got the trademark elements but not their magical bonding, and the result is a selection of scenes in search of a movie.
  11. 40
    Episodic and minimalist to a fault, Blackboards makes its ironic point about education, then makes it again a few times over for good measure, rarely expanding beyond its narrow seriocomic agenda.
  12. 20
    Blackboards is both shrill and soporific, and because everything is repeated five or six times, it can seem tiresomely simpleminded.
  13. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    About as much fun as a grouchy ayatollah in a cold mosque.

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