Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 88
    Tells a story we think we already know, but we're wrong: It has new things to say within an old formula.
  2. Beautifully acted and written so its themes are touched upon glancingly rather than with full force.
  3. 75
    A slow-moving but heartfelt film.
  4. While the film pivots around Nazneen, perhaps at the expense of other characters, it doesn't sell her short. This is a rich, revealing and elegant portrait, and one well worth spending time with.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    A sensitive and occasionally poetic film, Brick Lane is an absorbing tale of personal empowerment and emotional growth.
  6. 75
    The characters in Brick Lane must define themselves and determine where "home" is before they can move forward, and that dramatic conflict lies at the heart of this motion picture.
  7. 75
    The movie has a vibrant, sturdy pathos in the manner of Dickens.
  8. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    70
    Absorbing enough, moving enough, and visually attractive enough to provide a perfectly acceptable night out at the movies.
  9. 70
    Certainly touching, even heart-rending at times, and it mostly steers clear of the didacticism and sentimentality its subject matter often invites. But it never takes the full measure of its modest heroine, and makes her world a bit too small.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    Monica Ali's elegant and critically trumpeted debut novel, Brick Lane, about the travails, conflicting emotions and quiet liberation of a Muslim woman in London, is a far lesser thing in its bigscreen transformation.
  11. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    67
    Taken for what it is, Brick Lane is something entirely its own.
  12. 67
    Like many things about Brick Lane, this story is dealt with in too cursory and pat a fashion. The film's heart can't be faulted, but its head is working in a regrettably low gear.
  13. A thoughtful and often evocative drama of identity and assimilation, but she leaves Nazneen so cocooned in her protective shell of disconnection that we can't connect emotionally.
  14. 63
    Restrained and decorous to a fault.
  15. 63
    Easily, the best character in the film is Nazneen's tubby husband, who's been angling to take the family back to Bangladesh.
  16. The arc of Nazneen's character, from drudge to feminist heroine, is predictably saintly. Chanu is a far more intriguingly human figure, the redeemed fool.
  17. Well-acted and grounded in reality, Brick Lane is never overly emotional, even when it deals with the days after 9/11.
  18. One of those feminist cries in the dark in which the heroine, a saintly sufferer, is more admirable than interesting.
  19. 58
    Brick Lane comes far too late to be groundbreaking, and tries to do too much to be fully coherent, but its talent for avoiding obvious choices on all fronts, narratively and stylistically, make it worth a look.
  20. 50
    Wraps a sari around the kind of suffering-housewife picture that became a cliché 30 years ago.
  21. Has beautiful scenery and some enjoyable moments but leaves the viewer feeling the need to find the book to get the rest of the story.
  22. 50
    Brick Lane has been whittled down from Monica Ali's expansive 2003 novel into a glossy but overly efficient drama that, like Nazneen's husband, is ultimately too ineffectual to make much of a dent.
  23. Even as Brick Lane manages to sidestep one formula, it falls prey to another.
  24. The movie is notable for its perceptive take on issues facing immigrants, and atmospherically photographed by Robbie Ryan (Red Road), but its flat, static quality belies the novel's richness.
  25. For most of the movie, we feel as trapped as she does, and the lurching narrative seems anything but novelistic.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JayH.
    Jan 10, 2009
    7
    Fine drama, beautifully acted, poignant story. Well thought out direction, good screenplay, fine cinematography. It has a few slow stretches, Fine drama, beautifully acted, poignant story. Well thought out direction, good screenplay, fine cinematography. It has a few slow stretches, but overall a very rewarding film. Full Review »
  2. HarrietC.
    Jul 22, 2008
    6
    Full of promise but falls short on the delivery. Beautiful story and lovely cinematography but I was waiting to be touched, deeply touched as Full of promise but falls short on the delivery. Beautiful story and lovely cinematography but I was waiting to be touched, deeply touched as the story had the opportunity to do. Maybe that was the intention but as a film goer I want to be swept into it all. Full Review »