Circumstance

Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Aug 29, 2011
    60
    Circumstance demonstrates raw talent and a taste for big ideas.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 28, 2011
    60
    As to the question of whether Circumstance is actually a good film, or just one with an important story to tell, a high degree of difficulty and some hot all-girl action, I think the verdict is mixed.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 26, 2011
    60
    Keshavarz's vision is clear and heartfelt, and everyone has an urgency in their eyes.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Aug 25, 2011
    60
    Circumstance is best during its simpler, more naturalistic moments. In one, Mehran rebuffs a junkie who stumbles into the mosque, only to see that an Islamic hardliner is more compassionate.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 2, 2011
    58
    Despite its arty veneer and its ostensibly political edge, Circumstance seems more interested in titillation than revelation.
  6. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Aug 23, 2011
    50
    Keshavarz's earnest, well-intentioned first feature on women's oppression in Iran has trouble resisting its own heavy hand.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Aug 22, 2011
    50
    Since Mehran's embrace of hardline Islam is never dramatized or elaborated on in any insightful way.
  8. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 24, 2011
    40
    The closer this parable inches toward tragedy, the more you can feel the gap between good intentions and generic exotica-grandstanding widening into an unbridgeable chasm.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    8
    Circumstance is a surprisingly complex and intriguing look at Iranian lives. Various tensions between sensuality and repression, family andCircumstance is a surprisingly complex and intriguing look at Iranian lives. Various tensions between sensuality and repression, family and the state, and too many more to mention play out over the course of a short story. While not a masterpiece, Circumstance is nicely drawn and worth a look, especially if you are unfamiliar with Persian culture. Full Review »
  2. Jan 5, 2012
    8
    At first it was confusing as I am unsure whether it is faithful to the culture. Women must cover their heads yet the girls wear high heels andAt first it was confusing as I am unsure whether it is faithful to the culture. Women must cover their heads yet the girls wear high heels and makeup. Not knowing the culture and only hearing snippets of what Iran is really like through NPR, the story was difficult to get involved in. But this changed as the fluent relationship of Atafeh and Shireen becomes exposed (to me). The spirit of the film is bubbling just under the false veneer of all the characters. I wanted them to burst out and stand up for themselves as in America. But the heartbreak is they are all trapped by their Circumstance under the repressive Iranian culture; even those characters I identified as evil. They are all searching for love, but even if they are lucky enough to find it, it becomes - suppress or die. Once I realized, from watching the extras on the DVD, the risk Ms Keshavra and all the Iranians took, it made the film all the more poignant. It is so important for us to know how lucky we are here and how deplorable conditions are around the world. Films such as this are must see; especially for the young people who shape not only our world but the global world. Full Review »
  3. Dec 19, 2011
    6
    I found a delightful film, beautiful script, enjoyable acting, beautiful art direction and everything else ... What is disenchanted is knowingI found a delightful film, beautiful script, enjoyable acting, beautiful art direction and everything else ... What is disenchanted is knowing that in Iran and many other countries with this "religion" exists outside of fiction, and women are deprived of many things. The world has gone through so much and it has not changed yet.

    On the political level this film is sensational! It's a real lesson about the current "circumstances" that Iranian society is found, a consequence of the xiita revolution which occurred in country in the late 1970, which overthrew a dictator and the other was placed in power.
    The conversation they have in the "rental shop" shows well, and even an ironic way, the manipulation of the media and culture promoted by the government, as well as references and links to the human rights from the movie, which are fantastic. The "submission" of the women to men, by imposition, is also present in much of the film, many scenes that reach right to revolt and indignation.

    However, the romance part, although the relationship between them is beautiful and the characters were combined, is too vague and ends up being disappointing, the final says it so.
    I was under the impression that the beginning is the end of the film, was so open that I ended up leaving that question.
    Full Review »