Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Ceylan, who also served as cinematographer, frames the affecting, unstudied performances in gorgeously chosen shots and nonevents that sometimes teeter on the edge of comedy before knocking us breathless with their emotional power.
  2. Mood, atmosphere, and character are more important than story twists in this unassuming, acutely observant drama.
  3. A Chekhovian tale of major artistic power.
  4. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    90
    An arthouse film par excellence, a consummately made study of loneliness and frustration.
  5. The narrative, capped by a brief bad dream and the capture of a mouse, isn't always legible, but it feeds into a monumental, luminous visual style like no other.
  6. The compositions are masterful, especially the snow-covered scenes in Istanbul and, most memorably, the spectacle of an overturned ship in the wintry harbor.
  7. Straightforward, droll, brutally honest and arresting.
  8. 90
    The film's extraordinary shifts from windswept sorrow (Mahmut watching from a distance as his ex-wife departs Istanbul for a new life in Canada) to deadpan comedy (the cousins' carefully engineered capture of a household rodent) are uniquely, triumphantly their maker's own.
  9. A beautifully made, unapologetically artistic piece of work.
  10. 88
    If "Starsky & Hutch" is your idea of art, keep your distance from Distant, the droll new movie from maverick Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan. If, on the other hand, you're searching for something that will remain with you long after leaving the theater, run, don't walk, to Distant.
  11. 80
    What is most winning about Distant is that it can peer past the grief and find a scrap of comedy. [15 March 2004, p. 154]
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    There's also very little dialogue, but what there is is often very funny, and Ceylan is a master of the dead-pan visual gags that reveal volumes about his character.
  13. Long stretches go by without dialogue or discernible action. But there are significant rewards for those willing to accept the movie's deliberate pace.
  14. 75
    A movie like this touches everyday life in a way that we can recognize as if Turkey were Peoria. I can imagine a similar film being made in America, although Americans might talk more.
  15. A minimalist drama that takes its mood from Turkey's wintry terrain and the uneasy relationship between two bullheaded cousins.
  16. 70
    Thoughtfully orchestrated and filled with visual wit.
  17. 70
    Such an accurate depiction of cramped spirits, small-mindedness and men unable to make changes in their lives takes its toll. Distant feels as if it's going nowhere in no particular hurry, and finally leaves us distant from its characters.
  18. The film might be called a moral travelogue. Instead of showing us mosques and tourist spots in beguiling old Istanbul, it follows a couple of ordinary Turkish men in drab surroundings and affirms that they breathe the same doubt-laden air as much of the rest of the world.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    When I watch the scenes where both lead roles did the same thing, It reminds me 'life is a cycle' and make me feel like 'this movie isWhen I watch the scenes where both lead roles did the same thing, It reminds me 'life is a cycle' and make me feel like 'this movie is touching the core of reality'. Entire cast is awesome and the theme is vivid. I bet, you will give a honorable position in your mind to the director after watching this movie. Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2013
    9
    A simple story from Turkish Director Nuri Bilge Ceylon: a man tries to cope with his life in the dismal conditions of an Istanbul winter. He'sA simple story from Turkish Director Nuri Bilge Ceylon: a man tries to cope with his life in the dismal conditions of an Istanbul winter. He's successful, but unhappy. Beautifully shot. Simplistic in story. Great performances by the cast. A must see for any Ceylon fan, or fan of foreign film. Full Review »
  3. Jul 21, 2013
    7
    I first have to say that it is beautifully shot with some truly excellent cinematography. The sound design is quite interesting too, withI first have to say that it is beautifully shot with some truly excellent cinematography. The sound design is quite interesting too, with sounds that would normally be pushed right to the back taking centre stage as the visuals do their work. I thought the performances of the two main characters were excellent but I felt it lacked a bit of direction. The narrative tended to drift along without really finding anything of any substance to bring it to life. Still, I felt it was a worthy effort and worth a look.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 6.7/10
    Full Review »