Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

Critic Reviews

  1. Even blood, spilled so freely, has a distinctive intensity of red in this beautiful and harrowing film.
  2. Both visually and emotionally, a panoramic picture; Mehta wields a master's hand as she weaves together vistas of urban and pastoral India with thoughts on the nature of man as it keeps cycling out in the specifics of history.
  3. An extraordinary movie on many levels.
  4. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Foreman
    A remarkable accomplishment. It takes one of the century's vast tragedies...and makes it heart-rendingly real and intimate.
  5. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    Mehta's latest release, combines a similarly intoxicating visual immediacy and delight with a sobering outsider's long view.
  6. A powerful and disturbing reminder of how a civilization can suddenly crack under certain pressures.
  7. 75
    Told as a melodrama and romance, not docudrama, and that makes it all the more effective.
  8. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Hurls its Holocaust at us in a series of justifiably horrific images.
  9. It's a passionate, beautifully mounted film -- but the agenda she sets for herself is too large and the conflicts she portrays too complicated to be illustrated in a single drama.
  10. Telling things through the eyes of a spoiled, precocious, troublemaking 8-year-old narrator is both an overdone device and not a particularly engaging one.
  11. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Gorgeous and troubling.
  12. 60
    Sumptuous historical melodrama.
  13. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    A draggy affair livened occasionally by bursts of color or raw emotion, but just as often convoluted and hackneyed. It's a case of a film taking on, admirably, more than it can chew.
  14. 50
    Unfortunately the allegory tends to overpower the characterizations even as it deepens them.
  15. 40
    Mehta feels compelled to twist the screw, shamelessly plying her audience with mawkish tropes wearing the garb of "innocence."

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. ArielS.
    May 1, 2006
    Fire, brimestone, and terror reign in this movie.