Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 23, 2013
    What the film makes clear, with unfailing sensitivity and wry humor, is that for Shira and her family the ordinary arrangements of living are freighted with moral and spiritual significance.
  2. Reviewed by: Diana Clarke
    May 21, 2013
    Burshtein's lush visual sensibility, and the subtle performances of the excellent cast, create an aching portrayal of longing and interdependence that transcends the boundaries of the family's small world.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 31, 2013
    Implicit in this film is a simple truth: The sheer force of artistry has the power to convert outsiders into insiders. I left Fill the Void feeling privileged, however briefly, to have been brought into this world.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 22, 2013
    Burshtein shoots in extreme shallow focus, framing her actors against a sometimes-blinding blanket of white fuzz. It’s a decision that, coupled with Yitzhak Azulay’s stirring, chant-driven score, lends each conversation a near religious aura.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    May 23, 2013
    A transfixing, emotionally complex Israeli drama.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Jun 21, 2013
    Burshtein has achieved a gripping film without victims or villains, an ambiguous tragedy drawing on universal themes of love and loss, self-sacrifice and self-preservation.
  7. Reviewed by: Nell Minow
    Jun 20, 2013
    A sympathetic, lay­­ered portrayal, rich with detail, that earns its more complex and resonant conclusion.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jun 14, 2013
    The movie confounds at times with its aversion to clearly explaining each relationship and ritual, but ultimately that makes each realization seem more like a new discovery.
  9. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 14, 2013
    Burshtein keeps the camera tight on the faces of her actors in a way that succeeds at making visible the invisible heat between the characters. The film's chaste eroticism and the community's deep respect for Shira's emotional and spiritual growth keep the audience in thrall.
  10. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    May 23, 2013
    Burshtein refuses to engage with the culture wars that flare fiercely between secular and religious types in Israel; in fact she's trying to avoid types of any kind, which may be why secular audiences and critics have embraced her rapturous depiction of a community living its life, more separate from than at odds with the society beyond.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Dec 9, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. There's too much going on underneath the surface for me to enjoy this movie. A Man marries not knowing his wife was mentally ill. Girl engaged can't even tell if her betrothed is happy or not. .Girl ashamed because she has not been selected for marriage. .ok enough this is way too subdued, too mechanical, too subjugated, too much of too little. It is a tragic movie do not compare this at all to Pride and Prejudice. That at least can be understood as it is a period movie. This to me is the equivalent of bringing back slavery and agreeing that it is ok- it is revolting. Impossible to love even if one overlooks the indenture the laws of this patriarchal community imposes on women and men. Sorry but I can not overlook everything that was not addressed in this movie. It was painful to watch. Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2013
    This is a high quality drama about life, death, family and tradition. Not a single note is phony here. The attention to details is exceptional. The movie is slow but emotionally charged. A bit too much of ceremonial rituals to my liking. Overall, the movie is Oscar caliber. Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2013
    Refreshingly emotionally involving, this is not at all your typical Hollywood movie. Eschewing dependence on action, this film seeks to explore the world of Haredim in Jerusalem. Many non-Jews may miss cues and actions which may seem confusing or questionable to the outside world (but are understood by Orthodox Jews). Nevertheless, the way the Burshtein draws you into the characters' world strongly enables one to feel the tensions through which they go through. Very rewarding. Full Review »