User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 5 out of 19

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Dec 12, 2012
    An impeccably written character study from Israel that is at times exhilarating, angry, passionate, funny, provocative, and is never less than absolutely absorbing. The writing, first of all, is due the most praise. It is so focused and attuned to the tone of the story that I instantly knew these two men. I was never left scratching my head at any point, lost in all of the talk of Talmud scholarship. The acting is amazingly restrained. The two actors who play father and son, competing in the same, very small field, are astounding. I feel as though they have lived these lives and completely understand the relationship they have and only through their eyes. I would only dismiss Expand
  2. Lyn
    Oct 7, 2014
    This tense but at times funny film takes father-son tension to a place we haven't really seen before -- the Talmud runs through it. Not a single character is wholly sympathetic, which makes the drama brave and engrossing. It is wrenching to see the son's fierce defense of his father -- in a tiny room crowded with academic egos -- and wonder not only whether he'll ever receive anything back, but whether he'll be able to do better with his own son. The action slows down and I did wish for a bit of resolution that never quite came. Expand
  3. Apr 21, 2012
    This is an intense (& sometimes funny) story about scholarship and competition between a father & son researching & writing in the same academic field The academic tensions & jargon are enough to warrant a trip to the theater, but the complex family relationships give the film just the right amount of emotional content. Scholarship is shown as active, intellectual work, & I've never seen the painful act of writing & striving for just the right word depicted as well. The rivalries & betrayals that academia engenders are violent in their passionate intensity. I'm looking forward to more films by Joseph Cedar. Expand
  4. Apr 22, 2012
    A brilliant film. Academic infighting provides the comedy, and father-son relationship provides the pathos. Not for anyone who does not know what "philology" is, but for audiences that lament the absence of intelligent films, this is a must.

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 26, 2012
    Cedar is mostly interested in the father-son dynamics, and he cast excellent actors. Lewensohn, a famous Israeli theatrical director, makes his film acting debut, while the veteran Ashkenazi ("Late Wedding") handles his low-key role with bearlike grace.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 13, 2012
    Footnote is faintly comic, and director Joseph Cedar mines dark humor from the humiliations of identity checks and pecking orders.
  3. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 11, 2012
    This is a film that skims the surface layer of politesse from human interactions and reveals us as the blustering bundles of ego that we all are.