Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
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  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 10, 2011
    Offers an introduction to the lean-and-mean, social-realist Romanian storytelling style that's built around a charismatic young actor and a familiar genre.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jan 8, 2011
    Set in a barren juvenile detention center, the movie works as a grueling coming-of-age story, linking it to the likes of "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," even if it lacks the same lasting appeal.
  3. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jan 5, 2011
    Whistle is the feature debut of director-writer Florin Serban, who studied at Columbia University and lists among his influences Robert Bresson, Pedro Almodovar, Bruno Dumont and Ken Loach.
  4. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Jan 4, 2011
    It's a measure of the movie's success that one oscillates between two despairs-noting the abject failure of the system and the utter futility of revolt.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Schied
    Jan 10, 2011
    The accessible story and fast-paced action scenes could draw a good arthouse audience, more than usual for a Romanian film.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 5, 2011
    As the movie becomes more explosive - and more demanding of its cast - it loses some of the quiet, careful intensity that made Silviu's situation worth attending to in the first place. The seams of the narrative start to show, and by the end you are more aware of the filmmakers' ideas than of the character's life.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 4, 2011
    Despite the faux-realist aesthetic (gritty handheld camerawork; all-natural sound), we never feel like much is at stake, though Pistereanu and Condeescu have an easygoing rapport that makes the quieter moments between them affecting.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 7, 2011
    A steady thrum of anger pervades this Romanian film even in its quietest moments, but the ending and captured-lost-boys setting ultimately fail to surprise.

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