User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 66
  2. Negative: 2 out of 66

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  1. Apr 28, 2011
    A tremendous film. Even though there's a lot going on, and there's much to unpack, the way the story unfolds is so effortlessly handled, and it's quite a story - packs an enormous punch. Throughout, I kept having to resist my yearning for more historical & geographical context, but I'm guessing the writer/director wanted to keep the focus on Marwan and her personal struggles and tortured history. Highly recommended. Expand
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    A wonderful piece of motion art with a disturbing conclusion . Its a painting of a harrowing scene told in the most beautiful strokes. It stays with you long after.
  3. Oct 15, 2011
    Greatly made building up suspense until it dazzle's you with it's shocking finish. One of the best movies of last year!
  4. Jul 5, 2011
    My favourite pick of the 2011 Oscar nominees for foreign film (along with Dogtooth). A haunting story, full of twists, notable for the remarkable performance of Azabal.
  5. May 10, 2011
    superb movie. gripping, difficult material to watch. it stays with you for a long time afterwards. superb acting, interesting plot twists and very intriguing movement from present to past and back again. highly recommended.
  6. Jun 9, 2011
    A wonderful movie, it was a bit hard to follow at times going back and forth between the time periods but what a great story! It had more than one gut wrenching exposure, but the ending of it all was so unexpected! I highly recommend this movie, a great expose on human life.
  7. Jul 21, 2011
    This was the most powerful movie I have seen in current memory. The screenplay was incredibly dramatic and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie. The suspense was complete and when the truth was revealed I found that I had no idea expectation how it would end. In addition to a well written. the actors were superbly chosen and fitted for their roles. The cinematography was beyond my opinion, this is academy award material Expand
  8. Aug 11, 2011
    As much as a love movies, it's still difficult for me to watch foreign films, because of the whole subtitle reading.. but this movie transcends language. I highly recommend it.
  9. Sep 22, 2013
    Because it’s so good, after watching Canadien/French Film Incendies for the second time, I thought that it must be based on a novel of play. I needed to find out. I now know that it is based on a play by Wajdi Mouawad. Mouawad is a Canadien writer, and to my delight, Incendies is part of a series of four plays. This means I have three more Incendies-like plays still to read.

    I won’t go
    through a run-down of the plot, talk in abstractions about arch, characters symbiosis or lack-there-of…. there are tons of proper film reviews out there already dealing with these topics. I thought I’d just talk about two things, the two things that I thought make this an outstanding film: Photography, and the remarkable unfolding of a dramatic story; better film critics than me, which is to say any real film critic, have said that this film pulls off tragedy better than the Greeks.
    The photography… was just as good the second time as it was the first time I saw it. The film opens in a village that could be mistaken for Greece of Israel. At thought maybe this was set and shot in Palestine, but I think most of the film as actually shot in Jordan. Theses shots are actually set to portray a fictional Lebanon, both past and modern day. The history intertwined with the movie seems to be loosely fictional; I can’t find any information on any of the places that appear in film. My Lebanese civil war history is a little rusty. Anyone else?

    There are two shots in particular that stand out. Both are shot at a distance to reveal the vastness of the landscape, unmistakably Mediterranean. Rocky, and the trees, not that I’m a tree expert, but they must be olive or fig trees, they are almost overused as prototypical symbols of the Med, but they work great.
    The first shot I like is actually two shots, meaning one type of shot that is used twice, almost identically. It’s of a bus traveling on a skinny, mountainside road. At first, the camera is in close then pans way out to show the whole panoramic view, massive landscape, and tiny bus, a common technique in World films that are shot in exotic landscapes. The other shot is similar. It is later in the film. One of the characters is driving to a modern day Deressa Refugee camp and there is a shot taken from the sky of the winding roads leading up the side of a mountain. This shot is amazing, and whatever effects of filters the photographer added to make it fit the film’s tone so well, I can’t think of a better word to use to describe them, and the shot as ‘cinematic.’ I know that’s a terrible term to use when describing Cinema, I really do, but a shot like this is so expressive and well-placed in the film, there is nothing going in the film here excepts visuals, the shot on it’s own stands out as an artistic, filmmaking achievement.
    The storyline…unfolds with the precision of a textbook tragedy. It sets up the conflict right off the top--- find missing brother and father. As the drama unfolds the story becomes more and more complex, adding twists and turns to the plot that we never even thought possible. In the end we are left with remains that challenge Oedipus the King in magnitude of ruination, yet still manage to exit the scene with a sparkle of hope. Forgiveness lets the audience breath a little easier as the film closes, a catharsis, but even then the story, the film, will haunt your subconscious for a good while after.
  10. Dec 23, 2013
    A very, very disturbing story which was told in so realistic way. This movie haunts me the next couple weeks, i guess. I enjoyed the way this was made; I was hooked from beginning to end. I loved the way the storytelling moved from past to present and so on. Great movie.

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 15, 2011
    A story of hope amid the ruins -- one that everybody can appreciate, no matter their politics.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 23, 2011
    The story might have worked as well without that stick-in-the-craw coincidence, which was inserted to maximize the horrors of Nawal's past.
  3. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Jun 20, 2011
    A thriller that twists and turns with an understated power that will have you gripping the arm of your seat. Terrific stuff.