Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Rich Cline
    First-time writer-director Serry shows a remarkable gift for storytelling with this moving, effective little film.
  2. 90
    This movie may not have the highest production values you've ever seen, but it's the work of an artist, one whose view of America, history and the awkwardness of human life is generous and deep.
  3. It's a wise and powerful tale of race and culture forcefully told, with superb performances throughout.
  4. 88
    Maryam is more timely now than ever.
  5. 80
    Serry perfectly captures the peculiar climate, creating uncanny echoes with today's situation. Persian stars Shaun Toub and Shohreh Aghdashloo are extremely convincing as Maryam's parents.
  6. 80
    The film is full of finely observed details.
  7. 75
    A searing reminder of the relevance of recent history and of the timeless power of fiction to humanize people and crystallize sweeping events into personal drama.
  8. Carefully crafted, notably in its deft dramatic structuring, and has become timely in a way its maker could never have anticipated.
  9. High on melodrama. But it's emotionally engrossing, too, thanks to strong, credible performances from the whole cast.
  10. Though it's ultimately rather heavy-handed, this drama about an Iranian-American family is heartfelt and topical.
  11. 63
    Well-meaning but flawed drama.
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Its subject -- ethnic profiling during a time of international crisis -- could hardly be more contemporary.
  13. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    A lovely, intricate coming-of-age portrait set in a cross-cultural context.
  14. This modestly produced drama isn't acted or directed with much flair, but it shows a welcome awareness of the complex links between personal and political impulses.
  15. Reviewed by: Jonathan Curiel
    Forget the sometimes stilted acting. Forget the occasional scenes that are borderline cliched. Instead, focus on the message and the raw emotion.
  16. 50
    Where the young writer-director impresses is in the unforced sketching of era details (gas lines, the tacky energy of roller-skating rinks), in the sharp psychological insight into his lead characters, and in the performances he pulls from his actors.
  17. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Maryam is absorbing and insightful when Serry focuses on the subtleties of a family's generational and cultural conflict, but the film veers regularly into Movie Of The Week (or even Afterschool Special) "big moments" that play like forced attempts to tell a personal story while insecurely adhering to a commercial formula.
  18. 40
    There's not much here; some of the shots feel so static that you wonder if they're being rehearsed before your eyes.

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