Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 9, 2013
    Not only compelling and complex, but educational.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Apr 1, 2013
    Thanks to Rushdie's sensitive handling of his own material, this is an adaptation big in both ideas and heart.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 3, 2013
    The film’s political scope is wide, beginning in 1917 and extending for sixty years, and, especially in the first hour or so, the antic, magical tone of Rushdie’s novel is sustained.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Jul 3, 2013
    There’s simply too much going on here — too many subplots, too many symbols, too many expendable characters — and certain interesting threads aren’t able to develop fully.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 10, 2013
    The film is beautifully shot, with vivid production design. But because of the tale's lack of cohesion, it doesn't carry enough emotional heft.
  6. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Apr 26, 2013
    The result is no masterpiece, but neither is it a disaster. In its steady great-books way, the film is often truthful and moving.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Apr 21, 2013
    Preserves much of the novel's intricacy and human drama, perhaps due to Salman Rushdie's involvement as co-screenwriter, even if it remains singularly unremarkable from a cinematic perspective.
  8. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    May 9, 2013
    The ambitious visual stylings don’t do enough to buoy a film that lacks a certain soaring spirit. If the adaptation is serviceable, it’s also dull — a disappointing fate for a story that’s anything but.
  9. Reviewed by: Rachel Saltz
    Apr 25, 2013
    The film needs an injection of Bollywood’s unembarrassed, anything-goes, bigger-than-life spirit, which embraces willy-nilly — as does Mr. Rushdie’s novel — the vulgar, the fanciful and the frankly unbelievable.
  10. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 25, 2013
    To be sure, there are many reasons to see the film. The cinematography is memorably vibrant, and the performances are solid, even if they pass by too swiftly. Most of all, of course, the subject matter remains fascinating.
  11. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Apr 23, 2013
    Even if you've read the novel, and are prepared for the long running time and haphazard structure, this isn't a movie you should expect to feel or even closely follow. See it if Midnight's Children is a novel you always wanted the gist of.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 1, 2013
    The movie's pace flags a good deal once Bangladesh has been born in 1971, and the adult characters are much less interesting than their child counterparts, but there's enough here to entertain – and to send audiences back to the book.
  13. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Apr 1, 2013
    Despite the solid work of cast and crew, the film dawdles and fails to justify its two-and-a-half-hour running time. Midnight reaches its tender conclusion without ever achieving the emotional or dramatic heft that such an epic tale requires.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 1, 2013
    It’s a vibrant journey, but not a terribly illuminating one.
  15. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 1, 2013
    At times Midnight's Children balances off its earnestness with a sweeping view of history and tangible human drama, but the allegorical qualities of Rushdie's novel fail to translate as anything but a shrill, on-the-nose instance of thematic overreaching.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    May 2, 2013
    A flavorless feast, with the movie's few mystical leaps clunkily handled.
  17. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Apr 23, 2013
    A miniseries, which the BBC once planned, might have worked. In this form, Midnight’s Children has the paradoxical misfortune of being both too rushed and too wearingly long.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. May 9, 2014
    The plot is about several of children born around the first hour of India’s independence, the

    central character being Saleem Sinai (Satya
    The plot is about several of children born around the first hour of India’s independence, the

    central character being Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha as adult, Darsheel Safary as 10 years

    old), who with others born around the midnight of 15th August 1947 possess special powers.

    (prophecy, magic, metamorphosis).

    They are the Indian X-Men, and they become the embodiment of the best hope of the two nations

    during a period of bad faith, violence and the betrayal of democracy. At the centre is a variation

    of Mark Twain’s ‘The Prince and the Pauper’: a rich boy and the son of a street musician are

    swapped at birth by the midwife (Seema Bishwas) who believes she is exercising benign social

    engineering; ‘the rich become poor and the poor rich’, as guided by her communist lover’s

    political ideology.

    The rest that follows is hastily and poorly done chronicle of Saleem’s life as it intertwines with

    the new independent life of India, with occasional visits from other ‘Midnight’s Children’

    who are called for conference by Saleem (why always when he is sad or disturbed?), who has

    telepathic abilities, with the twitching of his remarkably large nose.

    In efforts to capture the true essence of the vastly detailed volume of a book, Mehta and Rushdie

    have, though possibly unintentionally, given the audience, who are occasionally thrown from

    scene to scene, a sense of the movie being crammed up hastily into the space allocated by

    conventional filmmaking without letting a chance for the people or the scenes sink properly. The

    sympathy doesn’t go to the characters or anything that happens; instead it is on the actors.

    The movie is not a waste altogether; the landscape of Kashmir has been captured gorgeously.

    The film is beautifully shot, with a real sense of colour, texture, settings and light. Mehta

    packs our ride with startling details that grasp our interests as we are whisked into decades.

    So solemnly I wish it were the same with the details in the plot. The film loses its way into

    the second half and dawdles; failing to justify it’s over two-and-half hours’ duration. All

    in all, ‘Midnight’s Children’ drags to its end without tracing its mark anywhere. A dull

    adaptation, ‘Midnight’ fails to ‘hit-the-spittoon’.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 28, 2013
    When I noticed this movie I didn't realize it was rushdie's movie/writing. Additionally when i saw the trailer it was portrayed to me as aWhen I noticed this movie I didn't realize it was rushdie's movie/writing. Additionally when i saw the trailer it was portrayed to me as a coming of age for these kids during a unique time in history. However, what I got was a long story which revolves around these kids that were born during the exact moment of independence. A good premise but very bad execution. Underacted with potential storylines unexplored. The supernatural collection of these children that come together on occasion throughout the movie is the main plot of the story but wasn't compelling at all. Full Review »