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Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Miral is the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old "Miral" who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother's tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind's defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace.(The Weinstein Company) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 23, 2011
    67
    Confused? So is Miral, a film that makes bits and pieces of the Palestinian experience come alive without assembling them into a coherent vision.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 24, 2011
    63
    Bogged down by speechifying and a plodding pace, Miral is well-intentioned but doesn't achieve the searing emotional resonance suggested by the story.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 24, 2011
    60
    The lack of a compelling lead figure, combined with Schnabel's tentative approach to the material, casts the film's later stretches in the balmy glow of soap opera.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Mar 21, 2011
    50
    Schnabel's signature blend of splintered storytelling and sobering humanism feels misapplied to this sweeping multigenerational saga.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 25, 2011
    50
    Miral stumbles, both thematically and stylistically. The two things that undermine the director's balance? Peace and love.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 24, 2011
    50
    To say that Mr. Schnabel's film is innocuous is not to say that it's any good. Like so many other well-intentioned movies about politically contentious issues, it is hobbled by its own sincerity and undone by a confused aesthetic agenda.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 25, 2011
    25
    Combining narrative heavy-handedness with an airy disdain for the details of the situation, director Julian Schnabel gives us a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Miral.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. POV
    Apr 3, 2011
    10
    I found MIRAL exhilarating. Schnabel receives Jebreal's story with care, and sharpens it with his mastery in painting with an incredible cinematography. His camera work has been characterized as shaky, but i think he is a master of framing; he conveys the unrest of the Israel-Palestine conflict through his angles, his choice of shots, the jeeringly touching music, and by his thematic taste. Maybe because I watched the film in the Angelika, among many Palestinians and Jews, maybe because I got to spoke to Jebreal and Schnabel after the screening, I am enthusiastic about the significance of the mere action of putting out there a film that concerns this conflict at this given time in history. Whatever the aesthetic and cinematic significance MIRAL shall have in the future, it will definitely make you question where the truth lies in respect to both sides' role in the conflict. Well done. Expand
  2. Jul 12, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Miral doesn't purport to be a history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict any more than Huckleberry Finn purports to be a history of ante-bellum America. But the experiences it conveys are vivid, powerful and cannot be denied. Maybe that's why certain parties so dislike the film. Complex human realities such as those embodied by well-wrought narrative fiction undermine the either/or talking points of partisans, who, no matter what their persuasion, have never been especially friendly to artistic pursuits. Ignore the posturing and experience Miral for yourself. Expand
  3. Apr 2, 2011
    8
    This film greatly exceeded my expectations. I'm a fan of Julian Schnabel (esp "Diving Bell & The Butterfly"), but I figured the casting of Freida Pinto signaled that the film overly slanted in one direction. I was surprised to see some balance, and I appreciated the focus on education, and the danger of putting education aside for the sake of politics and political struggle. Hiam Abbass is outSTANding as the founder of the school for girls, and Miral's father Alexander Siddig does another terrific job in a critical role. The brief historical clips are truly interesting and help to advance the storyline effectively. Expand

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