Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. In the remarkable, ferociously intelligent new film No Man's Land, Bosnian writer-director Danis Tanovic gives us a movie portrait of the Bosnian War, a conflict that has devastated his country, friends and neighbors -- and found in it both shocking humor and searing, relentless tragedy.
  2. 100
    An absorbing, deeply affecting, well-acted --and remarkably evenhanded -- antiwar statement. It's also incredibly suspenseful and very blackly funny.
  3. The film is exciting in two big ways: its simplicity of story (Tanovic does not get bogged down trying to give us an epic history) and the breadth of Tanovic's vision.
  4. 100
    No Man's Land is a 98-minute wonder: this story of three men in a trench renews the meaning of the word "trenchant."
  5. 100
    Almost more valuable as a piece of foreign policy than as the highly accomplished work of cinema it is.
  6. 100
    A savage comedy about the war in the former Yugoslavia that artfully mixes comic absurdism with a passion for what's right and a concern for the individuality of all concerned.
  7. Tanovic describes it as "a very serious film with a sense of humor." It is an apt description for a very remarkable film, one of the best of the year.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Mikulan
    90
    Tanovic steers his story away from feel-good brotherhood clichés and toward the darker reaches of human nature. The principal cast is excellent.
  9. 90
    Fierce, funny and finally devastating, Tanovic's superb film offers a timely look at the roots of civil war and acts of terrorism on both sides that can be exploited by political and media hypocrites alike.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    90
    All the actors in No Man's Land are wonderfully alive, fractious and unpredictable. Their performances also help break down the schematics and turn this into an emotionally potent, powerfully thoughtful and finally tragic experience.
  11. A deeply serious and seriously hilarious fable of the lunacy of war.
  12. 88
    It's a bleakly funny parable that could be titled "Between Enemy Lines."
  13. 88
    A searing, heartbreaking metaphor for the futility of war.
  14. Like this diabolically designed weapon of war, Tanovic's film is coil-sprung to explode on the unsuspecting.
  15. Begins and ends quietly, like stirrings of thunder from a distant storm. In between comes a tragedy that rolls over us like a compact hurricane.
  16. It's a merciless and mirthlessly funny antiwar weapon from a filmmaker who has seen battle firsthand and has lived to make art from memories of hell.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    Ends on a cruel, cynical note that would surely make Billy Wilder snort with approval.
  18. 80
    While the audience has its laughs along the way, the violent tension of war often threatens to erupt, and slowly, subtly gathering force is the film's emotional weight, which is potently felt by the film's indelible (if not exactly unexpected) concluding image.
  19. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    As a tyro auteur, Tanovich has a heavy-handed way of delineating characters and situations that makes this well-meaning film awfully familiar at times.
  20. Some of the film's points are made a bit too heavily, but the subject is as timely as it is timeless, and many of the performances strike a pitch-perfect balance between parody and passion.
  21. Writer-director Danis Tanovic, a Bosnian who spent years documenting his homeland's turmoil, makes a bold feature-film debut with this funny, sobering message movie.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Land has a lot of funny moments, which are no less serious for being so, especially when the script turns politically prickly.
  23. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    From beginning to end, it bristles with ironies in classic Eastern European absurdist style.
  24. 70
    A mordant battlefield allegory with an absurdist edge.
  25. One of the movie's dark running jokes is that everyone seems to speak a different language and has trouble communicating. The continual struggle of people to make themselves understood becomes a metaphor for the war itself.
  26. You want a happy ending? You want sunshine, sentimentality, a sense of justice and honor and duty? Me too. But you won't find it here.
  27. Reviewed by: Patrick Z. McGavin
    70
    while the war-as-insanity metaphor clearly fits the cruel, heartbreaking story, its force is undercut by a succession of character types -- ambitious television journalists, outmatched UN peacekeepers, overbearing politicians.
  28. A well-mounted, macabre seriocomedy with passing punchlines. And for about half the movie, it's compelling stuff.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Mar 27, 2012
    9
    In No Man's Land, Danis Tanociv takes a simple premise, and applies it with a huge amount of intelligence and wit. The dialogue is sharp and often hilarious, and watching the Bosnian and Serb soldiers play off each other is one of the highlights of the film. There's a much greater emphasis on narrative and symbolism than cinematography, which is nothing special but gets the job done nicely.
    Tanovic paints a cynical portrait of the UN, questioning their involvement as peacemakers.
    The ending was merciless and not at all what I expected, but nonetheless brilliant. No Man's Land deserved the Oscar for best foreign language picture, and is a stellar debut from Tanovic.
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