Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. This is Iranian cinema at its most accessible: a bit slow even in its 92 minutes, with more environment than story, but deeply immersive and thought-provoking, and quite often funny.
  2. 88
    As funny as it is sharp.
  3. So accessible and entertaining.
  4. Jafar Panahi of Iran is one of his country's great filmmakers, and Offside is his best movie to date.
  5. The interaction between soldiers and captives becomes a microcosm for an entire culture. It's a wisp of a movie but it has stayed with me longer than much supposedly weightier fare.
  6. Jafar Panahi's wonderfully funny, outspoken shaggy-dog story, a light counterweight to his sadder 2000 feminist drama "The Circle."
  7. A charming, character-driven film that conveys enormous feeling for its people
  8. Director Jafar Panahi has long been an eloquent and passionate representative for Iranian women. But judging by this deeply poignant comedy, they may not need a mouthpiece much longer.
  9. As the political rhetoric between Washington and Tehran becomes dangerously overheated, Offside offers an intimate antidote: an affectionate glimpse into the cultural schisms that young Tehranis face every day. Western audiences will cheer the rebellious girls on.
  10. 75
    The story is good-natured, but Panahi's message is serious: That ludicrous rules turn Iranian women into third-class citizens. And what better way is there to get that point across than through sports and laughter?
  11. Exhilarating, exuberant and drolly funny.
  12. 83
    Within this simple structure, Panahi manages at once to celebrate and critique his nation's passions, sexual politics, sporting heritage, laws, morality and class system. It's a fictional feature but, like many Iranian films, it feels uncannily real, particularly in its final rousing minutes.
  13. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    88
    The masterly Panahi concocts a spellbinding, often corrosively and/or warmly funny story in which love of both country and sport tries to, but doesn't quite, transcend dogmatic and ingrained difference.
  14. 70
    There's a commitment to half-improvised, ground-level realism that lends the picture news value and an obvious urgency.
  15. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    75
    Although its message is deadly serious, is is filled with wit and winning characters.
  16. There is more comedy than outrage in this critique of sexual inequality in Iran.
  17. 91
    It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
  18. In the midst of his many other achievements here -- his documentary realism, his wry humanism, his allegorical subtlety -- Panahi even manages to redeem the good name of toilet humour.
  19. Women's roles and the eternal fight to expand their rights in Iranian society get a light, hugely entertaining treatment in Jafar Panahi's Offsides.
  20. 80
    While the gist of Offside is the same (as "The Circle"), its tone is more insouciant, as it celebrates the guile and toughness of its heroines while casting a sympathetic glance at the ethical quandaries facing their jailers.
  21. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    Poignant and sometimes downright hilarious, much of the film unfolds in the small area outside the arena -- an "offside" penalty box for women who just won't behave.
  22. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    In his most accessible and spontaneous picture, ranking Iranian helmer Jafar Panahi reveals unsuspected comic gifts barely visible in his dramatic festival winners "The White Balloon," "The Circle" and "Crimson Gold."
  23. 90
    Offside is blatantly metaphoric and powerfully concrete, deceptively simple and highly sophisticated in its formal intelligence.
  24. The delicately subversive Mr. Panahi makes his subjects perfectly clear -- the stupidity of authority, and the hypocrisy of discrimination. Offside is surprisingly entertaining, and edifying to boot.
  25. 80
    Along with such colleagues as Abbas Kiarostami and Moshen Makhmalbaf, Panahi has perfected the art of realist filmmaking,
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jan 12, 2012
    10
    Easy storyline to follow, that highlights lives of women affected by Iranian law. This is conveyed with smart and diverse characters from different backgrounds which makes for an amazing film. Oppression shows the difficulties of Iranian women to the western world, however humour and mutual interest make it worth watching. Full Review »