User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
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  1. IritL.
    Feb 19, 2006
    1
    Two years ago the Israel Film Foundation refused funding for Paradise Now. Here's why Two years ago, the creators of Paradise Now asked the Israel Film Foundation for public funding to help produce the film. They were turned down thanks to a number of reviewers
  2. GeorgeM
    Oct 30, 2005
    9
    Powerful, thought provoking drama. This is amongst the best of inernational cinema.
  3. DanB.
    Jan 5, 2006
    8
    Of course I don't much agree with much of the politics stated/implied (but then, I'm Israeli, I wouldn't would I?). But the movie is good. Simple, taut thriller. Well acted. Looks good. And it is (or seemed to me) like a straightforward, honest portrayal of these characters. No big speeches, no false pathos, no shoving allegories where they do not fit (sorry, I'm Of course I don't much agree with much of the politics stated/implied (but then, I'm Israeli, I wouldn't would I?). But the movie is good. Simple, taut thriller. Well acted. Looks good. And it is (or seemed to me) like a straightforward, honest portrayal of these characters. No big speeches, no false pathos, no shoving allegories where they do not fit (sorry, I'm thinking about Munich). Ummm. Yeah, so, a good film. To David F: Get off the high horse. If you have something to say, can you at least spare us the flowery speech? And as for what you say... if you spent 15 minutes with anyone who knew even a little about the situation, but came at it from the Israeli perspective, I think you'd zip it, quick, and consider that maybe, just maybe, you are at least a little shallow, ignorant, and empty (but note I did not say stupid, cos you're probably not), like the critics you turn your nose up to. To Tracy R: That scene in Tel Aviv was really nice. But it doesn't say everything that needs to be said. There's nothing anymore about the situation that can be related simply by images. Only words can do it. Lots and lots of words. But not the flowery kind, I hope.. ;) Expand
  4. LawrenceB.
    Feb 1, 2006
    9
    The film critic who says this film was not very illuminating leaves me stunned in wordlessness. Depicting real people living under the most unreal circumstances where sane logic is stood on its head. I left the theatre feeling that The vast masses of humanity who have left the Palestinians to suffer in their isolation, had in a former time left the Jews of Nazi-controlled Europe bereft of The film critic who says this film was not very illuminating leaves me stunned in wordlessness. Depicting real people living under the most unreal circumstances where sane logic is stood on its head. I left the theatre feeling that The vast masses of humanity who have left the Palestinians to suffer in their isolation, had in a former time left the Jews of Nazi-controlled Europe bereft of hope. We, the silent people of the rest of the world, have a share of the responsibility for the crimes committed in the Middle East. Expand
  5. DaveB.
    Feb 12, 2006
    10
    Excellent movie. Needs to be seen by all people.
  6. RonaldoR.
    Mar 1, 2006
    10
    fantastic expose of life under the zionist rule of israel
  7. Andres
    Mar 19, 2006
    10
    This definetly has Best foriegn film all over it . A beautifully directed and made film.
  8. [Anonymous]
    Apr 13, 2006
    10
    This movie reveals both sides of the conflict in the middle east. Those who find this movie appalling are just people who can't face both sides of the truth.
  9. SaraM.
    Apr 17, 2006
    10
    Startling and moving. It made me laugh. It made me consider what its like to live a life where you never feel free. It also made me find out more about the occupied territory. as a film, its well played, suspenseful, brilliantly paced, beautifully shot - the repeated image of the two guys smoking was very cool - highly recommended.
  10. AmeL
    May 2, 2006
    9
    Aside from good directing this film provides an interesting perspective that needs to be seen. Without going into too much detail it covers both sides of the conflict just enough for the viewers to make their own conclusions. It will make you talk about it after it's done. Highly recommended.
  11. Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2006
    7
    Compelling and interesting film that presents the filmmaker's point of view of the motivations of Palestinian Suicide Bombers. Consider though, how we would've felt about the film if Said had blown up a crowd of Israeli teenagers at a disco, which is often the case. The filmmaker deliberately chose a bus full of soldiers which in subtle way makes his attack more defensible.
  12. TracyR
    Nov 11, 2005
    7
    Uneven in spots, but never uninteresting. The humane tone and bits of humor really emphasize the horror of the overall topic and the final trip to Tel Aviv is beautifully done and says everything that needs to be said without too many words. Worth watching.
  13. TomM.
    Jan 14, 2006
    9
    A harrowing look at how two young palestinians, made heartrendingly human by director and actors, find themselves propelled toward becoming terrorists. Does not provide solutions to the perplexing horrors of terrorism, but certainly delineates many of the problems which lead to its adoption. A riveting, anguish-laden film.
  14. FarahD.
    Mar 15, 2006
    9
    i thought the movie will turn out to be like any average American film concerned with a sensitive human case especially with the hero's father being an informer but then things worked out differently it says what should be said about the Palestinian cause , deeply touching , sometimes breath_taking never predictable , made with great talent .with a little pit more money it would have i thought the movie will turn out to be like any average American film concerned with a sensitive human case especially with the hero's father being an informer but then things worked out differently it says what should be said about the Palestinian cause , deeply touching , sometimes breath_taking never predictable , made with great talent .with a little pit more money it would have been a classic! Expand
  15. SheilaB.
    May 27, 2006
    8
    This movie provides a glimpse into life on the West Bank (I was particularly amused/fascinated by the obsession with water filters!!--but that must be an important part of daily living there). Anyway, while I empathize with the sense of hopelessness that these men must feel, their "solution" is flawed...and that --despite the filmmaker's (likely) sympathy to their cause--is actually This movie provides a glimpse into life on the West Bank (I was particularly amused/fascinated by the obsession with water filters!!--but that must be an important part of daily living there). Anyway, while I empathize with the sense of hopelessness that these men must feel, their "solution" is flawed...and that --despite the filmmaker's (likely) sympathy to their cause--is actually reinforced by this film. Again--this is a look into a life that most reviewing this film do not know, including me. It was done well, and I appreciated it for that reason. Expand
  16. MichaelD.
    Nov 19, 2005
    8
    Paradise Now is a great movie on artistic and political levels. Artistically: A-rated acting, plot devices, cinematography, script, etc. Politically, the movie has a clear moral opposition to the killing of civilians, but thankfully avoids the "terrorists are cowards" superficial approach. He acknowledges the complex oppresion endured by Palestinians. Somehow, he is able to damn the Paradise Now is a great movie on artistic and political levels. Artistically: A-rated acting, plot devices, cinematography, script, etc. Politically, the movie has a clear moral opposition to the killing of civilians, but thankfully avoids the "terrorists are cowards" superficial approach. He acknowledges the complex oppresion endured by Palestinians. Somehow, he is able to damn the murderious act while simulanteously bowing to its existential inevitability. Expand
  17. DavidF.
    Dec 23, 2005
    10
    No violence, yet the violence for decades upon the the people and the land of Palestine is ever-present. The film has no incidental music only the soundtrack of a people horrified by what the world allows to happen to them; thus, no paradise without music. The music has died in Palestine; the US, via the UN and Israel, killed it. The rating : PG-13 "mature thematic material and brief No violence, yet the violence for decades upon the the people and the land of Palestine is ever-present. The film has no incidental music only the soundtrack of a people horrified by what the world allows to happen to them; thus, no paradise without music. The music has died in Palestine; the US, via the UN and Israel, killed it. The rating : PG-13 "mature thematic material and brief strong language" is absurd. Everyone has to see this expulsion of indigenous people off their land, out of their homes, and into the living death of refugee camps as the holocaust of our time. School age children have to see this film to begin to understand. Paradise Now has meaning about love, heart, and violence much deeper than most people can or will see. Most of the reviews from the usual critics reek with shallow stupidity, ignorance, and emptiness. The 1000 words that have flowed from my hand, head, and heart are forthcoming herein when I return to my home base. Conclusion: suicide bombing got the attention of the world and it worked in 1958 to help Algerians evict the murauding French from Algeria. Expand
  18. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    Incredibly powerful and intricately detailed, highly acclaimed and widely controversial. "Paradise Now," is a compelling, tightly made thriller set in Nablus, on the West Bank, and lays bare the humanity and the horror for all to see. The film provides a gripping and terrifying insight into the mindset of martyrs by turning the camera on two Palestinian suicide bombers during what theyIncredibly powerful and intricately detailed, highly acclaimed and widely controversial. "Paradise Now," is a compelling, tightly made thriller set in Nablus, on the West Bank, and lays bare the humanity and the horror for all to see. The film provides a gripping and terrifying insight into the mindset of martyrs by turning the camera on two Palestinian suicide bombers during what they assume to be their final 48 hours.

    The story places two close friends, Said (Kais Nashif) and Khaled (Kais Nashif), recruits by an extremist group to perpetrate a terrorist attack, a suicide mission, in Tel-Aviv. Both men are bathed, shaved, and made to look like Israeli settlers; then they are then strapped with explosives, dressed in dark suits, and are off to carry out their orders. However, things go wrong and both friends must separate at the Palestine border. One of two will maintain in his purpose of carrying out the attack to the very end, and the other will begin to have his doubts.

    Despite condoning their actions and motives, you can't but help to watch the film with a fearsome fascination. The film sustains a mood of breathless suspense. “Paradise Now” is a thriller whose shrewdly inserted plot twists and emotional wrinkles are calculated to put your heart in your throat and keep it there. The movie humanizes the anonymous faces we often see in the news. The director and co-writer, Hany Abu-Assad, undercut any heroism of these young martyrs by presenting their everyday actions with moments of dark humor. During one taping of a farewell message, the video camera malfunctions half way through, and he must start over from the beginning. During another taping, one of the bombers interrupts his political sermon with a personal shopping reminder for his mother.

    The ending is gut-wrenching as it yanks the carpet from under your feet. A purposeful statement that strips away any glamour of terrorism, whatever the cause, reason, or rationale they use to justify it. Their inhuman mission aside, "Paradise Now" does compel an appreciation for these unfortunate young men blindly accepting their fate with empty promises. This is the first Palestinian film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
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  19. Jul 20, 2014
    5
    The movie started promising, with a good pace and good acting, but sadly fell flat on the floor. It is as if a nice scenery, theatre and situation has been built, only to remain mute in the most important moment.

    I admit I had high expectations because of all the hype, but I feel that my disappointment is just. The movie pretends to explain and explore the character of a suicide bomber-
    The movie started promising, with a good pace and good acting, but sadly fell flat on the floor. It is as if a nice scenery, theatre and situation has been built, only to remain mute in the most important moment.

    I admit I had high expectations because of all the hype, but I feel that my disappointment is just. The movie pretends to explain and explore the character of a suicide bomber- with his motivations, background and consequences- but this exploration was very artificial. Instead of internal conflict, doubt, fanaticism, volcanic fire or revenge, the suicide bomber is just a guy preaching to you political slogans about occupation, oppression and international injustice. Characters are also prone to long monologues where they aren't interrupted, answered or have their points discussed. It's not surprising that this movie was done by an arab living in Europe since a couple of decades, with european funds and production; it reeks all the time of the distant, elitist and self-righteous discourse that doesn't let the palestinian arab speak for itself, instead reducing him to an indian being killed or opressed by all-distant evil cowboys. The movie lost many chances of exploring good things. Scenes inside Israel where the contrast with Palestine was only hinted at, encounters with settlers, doubts about religion, the family structure in palestinian cities, all of this was only briefly looked at without further exploration.

    The movie had a big potential but didn't fulfilled it. I'm sure all the good reviews and nominations it has are only because of the politics behind it. If it was a movie about sunni suicide bombers in Iraq or christian militants in Lebanon, no one would care. Sadly I was hoping for enlightenment about Palestine without sugar coating and I only got out wondering if the jews would be left alive at all in the situation of arabs winning the '48 war.
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  20. Jun 8, 2014
    6
    Good, but could have been so much better. Was excited about the premise but not the best execution and given to another director could have been a really gripping movie.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    40
    Filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, who helmed the excellent "Rana's Wedding," missed the boat on this one. He may have hoped to give a human voice to the suicide bombers, but instead he gave them a misfired movie.
  2. The terseness of a thriller, the clarity of a documentary, and a mixture of high drama and low humor.
  3. 75
    Shot in the West Bank, the film radiates authenticity. Even when he plays the action like a thriller, Abu-Assad is in search of a deeper truth.