Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
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  1. 75
    For a movie rooted in reality, Italian filmmaker Saverio Costanzo's taut psychological drama is in desperate danger of drowning in metaphor.
  2. Private, Italian director Saverio Costanzo's stunning human drama, would seem like something out of Kafka if it weren't based on real events and a relatively common fact of contemporary Palestinian life.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Political realities are a powerful bonus to, rather than the only reason for, Private, an emotionally gripping drama.
  4. An emotionally and politically loaded allegory.
  5. 70
    Selected as Italy's entry for best foreign film at this year's Academy Awards, Private was disqualified for not being predominantly in Italian. A pity, since this meticulously nonpartisan film, even as it makes the case for passive resistance, shows what devastating lack of appeal the strategy has for young Palestinians.
  6. Perhaps inevitably bleak and grueling, Private is also involving and provocative -- and critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians in an effectively understated manner.
  7. The film possesses a quiet but powerful tension.
  8. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    Director Saverio Costanzo shrewdly de-emphasizes the political issues, instead charting the subtle shifts in power between the prisoners and their captors.
  9. 50
    Private never reconciles its conflicting impulses, and consequently, the human impact of the struggle--so powerfully explored in "Paradise Now" and "The Syrian Bride" --never acquires the emotional weight it should. The semi-absurdist closer amounts to little more than a knee-jerk declaration of hopelessness.
  10. 50
    For all its documentary-style urgency, Private often feels forced.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Israeli soldiers are cast as the killers, while the Palestinians are the hapless bunnies. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is thus reimagined as "Bambi."

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