Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Daniel, an arrogant, restless young Londoner is bored with his meaningless life. When he seeks sympathy from his old Jewish grandmother, she sends him on a mission to Europe to find the grave of her father who disappeared during the Second World War. Following his great grandfather's trail, Daniel's journey leads him to Paris, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia, finally having to flee to Rome. As he passes from one intense experience to the next, he is caught up in the turmoil of change taking place in the former communist countries, in the process discovering his Jewish roots which had previously never mattered to him. What started as an excuse simply to travel and have fun soon becomes an obsessive quest and a journey of personal discovery. (HP Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 5
  2. Negative: 3 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Laura Kern
    50
    By the time the frustratingly silly ending arrives, it's confirmed that Shem, which translates to "name" in Hebrew, is just as confused as its protagonist. Daniel's looks may charm everyone who crosses his path, but he is like the movie: most of the depth that does exist remains buried beneath the surface.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    50
    A bizarre hybrid between Euro erotic thriller and a parable of Jewish awakening.
  3. A muddle of good intentions and bad direction, this amateurish road movie follows a young Brit across Europe as he reconnects with his Jewish roots.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    30
    Writer-director Caroline Roboh's moralistic paean to Jewish self-knowledge is so solemnly high-minded that one almost feels bad admitting that the film's only spark comes from its occasional tawdry ludicrousness.
  5. 25
    As a narrative, Shem, directed by Caroline Roboh, is a pointless hodgepodge, with a finale that will leave viewers scratching their heads.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2

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