Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. The film is lyrical, expansive, unbearably beautiful.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Self-consciously poetic and shot within a luscious inch of its life, the film's also an engrossing heartbreaker: a family saga that spans continents, political administrations, and decades of travail to arrive at a harder, wiser place.
  3. 80
    More than anything, The Betrayal is a cinematic essay about family and loss and home, one that's ironic and elegiac in tone and requires some patience.
  4. 80
    Impressionistic and lyrical, as well as somber and gripping, The Betrayal conveys a ceaseless flow. It's as if the filmmaker has opened a window onto a parallel world traveling beside our own.
  5. 75
    A powerful account of how the American dream became a nightmare for one Laotian family.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Exploring a Lao family's experience during and since the Vietnam War, the film chronicles the treacheries of geopolitics and the upheaval of exile.
  7. 70
    The result is imperfect, but its roughness is entirely consistent with the way the filmmakers understand the traumatic experiences of displacement, loss and deprivation.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Though an admirable attempt to allow the characters to tell their own story in their own voices, docu may be a bit too freely associative, as it becomes difficult at times to identify individual characters... Picture's second half, which proceeds in a more linear fashion, is resolutely gripping.
  9. The past-and-present layering is a lot more resonant -- and less sketchy -- than the film's theme of ''betrayal,'' both familial and governmental.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 10, 2011
    It really was a powerful experience to see this film at Sundance. Had the opportunity to meet the director and felt equality touch by his sincerity. Should be a must seen film for young audiences and especially for those first or second generation of immigrant children. It tell a lot about inter generational and cultural merges. Full Review »
  2. JonC.
    Mar 1, 2009
    A truly surprising and moving documentary. It goes unexpected places and makes unexpected connections.
  3. MaciekK.
    Jan 24, 2009
    What an amazing film. Usually I feel uncomfortable with this level of intimacy in a documentary. I think it's a credit to Ellen Kuras and Thavi that intimate and heart rending revelations are presented naturally without a hint of voyeurism. There seems to be a bond between them and Ellen and the family which allows for a seamless insight into the families experience. I am an immigrant too, but arrived under very different and privileged conditions. Nevertheless, there are so many universal truths, feelings, and experiences depicted in the film that will resonante with anyone.GO SEE IT!!!!!!! It's a 10+ Full Review »