Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    Naturalistic, gritty, and unrelenting.
  2. Quiet, rageful indictment of a two-tiered Islamic society.
  3. Suspenseful and ingeniously directed.
  4. Circles the heart of noisy, modern Tehran with an informal, documentary-like freedom that is thrilling in its naturalism.
  5. Restrained yet powerful, devastating in its emotional effects.
  6. Reviewed by: David Chute
    90
    A triumph of invisible craftsmanship that embraces so much specific detail that none of the women ever comes across as an emblem or an abstraction.
  7. A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran.
  8. The political implications of the film are manifest, as is the quiet courage of making it.
  9. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    90
    Both fascinates and horrifies with its bold assertions about what it means to be a woman under a cruel, institutionalized patriarchy.
  10. A memorable and devastating indictment of the oppression facing many women in Iran.
  11. 90
    The fact that this film, so sensitive to woman's plight, was made by a man is perhaps cause for a little hope.
  12. Panahi's simplicity accentuates the movie's power: its sense of life caught unobserved.
  13. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    Such moral outrage, apart from the artistry in which it is embedded, tells us that the forces of change are stirring in Iran.
  14. 88
    The Circle is all the more depressing when we consider that Iran is relatively liberal compared to, say, Afghanistan under the Taliban.
  15. A mix of the poetic and the polemic, the film is oddly abstract and untethered.

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