The Cut

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56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: After surviving the horrors of the Armenian genocide, Nazareth (Tahar Rahim) moves onwards as a forced laborer. When he learns that his twin daughters may still be alive, his hope is revived and he travels to America, via Cuba, to find them. His search takes him from the Mesopotamian desertsAfter surviving the horrors of the Armenian genocide, Nazareth (Tahar Rahim) moves onwards as a forced laborer. When he learns that his twin daughters may still be alive, his hope is revived and he travels to America, via Cuba, to find them. His search takes him from the Mesopotamian deserts and Havana to the barren and desolate prairies of North Dakota. On this odyssey, he encounters a range of very different people: angelic and kind-hearted characters, but also the devil incarnate. [Strand Releasing] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Sep 18, 2015
    88
    People are not good or bad in The Cut — they are subject to violent whims, and rarely given fair opportunities to defend themselves. The Cut can therefore be seen as a historical corrective.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Sep 15, 2015
    70
    Ultimately, the film's wearying qualities pay off both as verisimilitude — you do feel like you've been through something — and as awe-inspiring history, making visceral art out of a global migration.
  3. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Sep 21, 2015
    70
    There is little doubt throughout that it’s a work of artistry, grace, and, yes, outrage.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 12, 2014
    60
    It’s a big, ambitious, continent-spanning piece of work, concerned to show the Armenian horror was absorbed into the bloodstream of immigrant-descended population in the United States, but it is a little simplistic emotionally.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 17, 2015
    50
    The director’s assured tracking shots follow Nazaret through one bustling, disorienting locale after another as he searches for help, family, and relief from his hardship. Yet like the film, they’re ultimately superficial gestures that maintain a detached perspective on their subject, incapable of penetrating his traumatized mind and tormented heart.
  6. Reviewed by: Boyd van Hoeij
    Sep 12, 2014
    50
    Rahim has a great face but isn’t given enough opportunity to make it clear to audiences what his character is going through beyond the most basic emotions.
  7. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Sep 12, 2014
    16
    There isn't a sense in the film of this tragedy as a systematic, organized atrocity affecting millions.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 27, 2015
    6
    The Cut is directed by Fatih Akin, best known for Soul Kitchen and a segment of New York, I Love You. The German writer, actor and director,The Cut is directed by Fatih Akin, best known for Soul Kitchen and a segment of New York, I Love You. The German writer, actor and director, born from a Turkish family, sets up a dramatic plot that begins in Mardin, a town in the late Ottoman Empire. Nazaret Manoogian is a Christian family man and a blacksmith, who will soon face one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century: the Armenian Genocide. As he is abducted from his family to be used as expendable workforce in the Ottoman forced-labour camps, Nazaret’s struggle for survival becomes a fight against destiny, longing for revenge. Set in Turkey, Lebanon and the USA, The Cut follows the epic journey of Nazaret in his quest to get his family back.

    Written by director Akin and Scorsese favourite Mardik Martin, returning to screenwriting after more than 30 years, The Cut displays a commendable spirit of reconciliation: it’s the first time in film history that a Turkish (Akin) and an Armenian (Martin) screenwriter collaborate on a feature about the Armenian genocide. The film works very well when sticking to historical facts, still considered taboo by many, including the current Turkish government. Although its concrete consequences are never fully addressed, the genocide is graphic and appalling; a strong, visually successful cinematic statement, dominating the first forty-five minutes. Unfortunately, the film staggers for the remaining two thirds, which roughly equate to well over one hour. The editing hardly manages to guarantee an engaging enough pace, and the film drags on, creating repetitive action and stretching the character’s arch. Despite too many wrong ideas that eventually don’t pay off, The Cut is still a meaningful film, well worth considering if you like the genre, and an important entry in the London Film Festival’s Journey category.
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