Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, The Kite Runner is a profoundly emotional tale of friendship, family, devastating mistakes, and redeeming love. In a divided country on the verge of war, two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, are about to be torn apart forever. It's a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of a kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day's victory, one boy's fearful act of betrayal will mark their lives forever and set in motion an epic quest for redemption. Now, after 20 years of living in America, Amir returns to a perilous Afghanistan under the Taliban's iron-fisted rule to face the secrets that still haunt him and take one last daring chance to set things right. (Paramount Vantage) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    Like "House of Sand and Fog" and "Man Push Cart," it helps us to understand that the newcomers among us come from somewhere and are somebody.
  2. 80
    For all the pain and loss that The Kite Runner depicts, it is still a film of exhilarating, redemptive humanity, conveying an enduring sense of hope.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    An engaging melodrama whose less convincing plot points are superseded by some astonishingly affecting performances from the mostly unknown cast.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Forster's solid, unpretentious movie hits its marks squarely, and isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. Only a mighty tough viewer could fail to be moved.
  5. The Kite Runner is a house divided against itself. The Marc Forster-directed version of the Khaled Hosseini novel does one part of the story so well that its success underlines what's lacking in what remains.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    In real life the opportunity to make amends is rare, though the attempt may produce great art. In The Kite Runner, we get neither.
  7. Mr. Forster, who previously directed “Monster’s Ball” and “Finding Neverland,” has been soundly defeated by The Kite Runner. Despite the film’s far-flung locations (it was shot primarily in China), there is remarkably little of visual interest here; the setups are banal, and the scenes lack tension, which no amount of editing can provide.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. KrisG.
    Dec 27, 2007
    The Kite Runner 12A Most films, even the Oscar winners and "box office best sellers", tend to be pretty dull affairs and hardly ever worth reviewing. 'Kite Runner' is a film that starts low key and actually gets better and better as the film progresses. Without being at all cliquéd or over-stated, 'Kite Runner' is a true "Tour de Force": magnificent, powerful and incredibly moving. Make sure you take some Kleenex tissues as it is quite a weepie, albeit unexpectedly so, and a far cry from Hollywood saccharine. It tells the story of the friendship between the son of a servant and that of a high-class family to whom the boy's family is in servitude. It is set in Kabul and San Franscisco, the former on location in North Beijing, with stunning landscape, photography and authentic recreation of an Afghanistan peasant community, that takes us through marketplaces and mountainous terrain. It is hard to see how it is a 12A certificate film, for it shows scenes of male rape against a young boy and graphic scenes of animals strung up in the market place, their heads laying around on the ground in the Halal method of draining off the life-force blood of the creature. The film appears to be based on an autobiographical account of the strong relationship of the narrator - one of the boys -with his father and this ensures the emotional moments are touching and authentic, rather than stylistic or formulaic. Just when you think the script and storyline are predictable, one is surprised by the sudden twists and turns drawing gasps from the audience. The film stars are excellent, of ethnic authenticity, with one of the co-stars a dead ringer lookalike of Dodi Fayed. Strongly and unhesitatingly recommended, the film is beautiful without ever becoming corny, despite the ending being pure Hollywood. Superb and of great depth. Even the soundtrack is a masterstroke of cinematic genius. Must go see! Expand
  2. GR
    Jan 19, 2008
    I read the book a couple of years ago and I was deeply affected by a story that stayed with me ever since, a story that powerfully weaves so many universal themes: love, loyalty, fear, guilt, honor and redemption. The movie is as true to the book as movies can be. During two hours, it carries you through all these emotions against the strong contrast between Afghanistan and the US Expand
  3. Athena
    Mar 1, 2009
    What a beautifully told poignant film - it makes you grateful for the life and liberties that we take for granted in democratic countries - and sad and helpless for not being able to do anything to help. Expand
  4. NeilR.
    Dec 14, 2007
    This is one of the most faithful literary adaptations I've ever seen, and virtually all performances are first-rate. While the script occasionally flags from some sentimentality, this hardly diminishes a story that is heartbreaking and ingeniously plotted. Ideally, one would do well to read a good contemporary history of Afghanistan before reading any work of fiction set within the region, but barring that, the film stands well on its own. There may be a tendency among critics to pick away at the film because of its tie to a book that led the NYT Fiction List for so long. This is a case, however, in which many critics have missed the boat. This genuine, heartfelt adaptation may actually open the hearts and minds of viewers to Afghanistan and its tortured history. The audience of which I was part, applauded and cheered at the close of our screening, so my hope is that word-of-mouth will help secure its reputation. One of my favorite films of 2007. Expand
  5. GregF.
    Jan 13, 2008
    Excellent. As good as if not better than the book. I don't usually cry at the movies but this was an exception.
  6. JayH.
    Mar 19, 2008
    A wonderful and warm film, touchingly made. The score is awesome, the cinematography exceptional. Finely acted, such deep characters. Well written.
  7. JamesJ.
    Dec 10, 2007
    Saw a DGA friend's screener. Had not read the book. It's well shot, well produced, and competently acted. That's about all I can say for it. This movie is going to get better reviews than it deserves. It's half introduction to Afghani culture (interesting to a point - but a National Geographic or 60 Minutes piece would do the job better), half over-the-top melodrama. The narrative is slow moving, contrived, and revolves around a cowardly main character who I never grew to identify with or feel for. As a primer on life in Kabul, it's interesting, but a bit ham-fisted. Citizens of foreign cities don't walk around pointing out interesting cultural traits to each other. The whole sha-bang seemed to be aimed straight at the Oprah crowd. If you're sheltered, easily manipulated, have never traveled, and can't get enough of narratively-convenient uber-tragedy... this one's a winner! Expand

See all 32 User Reviews