The Lunchbox

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Apr 9, 2014
    60
    There’s nothing wildly original here, but it’s carried off with charm and wit, and two very enjoyable central performances.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Maytum
    Apr 7, 2014
    60
    First-time writer/director Ritesh Batra deserves credit for mining gently captivating drama from a pitch that could have just ended with passive-aggressive Post-its left on the office fridge.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Mar 8, 2014
    10
    Irrfan plays an accountant named Saajan Fernandez, based in Mumbai, who has been working day and night for years on files that now line hisIrrfan plays an accountant named Saajan Fernandez, based in Mumbai, who has been working day and night for years on files that now line his desk in hordes. His life is essentially as dry as the pencil lines he draws on paper while managing numbers. Having food from a restaurant during the lunch break; having a cigarette right before getting on the Mumbai local after work; reaching home to packed food from a restaurant, again; and finally smoking one more time before calling it a day - are things that Fernandez's day from the start to finish. Until one day, he gets a lunch box which is not his. A little mix-up leaves him with a lunch box packed with homemade food. One can tell. Nimrat Kaur plays Ila, a housewife and a mother. She cooks scrumptuous dishes that she hope will revive the magic between her husband and her. Only one day she realises the lunch box didn't reach her husband. And, so, begins the ritual of little notes resting atop a pile of 'rotis' in the lunch box. New hope - that holds a secret promise - springs up in both Fernandez's and Ila's lives. What ensues between these two characters is something that can't be given a tag - the relationship is too delicate for that to happen. It's almost as if the movie never ends. You walk out of the movie hall and the film continues with you. How it ends changes with your life experience. The Lunchbox is the best indian movie of the year. A sweet and absorbing drama from start to finish. Full Review »
  2. Aug 15, 2015
    7
    Rarely an Indian film without its trademark dancing-and-singing routines, director/writer Ritesh Batra’s feature debut marvellously utilisesRarely an Indian film without its trademark dancing-and-singing routines, director/writer Ritesh Batra’s feature debut marvellously utilises the exotic “dabbawalas” system of Mumbai, which is an intricate lunch delivery service to people at work from their their homes or restaurants and is remarkable for its accuracy, but Batra fictionalises a little mix-up of the system and links two strangers into an epistolary communication, and from there, their penfriend-ship will further sublimate into something more genuine and profound.

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    Full Review »
  3. Nov 23, 2014
    7
    Ritesh Batra's heartwarming solo endeavor 'The Lunchbox' is a powerfully acted, delicious dish sweetly served through an absorbing,Ritesh Batra's heartwarming solo endeavor 'The Lunchbox' is a powerfully acted, delicious dish sweetly served through an absorbing, small-scale tale that feels gleefully old-school. Full Review »