The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an old man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Gradually, this fantasy threatens to overwhelm their reality.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 1, 2014
    100
    Kaur and Khan, who was robbed of a IIFA nod, scarcely share a frame of The Lunchbox, yet the emotional connection of their characters is palpable.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Mar 7, 2014
    88
    The Lunchbox,” Indian director Ritesh Batra’s debut, is a witty and perceptive film that reveals the hopes, sorrows and regrets of ordinary people.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 28, 2014
    83
    The Lunchbox, the debut feature from Indian director Ritesh Batra, has such a sweet premise that I sincerely hope it doesn’t get remade with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Feb 27, 2014
    75
    It’s neorealist corn, but it gets to you.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 3, 2014
    75
    The debut creation of director Ritesh Batra, it’s a lovely little film from a place where the little things linger.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Feb 27, 2014
    70
    The comedy is more wry than uproarious, the melodrama gently poignant rather than operatic, and the sentimentality just sweet enough to be satisfying rather than bothersome.
  7. 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.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

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. Expand
  2. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    Very good film. With sensitive humour.
    For a first time film it is very good. Every critics web site give to the film a very good note.
    A
    Very good film. With sensitive humour.
    For a first time film it is very good. Every critics web site give to the film a very good note.
    A true masterpiece.
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  3. Oct 29, 2014
    9
    An amazing tale that shouldn't be missed. The type of movie that will compromise your emotions and forget your watching a movie. A trulyAn amazing tale that shouldn't be missed. The type of movie that will compromise your emotions and forget your watching a movie. A truly remarkable film that you will regret by passing it up. Expand
  4. Lyn
    Jul 7, 2014
    7
    I recently watched the last season of 'In Treatment" -- in which one of Gabriel Byrne's tormented patients in therapy is played by Irrfan KhanI recently watched the last season of 'In Treatment" -- in which one of Gabriel Byrne's tormented patients in therapy is played by Irrfan Khan -- and was struck again by his riveting presence in this film. He is mournful, wry, intelligent, dark, hopeless, hopeful, all conveyed with such subtlety. The touching interactions between his character and the lovely woman who prepares his mistakenly delivered food have a "You've Got Mail" (or "The Shop Around the Corner") quality. Yet they might not lead where you expect. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Jul 13, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Lovely movie. Two lonely people get to know each other through notes in a lunchbox sent to the wrong office. It was somewhat slow, but that gave it a sweet, contemplative rhythm, and the crowded street and subway scenes in Mumbai were a wonderful contrast to the isolation of the main characters. Best was Irrfan Kahn, a brilliant, soulful actor who lit up the movie with his expressive face. Next best--the Indian food. I loved the notion of a lunchbox from home with a bunch of different homecooked dishes. Wish I could get one of those delivered to me. No sandwiches here. What I hated: the ending. C'mon, the characters should have at least met--maybe not run off together, but the trains passing in the night ending was extremely frustrating. Expand
  7. May 10, 2014
    6
    “The Lunchbox” is an Indian film starring Irrfran Khan and Mimrat Kaur. Directed by Ritash Batra. The film got rave reviews from the major“The Lunchbox” is an Indian film starring Irrfran Khan and Mimrat Kaur. Directed by Ritash Batra. The film got rave reviews from the major papers and periodicals as well as some word of mouth recommendations from people we know. The question I must ask is “why?” This is one of those films where a great idea is executed poorly, mostly because of the poor writing and the illogical circumstances that take place and the difficulty in trying to follow exactly what the characters are and will be doing. In spite of a few dozes during the film, I was sorry to see the credits come on so rapidly because it left me in the cloud of not knowing how the characters resolve or don’t resolve their issues. I give the film a 6 and hope that those who do see it will get more out of it than I did. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews