Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Jamie S. Rich
    Oct 24, 2013
    100
    There are surprising developments and revelations along the way, and they all eventually dovetail into a beautiful conclusion.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Aug 15, 2013
    90
    It's the flesh-and-blood lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as a profoundly conflicted Muslim wife and mother that seals this cinematic deal. She's superb.
  3. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Sep 6, 2013
    88
    Rahimi simply made an inspired decision when he chose Farahani...who quietly but powerfully works her way through subtle shadings of emotion from fear to despair to anger to love to righteous vindication.
  4. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Sep 5, 2013
    80
    The Patience Stone largely functions as a one-woman play, with Farahani’s character soliloquizing over her husband’s body.
  5. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Aug 13, 2013
    80
    Sensual and horrifying, The Patience Stone plays like a mesmerizing, modern take on the tales of Scheherazade and a parable on the suffering of Afghan women.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 3, 2013
    75
    Afghanistan-born Atiq Rahimi has powerfully adapted his own acclaimed novel, but the film is unlikely to play in the Middle Eastern countries to which this plea for sexual equality seems directed.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 19, 2013
    75
    A startling fantasy of Muslim feminist empowerment that allows the Iranian-born actress Golshifteh Farahani to put on what amounts to a one-woman show.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Sep 13, 2013
    75
    Farahani’s performance is outstanding. She comes across as both delicate and fierce, and her sad-eyed anguish is palpable.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 5, 2013
    75
    It is a tour de force for the actress, needless to say. Iranian Golshifteh Farahani is wonderful in the role.
  10. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Aug 29, 2013
    75
    Anchoring the film is an outstanding performance from Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who plays the timid, nameless woman who comes to believe that her jihadist spouse - rendered silent by a bullet in the neck - is a "patience stone" that can absorb all the misery confided in it.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 23, 2013
    75
    The film’s title is derived from a magical black stone of Persian lore that reputedly absorbs the burdens of those who speak to it until it crumbles – freeing the speaker of her troubles.
  12. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 13, 2013
    70
    Mr. Rahimi opens up an entire world inside the couple’s modest house, filling its few rooms with enough air, sharp words and slow-boiling intrigue that the walls never feel as if they’re closing in on you.
  13. Reviewed by: Neil Young
    Aug 13, 2013
    70
    A luminous central performance from Golshifteh Farahani distinguishes an ambitious if somewhat monotonously wordy adaptation of a prize-winning best-seller.
  14. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Oct 2, 2013
    67
    There isn’t a false step from the quietly devastating Farahani; her tour-de-force performance carries the film through its rocky stretches.
  15. Reviewed by: Hank Sartin
    Sep 13, 2013
    63
    The story is so stripped down it feels like minimalist theater.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 14, 2013
    60
    Farahani — seen in “Body of Lies” and “Chicken With Plums” — is equally vibrant in a performance, and a film, that dares us to listen.
  17. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 13, 2013
    60
    Better to think of this as a star vehicle for Farahani, who almost single-handedly carries the film; the range the Iranian actor displays here proves that she’s destined for bigger things. Fans will just have to be patient.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 13, 2013
    60
    For much of The Patience Stone, Farahani is the movie, and as she shifts from fear to despair to anger to emotions she’d never previously considered, her magnetic presence goes a long way toward putting a human face on the film, more successfully than the material around her.
  19. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Aug 15, 2013
    50
    Farahani determinedly underplays her character, and is often very touching. But while there is a satisfying final scene, The Patience Stone is essentially a monologue, and Atiq Rahimi (directing the adaptation of his own novel) doesn’t have what it takes to make the story more dynamic.
  20. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Aug 14, 2013
    42
    There’s only so much anyone can do with a conceit that amounts to a movie-length speech delivered to a coma patient.
  21. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 13, 2013
    40
    The more typical approach transforms the material, and not for the better—rather than a revelation about how it feels to live her life, this feels like a document of what that life might look like as a conventional, often pokey movie.
  22. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Apr 17, 2013
    38
    While Atiq Rahimi's film may peel away the many layers of its female lead like an onion, the end result is still just an onion.

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