Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 75
    The movie is a parable of patriarchal pride as well as a paradigm of how immigrant groups can accomplish goals without any help from their host culture.
  2. 100
    Takes one man, his children, their spouses and babies, his ex-wife, his girlfriend, her daughter, and his friends and turns it all into a masterpiece about the strange power of food - to heal, unite, exasperate.
  3. 100
    Given the movie's slow, careful development, I was hardly prepared for the cold-sweat suspense of the last half hour.
  4. 88
    The Secret of the Grain never slows, always engages, may continue too long, but ends too soon. It is made of life itself.
  5. For me, it's a sign that a filmmaker is on to something if you love hanging out with the characters as they eat and drink and talk and reveal little bits of themselves through everyday action.
  6. The title embraces the richness of Kechiche's beautiful film, which captures the rhythms of displacement and hardship, the bond of family meals, and even the daily routines of the magnificent women who are part of Slimane's life.
  7. Rather than observing this family, we feel we are part of it, and that draws us in as nothing else can.
  8. Kechiche takes his time, allowing us to know the characters as if we live next door. But be warned: for those who come to feel like a member of the family, the unexpected end may seem strikingly unfair.
  9. 75
    The cast is solid, with standout performances by first-timer Habib Boufares as Slimane.
  10. 80
    Richly enjoyable and consistently surprising.
  11. 83
    The Secret Of The Grain stretches out at the relaxed pace of a seven-course meal, but at the end of it, Kechiche has squeezed the most he can out of percolating dramas within the family and he lets the audience get to know its members without needing to throw them all a subplot.
  12. A penchant for suffocating close-ups and an overabundance of scenes that go on far too long mar Abdellatif Kechiche's The Secret of the Grain, an otherwise engaging drama about an immigrant Arab family in France.
  13. 100
    An entire family chronicle, along with four decades of French social and economic history, is recapitulated as a lavish, hectic dinner, complete with music and belly dancing. It will leave you stunned and sated, having savored an intimate and sumptuous epic of elation and defeat, jealousy and tenderness, life and death, grain and fish.
  14. 70
    Kechiche digs a good story out of the flux, and, in the movie's final forty minutes, the suspense is terrific.
  15. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    50
    An overlong, dramatically unbalanced picture whose emotional wallop gets somewhat diffused.
  16. 70
    Escalates into visceral allegory with an abandon and cruelty that seem positively Romanian. The last 30 minutes more than redeem the preceding two hours.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 12, 2012
    8
    Solid family drama that revolves around a family of first generation immigrants ( Algerian ?) and their struggles to build new lives inSolid family drama that revolves around a family of first generation immigrants ( Algerian ?) and their struggles to build new lives in France. The French spoken has a fairly thick Arabic flavour and was hard to follow but subtitles are well done. Engaging. Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2011
    8
    the movie starts out rather slowly and is a little confusing with all of the characters their relationships with each other. However, itthe movie starts out rather slowly and is a little confusing with all of the characters their relationships with each other. However, it gradually builds until it becomes very suspenseful and tense in the final 45 minutes, and then with typical French film, ends, leaving the viewer to wonder about how it finally ends. Very absorbing, although some scenes go on too long, and the movie as a whole is rather long, but makes up for it at the end. Full Review »
  3. Jan 24, 2011
    9
    Powerful matriarchs, a system of economic oppression and a culture told through the medium of food. Sleepy France is seen but never heard,Powerful matriarchs, a system of economic oppression and a culture told through the medium of food. Sleepy France is seen but never heard, instead the familial space centres the narrative and provides a framework for naturalism. The acting is spot-on, the camera innocently soaks up the atmosphere with a wondrous eye for detail and our perspective is that of an 'insider' like someone who is part of the cultural fabric or part of the family. A great learning experience and positively specific. 9/10 94/100 Full Review »