Three Monkeys


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14

Critic Reviews

  1. Certain things in Three Monkeys can only be described as brilliant.
  2. Ceylan has an unerring gift for camera placement, and his slow, measured scenes can be as hypnotic as they are lovely -- at times, too much so, with the characters constrained by his poetic perfection.
  3. 80
    Ceylan’s departure from his moody sonatas "Distant" and "Climates" into more plotted film noir is equal parts Bresson and Buñuel, a merciless etching of the indiscreet charmlessness of the Turkish bourgeoisie, which sharply raises the stakes on that class’s petty hypocrisy and serial betrayals.
  4. Unpredictable and gratifying, Three Monkeys emerges as a mordant cautionary tale on the contagiousness of corruption. It is rich in atmosphere.
  5. 80
    It's a film filled with excellent acting, beautifully composed shots, and one or two legitimate storytelling surprises.
  6. A film whose every shot seems lifted right off the wall of an art gallery and just as powerfully, if quietly, satisfying.
  7. 80
    Strikes an impressive balance between the gathering tension of its noirish plot and the philosophical implications of the characters' compromises. That balance slips in a morose and dreadfully lethargic third act, but before Ceylan goes all Kiarostami on us this is a substantial European entry in a genre that American filmmakers can't seem to master anymore.
  8. Though Three Monkeys feels conventional compared with Ceylan's other work, it maintains its auteurist imprint, especially the rich colour palette and suggestive HD camerawork that helped Ceylan take the best-director honours at Cannes this year.
  9. 75
    This is powerful filmmaking for discerning viewers.
  10. 75
    The film has extraordinary beauty. Indeed, the visuals by cinematographer Gokhan Tiryaki are so awesome that the characters almost seem belittled, which may be Ceylan's purpose.
  11. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    But gripping as the film often is, its unrelenting doom and gloom offers fewer lasting rewards.
  12. 70
    Good pulp depends, above all, on a ruthless sense of economy, and Three Monkeys is just a bit too profligate, too fancy, to be entirely convincing.
  13. 50
    The heavy mood of indolence and rage, calibrated with ellipses in action, is stifling--everyone seems to move in a queasy haze.
  14. While recognizably Ceylan's work, is more of a genre piece - a noirish suspense film - and less successful.

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