Under the City's Skin


Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13

Critic Reviews

  1. This splendid film is no mere polemic, for Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, often called the first lady of Iranian cinema, is above all an accomplished storyteller and dramatist who understands the evocative power of sound and image.
  2. 88
    More a bleak docu-melodrama than an esoteric morality play.
  3. 83
    With understated skill and absolute authenticity, the film builds with enough layers that by its powerful ending, you'll feel as if you have been kicked in the stomach.
  4. Bani-Etemad's generational melodrama observes a blue-collar dynastic collapse worthy of Lillian Hellman, but stays steadfastly fixed on the quotidian of Tehran life.
  5. The real protagonist is the family itself -- a fragile, complex organism undermined by internal conflict and menaced by the cruelty and indifference of the society around them.
  6. 80
    Under the Skin is distinguished, like so much contemporary Iranian cinema, by the way its striking visuals and strategic use of sound tell the underlying story.
  7. 80
    Solidly made and sometimes quite moving chronicle of a working-class family in Tehran.
  8. This gritty drama doesn't rank with the greatest Iranian films, but its urban characters offer an interesting change from the nation's best-known productions, which generally center on rural subjects.
  9. Watching Tuba's proud girls disappear into anonymous clouds of chadors says more than any political diatribe could, and Bani-Etemad is wise enough to know it.
  10. 75
    The plot has all the ingredients of a soap opera, but Bani-Etemad, who has been making movies since the '80s, is able to make it much more.
  11. 70
    While far from her best work, this accessible, emotionally involving domestic drama nevertheless serves as a welcome introduction.
  12. 70
    At times, Bani Etemad succeeds only too well at capturing the confusing rush of Adineh's family life--the film presents more subplots than it can follow thoroughly, until its final act snaps all that's come before into sharp focus.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 9, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. so cute , Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Iran's best female director Ù Full Review »