Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Director Gidi Dar's film, Ushpizin (roughly translated as "holy guests"), is a revelatory and humorous look at the daily lives of ultra-orthodox Jews learning, living and loving in modern-day Israel. (Picturehouse)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Does what the best movies can do: take viewers to what might be unfamiliar places, into a culture with unique customs and traditions, and show, through drama and comedy, how the fundamental truths of the human experience need no translation.
  2. Jew or Gentile, a good story well told is a thing to be cherished.
  3. 75
    Ushpizin may not turn out to be as popular as Miracle on 34th Street, but if you believe that miracles can happen, it is a perfect outing during the holidays.
  4. Stylistically Ushpizin belongs to a classic tradition of raucous Yiddish comedy that is easy to enjoy if taken lightly. At the same time, it sustains a double vision of ultra-Orthodox life.
  5. In the charming comedy-parable Ushpizin, religious orthodoxy inspires not unbending dogma but humble, sometimes baffled spiritual striving by its embraceable, flawed characters.
  6. 70
    As directed by Gidi Dar, Ushpizin has a disarming folk quality.
  7. 60
    Most revelatory here is Malli, who defies the stereotype of submission and subservience and emerges as a woman of self-possession and substance. (The earthily beautiful Bat-Sheva Rand infuses the character with a generous dollop of her own zaftig sensuality.)

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. NeilP.
    Oct 24, 2005
    Normally I don't like foreign movies with subtitles, but I loved this one. It is a charming comedy-drama that the whole family can enjoy together. "Fiddler on the Roof" meets "Miracle on 34th Street". Expand
  2. PhilipF.
    Oct 17, 2005
    Accurate in detail, well acted, poignent story. An inside view of how strong and complete a person's faith can be, and how each and every problem we encounter is but a test of our faith. Expand
  3. JoeS.
    May 14, 2006
    This movie was superb. A most remarkable portrayal of the inherent beauty of faith.
  4. patriciab.
    Dec 5, 2005
    Great movie. A touching story very authenticly preformed. I loved.
  5. CarolM.
    Mar 1, 2006
    Awesome! Love this movie! So poignant! Got to get a copy! Can't get the song out of my head, either!
  6. SylviaS.
    May 5, 2006
    I loved this film. I laughed, and cried, and was lifted up by the love at the heart of this movie. The acting of Shuli Rand and his real-life wife, Bat-Sheva is superb. The film does a fine job of shedding light on the hasidic community about which there is so much misunderstanding. Expand
  7. ChadS.
    Sep 5, 2006
    The filmmaker's unwillingness to go all the way like Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" in dealing with the volatility of unwelcome guests within a pacific household hampers, but doesn't do irrevocable harm to a very unique film-going(or DVD-watching) experience. These two uncouth friends from the protagonist's past are genuinely menacing, so when the inevitable is circumvented by a collective change of heart in their attitudes towards Jewish Orthodoxy; "Ushpizin" ceases to be a real film and more like a promotion of religious ideology, the Hebrew equivalent to Christian films like "Left Behind". For the sake of religious tolerance, however, "Ushpizin" should be seen, even though it fritters away some very uncomfortable moments between the sanctified and the heathens at dinner-time. But really, only a certain Aussie would want this film to end like "Funny Games". Expand