Vodka Lemon


Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16

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Critic Reviews

  1. Saleem, a Paris-based Kurd, displays the visual confidence and subtle screwball rhythms of a master, exploiting offscreen space, deadpan compositions, and deft visual backbeats, as well as attaining a breathtaking fidelity to real light and landscape.
  2. 88
    Iraqi-Kurdish director-writer Hiner Saleem is in no hurry to tell the story, and viewers drawn in by the warm-hearted tale and charmingly eccentric characters will be in no hurry for the closing credits.
  3. 80
    The thicket of relationships that the director, Hiner Saleem, has created and weaves his cast and camera through is so invitingly hotblooded and crowded with hilariously melodramatic incident that the snowbanks are not nearly as forbidding as they initially seem.
  4. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    A little gem that takes a potentially grim subject and mines it for maximum humor and insight.
  5. Director Hiner Saleem has created a magical movie that veers, even within scenes, from love story to tragedy to comic relief.
  6. 75
    A fresh breath of air, warmer than the icy village in which it takes place. You'll leave the theater with a wink and a smile.
  7. 70
    The situation in these former republics may indeed be dire, but it's a breeding ground for exciting cinema.
  8. As the picture winds on, the feeling grows that Saleem, who clearly knows these people, wants to show that their mode of life in this stark setting has, in a gentle way, a touch of the ridiculous.
  9. An appealingly wry little film that is as appetizing as its title.
  10. A thematically bleak yet subtly comic film.
  11. 70
    A dark-humored film about devastation, which makes Vodka Lemon's final rush into comedy in the truest sense all the more refreshing. Even in the wasteland, there might be humor other than the gallows kind.
  12. Saleem makes clever use of imagery, with the beautiful, snow-filled vistas representing his characters' personal and social isolation. But "Vodka" moves about as fast as the distant ice caps melt.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    This is frostbitten Fellini -- a film that finds fresh beauty and contentment in the wake of centuries of conquering armies. The great joke of Vodka Lemon is that the conquerors missed what was there all along.
  14. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    The film's leisurely pacing is often too slow for its own good, and many scenes meander endlessly with no true payoff.
  15. 50
    Exceedingly dry and precise and slow-paced comedy.

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