What Time Is It Over There?


Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20

Critic Reviews

  1. Tsai builds this shimmering story with deft, deadpan wit and a warm, understated love of the absurd, both in life and afterlife.
  2. Tsai's cinematic style is unique: He unfolds his stories in long, static shots that let you discover their surprises and mysteries on your own. And that's great fun. What Time Is It There? is perky, entertaining, and one of a kind.
  3. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    This wonderful, one-of-a-kind movie hops from Taiwan to France, from tragedy to deadpan comedy and, in its mysterious conclusion, from the worldly to the otherworldly.
  4. 90
    Tsai not only gives the audience a chance to breathe but also lets us luxuriate in the mood of deadpan melancholy his movie evokes so beautifully.
  5. 90
    Tsai's latest, What Time Is It There?, runs his usual themes and obsessions through a whimsical premise worthy of Wong Kar-Wai, striking such an exquisite balance between humor and despair that the moods comfortably coexist, just as they do in real life.
  6. Tsai Ming-liang's most exciting and original to date.
  7. While its careful pace and seemingly opaque story may not satisfy every moviegoer's appetite, the film's final scene is soaringly, transparently moving.
  8. 88
    It haunts you, you can't forget it, you admire its conception and are able to resolve some of the confusions you had while watching it.
  9. 80
    Filled with purposeful, if absurd, activity rendered gravely hilarious through Tsai's deadpan, distanced representation of extreme behavior.
  10. The story that emerges has elements of romance, tragedy and even silent-movie comedy.
  11. 80
    Takes raw grief as its point of departure only to play out as a comedy of deadpan heartbreak.
  12. 80
    More of the same from Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang, which is good news to anyone who's fallen under the sweet, melancholy spell of this unique director's previous films.
  13. 80
    The result is a film of surprise and wonder, lyrically attuned to the ticking intensity of romance.
  14. 80
    Tsai Ming-Liang's new movie about urban isolation reinvents the delicate, poetic shadow play of silent movies.
  15. 75
    Very slowly builds to an emotional payoff in a devastating scene where the three main characters simultaneously seek relief in sex.
  16. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    This movie is not of a style that will speak to general audiences. It is nearly wordless, spare to a fare-thee-well.
  17. 70
    Those with an interest in new or singular sorts of film experiences will find What Time Is It There? well worth the time.
  18. Is nothing if not foreign, but not in the sense of national demarcations of language and custom. It speaks a different cinematic language, one that tosses off the usual rules of camerawork and narrative structure.
  19. An art piece in which everything seems to be a metaphor for something else, and as pleasing as it is to watch, it's too pretentious by half.
  20. Things happen in a flat, deadpan way.

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