Women Without Men


Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16

Critic Reviews

  1. Stronger on beautiful imagery than on narrative flow.
  2. 80
    Neshat employs dialogue that is often didactic, but that weakness is forgiven in the face of stellar acting from the ensemble and gorgeously composed and shot images.
  3. Though the narrative could use more depth and detail, the film generally absorbs with its strong performances, stirring emotions and vivid imagery.
  4. With its intense chiaroscuro and meticulous manipulation of color that ranges from stark black and white to richer, shifting hues in scenes set in a metaphorical orchard, the film surpasses even Michael Haneke's "White Ribbon" in the fierce beauty and precision of its cinematography (by Martin Gschlacht).
  5. It seduces us with imagery and metaphor.
  6. 75
    The movie moves fluidly back and forth between these women's stories, as well as between reality and a kind of dream-state, as all four find their way into a walled orchard where they share fellowship and temporary refuge from the demands of men.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Shirin Neshat's film, a magical-realist cry from the heart, is as up-to-date as last year's pro-democracy protests.
  8. This beautifully made film (which won the best director award at last year's Venice Film Festival) is the very definition of an art house movie with limited appeal, but its political import gives it added talking points that will draw attention.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    Has striking moments comparable to the best of Neshat's potent imagery. But the script jettisons most of the book's more powerful sections.
  10. 70
    A powerful and provocative look at the seismology of the Iranian social order and the connective tissue that sustains Iranian women in particular.
  11. 70
    Shirin Neshat, best known for her video installations, makes her feature directing debut with this elegant, often moving story of four Iranian women trapped by their circumstances in the turmoil preceding the 1953 coup.
  12. The images are vivid, their meanings much less so.
  13. Although the entire film is beautifully framed and shot, especially the surreal sequences, precious little coheres into anything resembling a compelling narrative.
  14. Unfortunately, on the way to delivering that message, it becomes weighted down by its own dreary self-importance.
  15. Has compelling stretches, but the film's formal concerns overwhelm the storytelling.
  16. An eerie resurrection regains some good will, but we'll have to wait for Neshat to catch up with the art of storytelling.

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