Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 3, 2013
    75
    The combination of youthful irreverence and military indoctrination is jarring.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Sep 19, 2013
    30
    In grabbing for the heart this one-size-fits-all fable sadly ignores the mind.
  3. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 17, 2013
    40
    The fact that the film’s title is an Arabic word for “olive,” as in holding out said branch to your foes, gives you a sense of what Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree) is going for: a melodrama with a do-we-all-not-bleed? moral.
  4. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Oct 17, 2013
    50
    Well-intentioned but heavy-handed.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Sep 26, 2013
    50
    It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Aug 14, 2013
    40
    It's quite a sweet idea, with a liberal attempt at balance, though Palestinian audiences may query the idea of making their half of this equation a child, and Fahed's motivation for defying his elders in quite so disloyal and dangerous a way, is never convincingly explained.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Sep 20, 2013
    55
    Zaytoun is different: This time, the director allows his characters to cross the frontier. That makes for a story that's sweeter, but also less convincing.
  8. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Oct 24, 2013
    63
    A scene between Yoni and Fahed in the pilot’s makeshift holding cell is a microcosm of everything that’s right about the movie, and not quite right.
  9. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Aug 14, 2013
    60
    Neatly juxtaposes the beauty of the landscape with the enmities it engenders.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew Lapin
    Sep 18, 2013
    30
    Though Dorff isn’t the only thing wrong with Zaytoun, he is still its biggest liability, and the rare case where one miscast role ruins a film’s essential premise.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephen Dalton
    Sep 20, 2013
    40
    The film’s facile message of cross-cultural unity owes more to fairy tale than reality, but the action is slick and the story gripping.
  12. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Sep 15, 2013
    12
    It misfires in tone, depth, and political tact, dumbing down rather than providing new insights into the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  13. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 27, 2013
    63
    Riklis isn’t heavy-handed here, and even when the film’s plot grows a little unlikely, its tone is never sappy.
  14. Reviewed by: John Oursler
    Sep 17, 2013
    30
    Alternating abruptly between road-trip comedy and war-through-a-child's-eyes melodrama, the film's tonal inconsistency prevents the story from gelling.
  15. Reviewed by:  Joe Cunningham
    Aug 16, 2013
    50
    Despite some great character work, the film's journey comes across as pedestrian at best.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 8, 2014
    8
    Well intended small storied movie with backdrop of war between Israel and Lebanon. Well cast and shot in exotic places. From the Hollywood actor of 'Brake' fame and the director of 'Lemon Tree' joined hands together for this project. A couple of years ago I saw 'Lemon Tree', this director is really a master rendering movies with complicated theme. From characters to concept and emotions it was well balanced. The second half is what gives more depth in human emotions than the conflict between two people. Definitely it is not a masterpiece, but where it takes place and what it deals were much reasonable to praise.

    It is set in 1982 in war torn Lebanon. An Israeli pilot Yoni, who crash land in Beirut is taken captive by Palestine Liberation Organization. There he meets a 12 year old boy Fahed whose father was recently killed in an Israeli air strike. He knows that he's not him, but the boy raged with full of anger to take revenge. For the reason he must give up it and should cope with the prisoner to fulfil his father's wish. So they make a deal before teaming up and try to escape from there. The rest of the story is a journey that happens on the road to their freedom.

    The title represents an olive plant that carried all the time by the boy in the movie. As it an Arabic title of an Israeli movie, various languages spoken throughout. For me everything was just same because I was depended on a subtitle. The movie won my heart for the reason that the main two characters considered as enemies to each other, but the time being they begin to understand. Theirs journey on a dangerous path against all the human created boundary was really touched me. Better than I expected, kinda partially rare movie should be recognised in vastly.
    Full Review »