Amreeka Reviews

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David Jenkins
Time Out
May 10, 2011
You'll end up baffled that a film built on such shaky foundations can end up being so impossibly sweet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
December 18, 2009
Writer-director Cherien Dabis too easily resolves or dismisses the characters' problems, making way for an upbeat ending.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 30, 2009
A feel-good comedy about a Palestinian mother who moves to rural Illinois with her teenaged son, Amreeka is a kind of stealth political film that confronts issues of ethnic tension and American xenophobia.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
October 30, 2009
Amreeka makes its points with gentle humour and engaging performances -- especially Faour, who makes Muna so likeable it's impossible not to cross your fingers and hope her luck is about to change.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 15, 2009
Director Cherien Dabis' debut feature is a surprising, humorous, moving and very human story about a Palestinian family's emigration to Illinois on the eve of the Iraq war.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
October 14, 2009
A good-hearted film about the resilience of the human spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 2, 2009
The immigrant experience gets a fresh, post- 9/11 Palestinian spin in Amreeka, a film that has all the familiar ingredients but is such a well-acted, winning re-combination of those that we see them with fresh eyes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Christopher Kelly
Dallas Morning News
September 25, 2009
You keep rooting for these characters, even as the plot takes a series of broad and overly familiar turns.
| Original Score: 3/5
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
September 24, 2009
For the most part, Dabis and her actors charm their way through this material, finding absurdist humor even in the darkest moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 24, 2009
Although the drama heads on a predictable course, Faour brings intelligence and humor to her performance and Muallem, as the smart adolescent turned surly and scared, is likewise sharp.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 24, 2009
This sensitively made movie is more than dim Americans making terrorist jokes. It's one of the richer movies you're likely to see about average Arabs in America.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
September 18, 2009
This could be rough going, but Cherien Dabis' Amreeka tells this immigrants' tale with some humor and only a dash of political correctness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 17, 2009
Does it occur to xenophobic Americans that almost all immigrants, like their own ancestors, came here because they admire the United States? Someone please explain that to Lou Dobbs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
September 4, 2009
Writer-director Cherien Dabis paints a gentle, often wry picture of human resilience, and Faour and Muallen give solid performances, but there are a few too many by-the-numbers moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 4, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
September 3, 2009
Most important, Mr. Dabis knows that home -- what a fraught place! -- is, in equal measures, where the hurt is and where the heart is.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 3, 2009
This piquant film brings a keen and serious eye as well as that feeling for affectionate human comedy to this fraught situation, smartly avoiding both stridency and sentimentality in the process -- it's an elegant balancing act.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 3, 2009
This slice of American life, as seen through the eyes of Palestinian immigrants, is nuanced, engaging and authentically observed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
September 3, 2009
Stands as one of the most accomplished recent films about a non-European immigrant coming to the United States.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
September 3, 2009
It's one of those movies that plays to the cheap seats, making the racism bigger, the assimilation process rougher, and the family squabbles extra-broad, lest viewers miss the point.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Stephen Garrett
Time Out
September 2, 2009
As it stands, the movie just serves up another warmed-over Ellis Island rehash.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 2, 2009
The good humor, generosity, and love Dabis bestows on her characters in this assured first feature are uniquely hers -- the mark of a talent to watch
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Ella Taylor
Village Voice
September 1, 2009
The thriving subgenre of immigrant displacement dramedy gets a confident new spin from Cherien Dabis.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 28, 2009
A portrait of our times painted from an immigrant's mirror, Amreeka should be seen by every American.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
June 25, 2009
When most filmmakers want to say something important about cultural conflicts, they labor to bring tears to our eyes. Dabis, by contrast, makes us laugh at ourselves and, in turn, each other.
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Rob Nelson
Variety
February 13, 2009
A culture-clash dramedy whose background in Middle-East conflict is leavened with vibrant energy, balanced politics and droll humor by first-time feature director Cherien Dabis.