Circumstance Reviews

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Leslie Stonebraker
New York Press
April 1, 2011
With much of the content already distant culturally, the lack of clarity in dialogue and staging causes all subtlety to be lost in translation.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 8, 2011
Unfortunately, it strays into unlikely melodrama and distracting eroticism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
September 16, 2011
It begins well, but goes nowhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
August 21, 2011
A weighty topic receives lush but eventually contrived treatment in Circumstance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
May 9, 2011
Circumstance suggests a new way of showing stories about young Iranians even as it stumbles and falls over myriad narrative miscalculations.
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 26, 2011
Too much in too many scenes is worked in, even though a thematic relationship may be gleaned among the parts in repressive, fearful, corrupt, Morality Policed Tehrān.
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
August 23, 2011
Maryam Keshavarz's earnest, well-intentioned first feature on women's oppression in Iran has trouble resisting its own heavy hand.
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David Fear
Time Out
August 24, 2011
For those who've ever pondered what a Skinemax flick sponsored by Human Rights Watch would look like, wonder no more.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
August 25, 2011
Circumstance is in many ways an impressive achievement. But its mix of documentary detail and melodramatic plotting ultimately tips toward the latter.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 8, 2011
Despite its arty veneer and its ostensibly political edge, Circumstance seems more interested in titillation than revelation.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Emma Thrower
HeyUGuys
September 27, 2012
Circumstance may miss out on making a truly startling political point, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and tautly executed tale of young love, forbidden fruit and the world previous generations leave behind for us.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jennifer Tate
ViewLondon
August 22, 2012
Has some strong performances, a thumping soundtrack and some eye opening themes but its occasional brashness tries too hard to shock.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Eddie Harrison
The List
August 28, 2012
Circumstance bravely depicts the political plight of independent young women in Iran, a timely and worthwhile subject somewhat let down by two-dimensional storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ashley Clark
Little White Lies
August 23, 2012
Bold, haunting and moving; an excellent feature debut.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ann Lewinson
Boston Phoenix
September 7, 2011
Seen after the Mideast youthquake, Circumstance reveals what the girls might have been up to while the boys were in the streets - a revolution that will only be televised on closed-circuit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jonah Flicker
Paste Magazine
August 27, 2011
An excellent look at how the modern youth of Iran skirts the boundaries between the religious state and personal freedom, and all the risks that are involved.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
September 13, 2011
When writer-director Maryam Keshavarz moves things out of the bedroom and stops self-consciously flirting with controversy, the film is provocative for all the right reasons.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.8/10
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
July 10, 2011
Keshavarz's solid, unfussy craftsmanship lets the story come to the fore, making intriguing if rarely thrilling results
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Sam Adams
AV Club
August 25, 2011
Circumstance is solidly constructed, but without much in the way of inspiration.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 30, 2011
[The] film is too much a wounded love story to slide into polemic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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