Opening

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A Separation Reviews

David Thomson
The New Republic
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You cannot watch the film without feeling kinship with the characters and admitting their decency as well as their mistakes.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 19, 2013
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
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Dynamically shot and paced like a thriller, the film has the density and moral prickliness of a good novel.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

March 7, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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These people seem so real they might live next door. And they probably do.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: A+

February 23, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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"A Separation" is a plaintive fable of the human condition that unites us.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 17, 2012
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Very few movies capture as convincingly as A Separation does the ways in which seemingly honorable decisions can lead to interpersonal conflict -- even disaster.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 10, 2012
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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To say the piercing Iranian film A Separation is about divorce is a bit like saying The Wizard of Oz is about a pair of slippers.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A

February 9, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"A Separation" moves beyond one couple's sundering marriage to reveal growing rifts between generations, ideologies, religious mind-sets, genders and classes in contemporary Iran.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

February 2, 2012
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Partly a courtroom drama, partly a political satire and partly a twisty thriller that gradually draws you in and becomes more engrossing with each new revelation.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 4/4

February 2, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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"A Separation" is a great movie, a look inside a world so foreign that it might as well be another planet, yet so universal that its observations are painfully familiar to anyone, anywhere.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 5/5

February 2, 2012
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Sometimes, in an attempt to do the best we can for the people we love, we end up wreaking irreparable damage.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 4/4

January 27, 2012
John Anderson
Newsday
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Asghar Farhadi's emotionally epic movie is not just a masterpiece dramatically, it is a movie dramatically of its moment.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 4/4

January 27, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It's small. It's real. And it's deeply moving.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 26, 2012
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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This is a trenchant emotional thriller that you watch in dread, awe, and amazing aggravation.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

January 26, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Some films wear their artistry so lightly they appear simply to be happening, the inner workings of the story guided by an unseen hand.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

January 26, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The film involves its audience in an unusually direct way, because although we can see the logic of everyone's position, our emotions often disagree.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 26, 2012
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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This is primarily a human story about a marriage unraveling, the husband torn between love for his daughter and devotion to his father, the daughter torn between one parent and the other.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 26, 2012
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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It's an indictment of a culture in which religion and tradition poison a legal system. It is an exploration of the power of a lie. It is a mystery and a courtroom drama. Above all, however, it is a tale of love and sacrifice.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 24, 2012
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
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Farhadi is less concerned with the bugs and variations in human perception than cracks in the average moral compass, little fault lines that prompt good people to make bad decisions.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

January 20, 2012
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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In the guise of a whodunit, Farhadi paints a nuanced portrait of Iranian society that, seen through our Western eyes, looks at once utterly alien and strikingly familiar.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 20, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Rashomon-like in its perceptual complexities, truth vs. belief, Asghar Farhadi's drama forces us to constantly shift our assessments and allegiances.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 4/4

January 19, 2012
William Goss
Film.com
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Crafts a minefield out of the mundane and may very well be a masterpiece for it.

Full Review Source: Film.com

January 13, 2012
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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What makes it so good is that no one is bad. These humans, desperate to do right, are caught up in a perfect storm of inhumanity. The evil is in the ecosystem.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

January 9, 2012
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The film wraps us, with stunning directness, in the complex folds of its characters' passions.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

January 4, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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A Separation is not the work of a constrained artist. It's a great movie in which the full range of human interaction seems to play itself out before our eyes.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A

January 4, 2012
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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The miracle of A Separation is that it doesn't spare any of its characters, nor does it seek to indict them. It is a democratic portrait of a theocratic world.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

January 4, 2012
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
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Tensely involving Iranian drama with niche potential.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

January 4, 2012
Alissa Simon
Variety
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Tense and narratively complex, formally dense and morally challenging.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 4, 2012
Bob Mondello
NPR
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A constant surprise, a film that captures the drama and suspense of real life as urgently as any picture released this year.

Full Review Source: NPR

January 4, 2012
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Simin's and Nader's divorce debate is the first of many complex issues raised and passionately argued in A Separation.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

January 4, 2012
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Movies with this kind of moral complexity are rare, so not only is it worth seeking out, it's one you need to see with friends because it invites -- or rather demands -- debate afterward.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 3, 2012
Dana Stevens
Slate
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Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 31, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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A downbeat family drama of no particular distinction gradually turns into a mystery that raises painful moral questions.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 30, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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We can't believe our own eyes. How can we begin to pick one of the many competing narratives before us?

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 4/4

December 30, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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It's a deceptive, Hitchcockian mystery whose clues are laid out so carefully you'll probably miss them, and a complex philosophical fable in which every character is morally compromised.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 30, 2011
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

December 29, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A Separation is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 4/4

December 29, 2011
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

December 29, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film belongs right here... 'A Separation' is a landmark film. No way will you be able to get it out of your head.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 29, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A

December 29, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Together and apart, Hatami and Maadi are magnetic.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

December 28, 2011
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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What's fascinating is how the various issues -- religious or practical -- are played out in these two quite different families, yet always come down to irreconcilable differences between rebellious women and their stiff-necked, controlling men.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 27, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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...interesting, and engaging, in both a storytelling and sociological/cultural study fashion.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 26, 2011
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Getting absorbed in the film's complex layers of procedural negotiation and domestic argument, you'll realize that we often settle for too little from our screenplays.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/5

December 20, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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"A Separation" could hardly be more concrete, or contemporary, or dramatic.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

September 9, 2011
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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'A Separation' is lively and suspenseful as both drama and debate.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

June 28, 2011
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