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Ararat (2002)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 76
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 34

Though Ararat radiates intelligence, its impact is diminished by an overly intricate plot and cerebral style.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 14

Though Ararat radiates intelligence, its impact is diminished by an overly intricate plot and cerebral style.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 4,564


My Rating

Movie Info

A mother who only wants peace, a young woman who wants nothing but retribution, and a young man whose journey to uncover his roots is jeopardizing his future are estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family who face Turkey's denial of their catastrophic past.



Atom Egoyan

Jul 22, 2003


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Ararat

September 7, 2005:
Trailer Bulletin: Where the Truth Lies
From Atom Egoyan, director of "Exotica," "The Sweet Hereafter," and...
August 22, 2005:
Egoyan's "Truth" May Lie with an NC-17
ThinkFilm, distributor of the new Atom Egoyan film "Where the Truth Lies," plans to appeal...


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All Critics (91) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (34) | DVD (9)

Egoyan's movie is too complicated to sustain involvement, and, if you'll excuse a little critical heresy, too intellectually ambitious.

March 14, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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In a strange way, Egoyan has done too much. He's worked too hard on this movie.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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It's a deeply serious movie that cares passionately about its subject, but too often becomes ponderous in its teaching of history, or lost in the intricate connections and multiple timelines of its story.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Given the convoluted approach -- and tongue-tied delivery -- we're left to conclude that Egoyan's emotions got the better of him this time.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
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Has the obsessiveness and audacity of a film that had to be made or its filmmaker would have combusted.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Only the most patient, sensitive and sensible of viewers will cut through the film's affectations and indulgences to come to the point.

November 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A disappointingly convoluted attempt to present the 1915 Armenian genocide through an intergenerational family melodrama.

May 4, 2010 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Great idea. Execution poor enough to compare it to a Lifetime/VisionTV Movie of the Week.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Verges on the brilliant and is a much more interesting work than Egoyan's admirable but over-praised The Sweet Hereafter.

April 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

[Egoyan is] so careful telling the story of the genocide that much of the film feels cold and didactic, like watching a slide show in a lecture hall.

September 7, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

One of Egoyan's great pics that in time will grow in stature.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Although not an easy film to follow, I found 'Ararat' worthy of close attention.

July 13, 2003 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The movie's flaws ring of underconfidence, as if Egoyan intellectualised its parts until he ended up draining them of power.

July 6, 2003

It's not easy to shake or dismiss.

April 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Exploring the fluid nature of history ... [is] a fascinating conceit, but one Egoyan has trouble executing.

April 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

There's no doubting that this is a highly ambitious and personal project for Egoyan, but it's also one that, next to his best work, feels clumsy and convoluted.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source:

Ararat feels like a book report

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Atom Egoyan has conjured up a multilayered work that tackles any number of fascinating issues

March 6, 2003 Full Review Source:

A haunted, bountiful film that demands patience -- and rewards it.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The work of an artist tormented by his heritage, using his storytelling ability to honor the many faceless victims.

February 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Impassioned performances and direction make this a riveting recreation of a reprehensible period neglected by historians.

February 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Citysearch

Atom Egoyan may be our new Kubrick -- but his latest film's exploration of genocide and culture is the textbook definition of "ambitious failure."

February 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Netflix

There is a fabric of complex ideas here, and feelings that profoundly deepen them.

January 31, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

An impressive work in many regards -- the acting, the photography, the pace -- but it would've been even more so had Egoyan gone with his gut and been less indulgent of his brain.

January 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Too much time is wasted showing how these people are joined, instead of what those connections mean and why these characters all belong in the same movie.

January 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Ararat

It would have been simple enough to make a straightforward film about the Armenian genocide (the first genocide of the 20th century and the original holocaust). What Atom Egoyan has done here is make a film that is permeated with a primal rage at the apathy and the ignorance about the genocide today. Even this was not enough for him, however, the film shows multiple points of view within the Armenian community (about what to do with what has happened) and the Turkish (about what, if anything, did happen) one as well.

There are scenes of such heartbreaking, illusrative brilliance (the film-within-a-film reenactment of the genocide features U.S. actors in prominent roles, a U.S. volunteer hospital as the main setting, and the delivery of the KEY line "Go to the embassy...tell them AMERICAN LIVES...are in danger" which perfectly illustrates Egoyan's anger not just at what happened, but how little it has meant because of who it happened to), that pose such challenging questions ("Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Aemrnians?", a quote often attributed to Hitler, is used here in a particularly poignant scene between an Armenian gaffer and a Turkish actor, both working in the film-within-a-film) that the film's messy, uneven, disjointed structure can be forgiven. It is not a perfect film, definitely not a flawless one, but when faced with such passion, such rage and such talent it is impossible to end up with anything other than a work of art. This is the kind of film that can be discussed for hours and hours on end.
June 6, 2007
Eduardo C

Super Reviewer

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