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The Band's Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret) (2007)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 114
Fresh: 112 | Rotten: 2

The Band's Visit is both a clever, subtle slice-of-life comedy, and poignant cross-cultural exploration.

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 0

The Band's Visit is both a clever, subtle slice-of-life comedy, and poignant cross-cultural exploration.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 13,123

My Rating

Movie Info

When the Ceremonial Police Band of Alexandria, Egypt, journeys to a gig in Israel, they can hardly anticipate getting stuck in a rut. But upon arrival at the Israeli airport, their hosts and transportation fail to show. So begins first-time director Eran Kolirin's fish-out-of-water comedy The Band's Visit (aka Bikur Hatizmoret, 2007). Trapped in a middle-of-nowhere desert town, the group members try to figure out what to do and where to go. In desperation, two of the musicians -- conductor

PG-13,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Eran Kolirin

Jul 29, 2008

$3.0M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (114) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (112) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

The Band's Visit has pathos, but it is also very funny.

April 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like no fish-out-of-water film in recent memory, it leaves you with the hope that these fish will find their way back to water, and maybe learn to share that puddle before the desert dries it up entirely.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kolirin has a fine sense of where to place the camera and when to cut between shots for maximum comic effect.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a small, profoundly satisfying movie that keeps echoing long after it's over.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A quiet, sympathetic film about the loneliness that surrounds us.

March 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You can watch The Band's Visit for its political idealism, or you can watch it for entertainment value alone. In either case, it doesn't disappoint.

March 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Writer/director Eran] Kolirin finds bittersweet humor in the comedy of their melancholy lives and fumbling efforts at communication and common ground

August 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Filmmaker Kolirin shows Israelis what they've been missing, and the rest of us what the Middle East could be, in the gentle, human-scale antics of the confused Egyptian band.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

A conventional humanistic parable that it is wise and graceful all the same

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Not so much a story about Jews and Arabs finding a way to get along as it is a nonpolitical story about people discovering the humanity in others, in all their scared, awkward beauty.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

Some of the humorous and touching explorations between the band and their hosts are predictable, but a sweet portrait of humanism amidst language and cultural confusion.

December 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

One of the film's prime strengths is its wordless willingness to let the principal characters express themselves through music and mime to overcome cultural barriers. [DVD]

July 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

This foreign film is a sweet, lower-than-low-key story of an Egyptian police band that arrives in the wrong Israeli town.

July 22, 2008 Full Review | Comment (1)
Sin Magazine

Those who like their comedy, romance, and tragedy in quiet doses should enjoy this textured story.

July 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

A witty, elegant and deeply affecting film.

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

What matters is the sense of exhilaration you take away with you.

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

funny, sweet and touching

July 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

There are no major plot points or dramatic arcs in The Band's Visit, but through its awkward pauses, there's plenty of nuance and wry humour.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A film of exquisite charm, beauty, humor and humanity -- with some of the best performances you're likely to encounter in some considerable time.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The Band's Visit is a charming little drama that skirts sentimentality and manages to be a feel-good film without necessarily feeling very good.

April 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The 34-year-old Israeli director Eran Kolirin's debut feature is a good one.

April 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...there's hardly a moment in this delightful movie that doesn't ring with authentic human feeling.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The formality and the deliberate pace suggest the influence of Laurel and Hardy and Jacques Tati...

March 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Despite the cultural divide between Arabs and Israelis, subtract politics from the mix and their shared humanity shines through in Eran Kolirin's gentle film.

March 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Atlantic City Weekly
Atlantic City Weekly

Audience Reviews for The Band's Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)

A trip to Israeli nowheresville by a minor Egyptian civic band is an occasion for a interesting little filmic investigation into what forces make us all tick. Everyone expects trouble ... and are pleasantly disappointed. Slowly budding revelation sparkles like light on a pond across the faces of this cast of unknowns.
November 7, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

A touching and considered slice of life that's kind of like those small-town-in-the-Midwest movies where everyone's in pain, except it happens in the Israeli desert, and the new guys in town are a police band from Egypt. A lean film, but one that still takes its time, and one that was well lauded on the festival circuit. Definitely worth a look - reminded me of Wim Wenders for no obvious reason.
June 27, 2011
danperry17

Super Reviewer

An enormously touching slice-of-life drama that I really connected with.

*more thoughts soon*
April 23, 2011
YLOWBSTARDreturns

Super Reviewer

"Once-not long ago-a small Egyptian police band arrived in Israel. Not many remember this...It wasn't that important."

A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town.

REVIEW
'The Band's Visit' is a cinematic breath of fresh air in a market overwrought with cine dreck. It tells the story of an Egyptian Police band that has gone over to Israel for a concert at an Arab cultural centre, only to find that they have ended up in the wrong town. In a period of 24 hours, they manage to establish friendships among some of the town's off beat residents. It shows that despite cultural differences between Arabs and Jews, they manage to (for the most part) rise above prejudices and make the most of an awkward situation. Major kudos to the film's writer/director for forging a finely tuned story, as well as a cast to act out their parts equally well. This film may remind you at times of some of the tongue in cheek comedies of Aki Kaurismaki.
January 14, 2010
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Band's Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)

    1. Itzik: You know, maybe this is how your concerto ends. I mean, not a big end with trumpets and violin. Maybe this is the finish, just like that suddenly.Not sad, not happy, just a small room with a lamp, abed,a child sleeps, and tons of loneliness.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Tawfiq: It's the sound of water and waves, and distant children playing on the beach, and the sound of the bait falling in the water. In the early hours at sea you can hear the whole world like, like a symphony.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Tawfiq: Music today is not that important anymore.
    2. Dina: What do you mean?
    3. Tawfiq: Well, people today care about other things, money, efficiency, worth.
    4. Dina: People are stupid, aren't they?
    5. Tawfiq: Yes, they are sometimes.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Haled: Aren't we going to eat today? I did not join the police to starve to death. And anyhow, I'm not really sure that you know where we're going.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Tawfiq: We've been invited by the local cultural department to play at the initiation ceremony of the Arab Culture Center.
    2. Dina: There is no Arab center here. No culture. Not Israeli culture, not Arab culture, no culture at all.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Band von Nebenan (DE)
  • The Band's Visit (UK)
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