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The Holy Land

The Holy Land (2003)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 26

This messy coming-of-age tale is of interest only because of where the story takes place.


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 11

This messy coming-of-age tale is of interest only because of where the story takes place.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 500

My Rating

Movie Info

A young man discovers the holiest city in the world can also be full of seductive temptations and ethical challenges in this independent coming-of-age drama. Mendy (Oren Rehany) is the son of a devout Orthodox Jewish family in Tel Aviv. Mendy has been raised to become a man of the cloth, and after completing his basic education, he travels to Jerusalem to attend rabbinical school. However, Mendy soon discovers that Jerusalem is a larger and more cosmopolitan city than the Tel Aviv neighborhood


Art House & International, Drama

Eitan Gorlin

Sep 7, 2004

CAVU Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (26)

Casts intriguing characters in interesting situations but leaves them adrift in a disjointed narrative that gives away its conclusion too early.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Too many characters, each too quickly drawn, hobble the film's momentum.

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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A bit of a mess.

November 1, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Gorlin] tries to bring in too many elements without laying the groundwork for them or placing them in context.

October 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Fails to capture the anguish and struggles of an ultra-Orthodox Jew adapting to a more secular world.

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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The movie flounders in a way that calls too much attention to itself -- and is hurt by jarring and unbelievable plot twists.

October 10, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gave me a better understanding of what it's like to live in modern Israel.

September 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A mixed bag.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

A stimulating cinematic experience in every sense.

January 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The Holy Land espouses love and sex and in the wrong, or right places, and doesn't flinch, even if the story wanders off into an occasional dramatic desert.

December 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

The flat dialogue and cardboard characters often undercut any social points that Gorlin seems on the verge of scoring.

December 4, 2003 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

An unholy mess.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Gorlin's vignettes work only in fits and starts, and his plodding pace makes 96 minutes seem like so many hours.

November 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

putting a human face on the same tribulations that many face in Jerusalem

November 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Gorlin's main agenda is to show that young Mendy hasn't at all found the respite from Judaism he perceives, but there's just as much torque to the relationship between this naf and his hooker of choice.

October 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The screenplay doesn't have enough force to take us anywhere particularly interesting.

October 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Gorlin supposedly based this material on some of his own experiences in Israel, but it still seems overly familiar.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Director-writer Eitan Gorlin provides flashes of the dire straits of Jerusalem life ... but fails in the end to bring them together into a relatable or sympathetic story.

October 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The film doesn't hit with the impact it should.

October 17, 2003 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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