Instead of finding resonance between personal and political tragedy, the film only succeeds in cheapening both.
| Original Score: 2/5
The film's high drama, like its dexterous handling of narrative and its expert mixture of static framings and skillful tracking shots, seems like so much empty sensation.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The title means "scorched," but "burned" is closer to how I felt.
| Original Score: 1/4
Normally I'm against decent original stories being dumbed down and squashed into bog-standard thriller shapes. But Incendies is in dire need of some dumbing down.
A kind name for this attitude is false moral equivalence, or perhaps post-imperial cringe. A less kind one is Western self-hatred, or an urgent plea to tolerate the intolerant.
| Original Score: 2/4
Villaneuve knows how to stoke a hot debate about the legacy of violence. But in this case, where there's smoke, there's not enough air.
Overplays its hand, piling tragedy on tragedy until we feel browbeaten with misery.
Nawal's travails are more in the vein of a Latin American soap opera than Greek tragedy.
Incendies is about as meretriciously overdetermined as art cinema, or any kind of cinema for that matter, gets.
| Original Score: 1/5
Every scene is permeated by a creeping sense of dread.
If Incendies is not a perfect film, it is a bold, immersive, searching, angry and haunting one; all signs of great filmmaking.
Manufactures shocks that have purpose, and that resonate long after the anxious feelings the movie prompts have finally settled.
| Original Score: 9/10
Incendies is a tough film but a sensitive one.
| Original Score: 4/5
Rewarding, but ridiculously stingy in handing out simple details -- relationships, geographical settings, etc. -- vital to our grasp of what's going on.
| Original Score: 3/4
...an intense and shattering experience, a nearly great film about promises and kinship and the secret, cruel lives our parents lived before we knew them
| Original Score: 87/100
Most people do not choose their religions but have them forced upon themselves by birth, and the lesson of "Incendies" is that an accident of birth is not a reason for hatred.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
"Incendies" is no mere riff on a Greek mainstay. It is its own entity, delicate and fierce.
| Original Score: 4/4
This is the film that should have won an Oscar in its foreign-language category this year and didn't.
We can feel the hot violence of the air in the last row of a crowded theater.
[T]ragic human coincidences. . . strain credulity [d]espite exemplary acting, cinematography, insightful scope and contemporary relevance. . .but is a powerful teaching tool.
| Original Score: 8/10