Kandahar Reviews

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Lance Goldenberg
Weekly Planet (Tampa, FL)
May 10, 2004

As with so much in the Islamic world, there are things here that are profoundly beautiful, as well as much that is profoundly scary.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jurgen Fauth
About.com
October 16, 2003

I would have recommended "Kandahar" at any time; current events make it a must-see film.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Rich Cline
Film Threat
December 8, 2002

The result is stunning -- both as a narrative film and as a document of the place and time.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
November 6, 2002

It's a simple series of snapshots from a country in pain.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
October 28, 2002

Kandahar consistently feels as if it was shot on the fly, which fuels its sense of urgency and deepens its emotional weight.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 21, 2002

This film is more didactic and less cinematic than I might like, but Makhmalbaf speaks from the heart and the film should be judged accordingly.

Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002

Both a fine example of the striking work being done by contemporary Iranian filmmakers and a near-documentary testament to the painful modern history of Afghanistan.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
August 27, 2002

Although a surreal darkness pervades several passages of Kandahar, through the misfortune of its timing, it's curiously tame.

Brent Simon
Entertainment Today
August 27, 2002

[Let me] remove the wool over so many critics' eyes and call Kandahar what it is: a boring, pedantic and obvious story [lent some] timeliness by the events of Sept. 11.

Full Review | Original Score: D
Jeffrey Bruner
Des Moines Register
July 5, 2002

Kandahar works best as a semidocumentary, explaining the overwhelming hunger and poverty, the savage effects of land mines and the barbaric treatment of women in Afghanistan.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Lawrence Toppman
Charlotte Observer
April 26, 2002

Makhmalbaf fully achieves his aim of showing life in a society devoid of hope (especially for women) and ruled by soul-crushing barbarians.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
April 18, 2002

It's a film that is sometimes naive and at other times unsettling, but it has a rawness and power that sticks in your throat.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Mark Freeman
Critical Eye
April 5, 2002

'...doesn't quite have the cohesion and power of the sublime Gabbeh... but still remains strong and compelling'

Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune
March 29, 2002

Makhmalbaf gives Kandahar an eerie grace, making it not only a timely movie but a poetic one.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
March 29, 2002

There's no denying the film has its share of fascinating moments -- or that, on whole, it has a lasting power, especially its bleak, sucker-punch ending.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
March 29, 2002

Moves not like a story but a poem, and the images it presents to us are unforgettable.

| Original Score: 4/5
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
March 15, 2002

Adds valuable perspective and context to the war in Afghanistan by providing ideas and images that the nightly news cannot deliver.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Steve Schneider
Orlando Weekly
March 14, 2002

Makes up in indignation, passion and poetry what it lacks in filmmaking gloss.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
March 14, 2002

Its themes are universal, its performances are effective in their simplicity and the direction is confident and unfussy.

| Original Score: 5/5
Rachel Sanders
Apollo Guide
March 11, 2002

The film gives a glimpse into a land that is as far removed from Western society as any in the world.

Full Review | Original Score: 85/100
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