The Kite Runner - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Kite Runner Reviews

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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 18, 2008
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
January 29, 2008
Hosseini's over-done melodrama that doesn't so much open our eyes to Afghanistan as reinforce everything negative we've already suspected.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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January 3, 2008
The Kite Runner is dramatically and visually sumptuous
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Time Out
December 28, 2007
The film's belief in the power of redemption and its subtle assertion of the need for moral courage in personal (or political) conflict, is never allowed to get in the way of its boldly told, intelligent, informed and affecting story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 21, 2007
A respectful adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's 2003 novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 21, 2007
The Kite Runner is earnest and sentimental and formulaic and obvious. Watching it, I could understand the fuss over Khaled Hosseini's bestselling novel, but the film didn't make me want to read it.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 21, 2007
If The Kite Runner flies only to flutter and fall a bit, at least it flies for a while.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
December 21, 2007
The filmmakers go by the book in The Kite Runner, a literate, if occasionally listless adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 20, 2007
This is one of those stories that, on some primal level, goes straight to the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 20, 2007
By the time it arrives at its final kite-flying scene back in the Bay Area, The Kite Runner has soared occasionally, but remains too grounded for its own good in the book from which it was supposed to spring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 20, 2007
[It] boasts one of the best performances by a child actor, ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 20, 2007
Visually arresting, politically controversial, perhaps its greatest virtue is its simple message of making wrong right.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 17, 2007
It's a haunting story.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2007
In a movie about a storyteller (Amir as an adult in America is played by Khalid Abdalla) the storytelling pace moves between deliberate and sluggish.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 14, 2007
The Kite Runner is a compelling and uplifting tale that exposes the viewer to an unfamiliar, fascinating culture and a family dynamic that is recognizable and nuanced.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
December 14, 2007
The Kite Runner has become that most unfortunate of awards-season Hollywood casualties: a worthy bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
December 14, 2007
It's the childhood scenes, and the truthfulness of the boys' performances, that you remember.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 14, 2007
There's a lethargy and a reverence about this film that seem misplaced, as though Forster and screenwriter David Benioff thought they were adapting a sacred text and forgot they were making drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 14, 2007
This movie never gets started.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 14, 2007
This is more an entertaining than a profound film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 14, 2007
The movie has two extraordinary characters and performances. Non-pro Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada breaks your heart as the innocent, wide-eyed child Hassan, and Homayoun Ershadi makes Amir's father a model of intuitive decency.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2007
The Marc Forster-directed version of the Khaled Hosseini novel does one part of the story so well that its success underlines what's lacking in what remains.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 14, 2007
The Kite Runner will be loved by many moviegoers for its taste and humanity, but for all the places Forster takes us he doesn't show us anything we haven't seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 14, 2007
Sure, the movie doesn't have the heart of the book, but it does have a solid mechanical pump, strong enough at least to keep a robust story on two-hour life support.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 13, 2007
Mr. Forster has been soundly defeated by The Kite Runner. Despite the film's far-flung locations, there is remarkably little of visual interest here; the setups are banal, and the scenes lack tension, which no amount of editing can provide.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 13, 2007
The film version of Khaled Hosseini's novel is so portentously sincere that you may feel like a cretin for embracing it with anything less than a full heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 13, 2007
A heartfelt saga of cruelty redeemed by belated love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 13, 2007
A film of exhilarating, redemptive humanity, conveying an enduring sense of hope.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 13, 2007
Maudlin, implausible and dull.
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Ella Taylor
Village Voice
December 13, 2007
Armed with a capably hands-off screenplay by David Benioff, [Forster] made a drama as bland and beige as its tasteful palette, whose pacing wouldn't look out of place in the Sunday-night slot on PBS.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 13, 2007
At times brutal, at times touching, the movie stands out as one of the better 'prestige' productions offered for cinematic consumption during the waning weeks of 2007.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 12, 2007
It's okay to be manipulated so long as you don't feel the strings being pulled. Here the tug is constant, and constantly distracting.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 12, 2007
[A] pretty good adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's pretty good 2003 best-seller.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 12, 2007
If nothing else, though, The Kite Runner does succeed in providing a vibrant window into a region of the world we might not have known and might have felt daunted to seek out.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 12, 2007
The powerful themes of loyalty, shame, and redemption tend to be muted by the same glass-table treatment Forster brought to Finding Neverland.
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David Denby
New Yorker
December 11, 2007
The movie's heart is certainly in the right place -- it's a quietly outraged work -- but I wish there were more excitement in it from moment to moment.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
December 10, 2007
Forster's solid, unpretentious movie hits its marks squarely, and isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 10, 2007
The Afghan boys' kite-flying contests are the emotional core of the film, and Forster and his crew bring the camera into the sky and make it dip and soar along with the kites.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 28, 2007
I won't deny that the film is sometimes rushed, oversimplified and skimpy on the details of Afghan culture that informed the book. But the tale still takes hold.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
October 9, 2007
The film feels totally convincing in all its technical aspects, including its use of Chinese locations to double for the story's Afghan setting.
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Alissa Simon
Variety
October 5, 2007
Nuanced perfs and standout production design convey story in cinematic terms, preserving the narrative's emotional power and historical sweep as it spans continents and decades.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 4, 2007
How long has it been since you saw a movie that succeeds as pure story? That doesn't depend on stars, effects or genres, but simply fascinates you with how it will turn out?
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 4, 2007
The Kite Runner feels authentic in its ethnic tensions, even when the narrative itself, with its handily reappearing and easily avenged villain, undermines that authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4