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The Past (2013)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 134
Fresh: 126 | Rotten: 8

Beautifully written, sensitively directed, and powerfully acted, The Past serves as another compelling testament to Asghar Farhadi's gift for finely layered drama.

94

Average Rating: 8.5/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 2

Beautifully written, sensitively directed, and powerfully acted, The Past serves as another compelling testament to Asghar Farhadi's gift for finely layered drama.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 8,953

My Rating

Movie Info

An Iranian man reunites with his estranged wife (Bérénice Bejo) in Paris to finalize their divorce, which is soon complicated by a shocking revelation by her daughter from a previous marriage. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

PG-13,

Drama

Asghar Farhadi

Mar 25, 2014

$1.3M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (134) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (8)

In the end, so much of The Past just doesn't have that crucial ring of truth to it. Disappointing and underwhelming.

March 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Farhadi has pulled off the dysfunctional family mystery trick twice now, brilliantly, and perhaps three times in a row would be too much. But it's doubtful he will leave behind the fertile ground of family ties and modern messiness. He sees so much there.

February 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Past" is long and occasionally feels slow - as real life sometimes does - but never false.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Farhadi is the rare director who can establish an atmosphere of intimacy that resonates with meaning and sentiment.

January 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Orange County Register
Orange County Register
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a teller of domestic truths Asghar Farhadi has become.

January 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Past is about people who wish they could erase what came before and just live in the now, but life doesn't let anyone off the hook that easily.

January 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Um filme povoado por pessoas que tentam encontrar sentido onde não há nenhum.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

It's a testament to Farhadi that I could even consider a movie as good as 'The Past' to be any kind of disappointment.

April 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Columbus Alive
Columbus Alive

This slim and pretty terrific thriller may just prove to be the ultimate antidote to this summer's bloated superhero onslaught.

April 16, 2014 Full Review Source: The Movie Minute
The Movie Minute

Farhadi's most thrilling gift, which seems innate and intuitive, is in demonstrating how figures move, are framed by frames, reflected by surfaces, going beyond elementary considerations, describing a vital mathematics of humans in motion.

April 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity
Newcity

While Farhadi's eye for detail is as unsparing as ever, his style this time around has begun to look formulaic.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: New Statesman
New Statesman

The Past is clearly the work of a master dramatist, and precious few filmmakers in world cinema are currently operating at Farhadi's level.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Farhadi finds his characters trapped, not by the constraints of an overbearing authority but by the spectre of the past.

March 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

With its sympathies forever shifting among its characters, the film asks whether the truth is ever even objectively knowable, let alone whether honesty is always the best policy.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

This is an exquisitely made film which probes away at the rawest, most intimate emotions of its characters with a delicacy and insight reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski in his prime.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Farhadi uses grace and fluidity to tell a story in which no one is quite innocent.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Independent
Irish Independent

Farhadi weaves a very sticky web with more than a few ragged edges, but even if the characters (and more precisely, their actions) aren't easy to relate to, they are compelling.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

If you can possibly imagine an extremely superior episode of EastEnders, lasting more than two hours and in French, then you will have some idea of what The Past is like.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

The film finally feels centreless, stateless, even a little cold: like the first work of an artist in exile.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Farhadi loosens the valve on a drip-feed of revelations, each one changing any assumptions prompted by the last.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

another stunning drama that confirms Farhadi's artistic preeminence in making films that are simultaneously intimate psychological portraits of interpersonal conflict and detailed, nerve-wracking mysteries

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The acting is good but it plays like an upscale soap opera, without any emotional payoff.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Tahar Rahim and Bérénice Bejo are on top form in this immaculate study of marital disharmony.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Writer-director Asghar Farhadi's follow-up to the Oscar-winning A Separation is an intensely gripping emotional drama with a superb script and a trio of terrific central performances from Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mossaffa.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

A remarkably grounded French-Iranian drama about a broken family trying to mend; unexpectedly riveting, thanks in part to one of 2013's best ensembles.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Audience Reviews for The Past

A movie with all the trappings of a insightful and intricate drama - the actors display all the emotions of rage, anger, sadness and confusion that failed relationships bring. Yet ultimately the film fails to be as meaningful of a character study as it thinks it is.

"Le Passé" (The Past) is brave enough to imply lots of things about humans but doesn't go as far to make you believe them. Once the central secret is revealed the film decides to become a mystery vs a human drama and then the proceedings just get more unbelievable as every twist gets revealed.

The performances are top-notch, though I wish Tahar Rahim was more commanding. Rahim, so revelatory in "A Prophet", fails to really connect with the character cohesively so it's hard to imagine why Berenice Bejo is with him. Her daughter implies a reason at one point but the film does nothing to explore that truth other than continue to imply it.

"The Past" is worth watching for several scenes that are powerful. The scenes with young son Fouad are strong - and he becomes one of the more interesting characters in the film. Ali Mosaffa is great as the soon-to-be ex-husband but you never quite know what drove the relationship to fall apart and the first half of the film where you follow him and how he causes the unravelling of this family is more interesting than the second half of the film.
April 28, 2014
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Farhadi proves again that he is one of the greatest storytellers nowadays to shape nuanced, three-dimensional characters, making it impossible for us to take sides or judge any of them - and his wonderful last scene, filmed in one long take, is of extraordinary sensibility.
April 27, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Samir: When two people see each other after 4 years and still fight together, it shows that there is something unsolved between them.

One of the best things about The Past, writer/director Asghar Farhadi's follow up film to 2011's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, A Separation, is that it makes me want to see all of Farhadi's previous films. Once again working with a fairly straight-forward, reality-based premise as the subject for a drama, Farhadi is certainly proving to be one of the best voices in film, when it comes to examining familial relationships. What makes this impressive is how gripping I have found his films to be, despite being incredibly limited as far as any sort of flashiness is concerned. With The Past, there are no broad characters, the film has almost no music or score whatsoever, and the film's stakes are entirely personal to the specific people involved. Still, The Past was another standout from 2013, as it is so great at being the film it is trying to be.

read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
January 28, 2014
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

Clouded and stuff with a few too many emotions, Asghar Farhadi directs his second Oscar contender, after "A Separation." What this film really is, is a picture made for the fans of his first breakout film, leaving relationship issues to drive the film, making you feel sorry for almost every character in the film, which was a little too depressing for my taste. Don't get me wrong, the film is brilliantly shot and well-written, and does deserve it's nominations, but it's nothing magnificent or anything that I will be mentioning to many people about. It's very interesting and the actors keep you engaged, and there are quite a few emotionally jarring moments that will make you tear up. "The Past" is probably the best forgettable film I have ever seen, if that makes sense.
January 11, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Le Passé - Das Vergangene (DE)
  • The Past (UK)
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