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Midnight's Children (2013)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 53
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 31

Though Midnight's Children is beautiful to look at and poignant in spots, its script is too indulgent and Deepa Mehta's direction, though ambitious, fails to bring the story together cohesively.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 14

Though Midnight's Children is beautiful to look at and poignant in spots, its script is too indulgent and Deepa Mehta's direction, though ambitious, fails to bring the story together cohesively.



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 1,378

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Movie Info

At the stroke of midnight on August 15th, 1947, as India declares independence from Great Britain, two babies are switched at birth by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. And so it is that Saleem Sinai, the bastard child of a beggar woman, and Shiva, the only son of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destinies meant for each other. Over the next three decades, Saleem and Shiva find themselves on opposite sides of many a conflict, whether it be because of class, politics, romantic rivalry, or the


Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Deepa Mehta, Salman Rushdie

Oct 8, 2013


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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (31)

A film bloated by excess material.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The effort to pack an already overstuffed picaresque epic into a film of more than two hours ends up an indigestible stew.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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The film is beautifully shot, with vivid production design. But because of the tale's lack of cohesion, it doesn't carry enough emotional heft.

May 9, 2013 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
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Faithfully adapted from Salman Rushdie's award-winning 1981 novel, the movie feels both too packed and too slight, overflowing with vivid details but lacking the structure to support their weight.

May 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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There are enough intermittent passages of power and beauty to get you through the slow spots.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
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A pretty but staidly linear epic drained of the novel's larkish, metaphorical sweep, and a collection of multi-generational love stories lacking their originally eccentric, fizzy charm.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Amidst all the exuberance on screen, a major literary work has been given a new and accessible form of life.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

A miniseries might have been able to knock this story out of the park, but the movie is a solid double.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Rushdie's script is faithful to his source novel to a fault. The lesson is that writers revisiting their work for another medium sometimes can't see the story for the words...

May 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

A highly eventful, allegorical portrait of the contentious dual nature of the Indian subcontinent.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Teeming with personality and digestible flights of fancy, only to be crushed by the overall narrative responsibility, unable to juggle faces and places to satisfaction.

May 15, 2013 Full Review Source:

A sprawling, lumbering epic that manages to preserve a substantial amount of the book's content but achieves little of its magic.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Rushdie adeptly trims his sprawling tale down to a still-substantial 2 1/2-hour movie, which only occasionally seems to hurry.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Stirring, beautifully filmed and highly personal history of India does right by Salman Rushdie's celebrated novel.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Both dreamy and dramatic, a fascinating view of Indian history seen through the prism of a personal story.

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

Audience Reviews for Midnight's Children

First and foremost, "Midnight's Children" is a suitably epic and pointed look at post independence India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as viewed through the eyes of the generation coming of age with their respective countries. The movie's main target is Partition, not only in the immediate harm it did, but also in how it continues to affect all three countries as the gift that keeps on giving. As the opening line of the movie says, we cannot understand the present without first understanding the past...

...but somewhere on the way to the screen, Salman Rushdie collaborating with director Deepa Mehta on adapting his own novel leaves behind much of the fantasy which made the book such an intriguing read about the midnight's children, the closer those born to midnight of independence day in 1947, the greater their special abilities, with an emphasis on the rivalry between Saleem Sinai(as a boy, Darsheel Safary, later, Satya Bhabha) and Shiva(Siddharth), both born exactly at midnight in the same hospital. Said fantasy would have definitely helped with the above allegory. Instead, the movie takes forever to get started(mind the generalization but I am beginning to suspect that everybody in India has a romantic tale of how their parents or grandparents met and fell in love) while keeping some details that are not exactly relevant to the larger story.
April 30, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Narrator: In exile, I learned about power.
    – Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
    1. Narrator: As Joe had said, "Let the poor be rich and the rich be poor."
    – Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
    1. Narrator: Sometimes people leech into each other, like flavors when you cook.
    – Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
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