Midnight's Children Reviews

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Top Critic
Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
May 9, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Thrift
Little White Lies
December 26, 2012
Lacks soul, imagination and even basic logic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Guy Lodge
Time Out
December 18, 2012
Mehta fudges the political allegory in favour of the story's magical realism, but still can't get her arms around the material - or past Rushdie's own bear-hug.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
April 23, 2013
So lavish and unwieldy is the book, Rushdie's best, that a film of it can't help but feel like a helpless reduction, like a bucket of water passed off as an ocean.
Ed Whitfield
The Ooh Tray
October 19, 2012
Rather more virtuosity behind the camera was required to induce the desired hypnotic effect. Deepa Mehta just isn't up to it.
Shaun Munro
What Culture
October 16, 2012
A ghastly, shockingly inept piece of filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
April 23, 2013
Midnight's Children has the paradoxical misfortune of being both too rushed and too wearingly long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Grant Rollings
Sun Online
December 27, 2012
There is not enough space here to detail the plot, which is basically about two boys whose paths are swapped on the evening of India's independence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
April 21, 2013
Preserves much of the novel's intricacy and human drama, perhaps due to Salman Rushdie's involvement as co-screenwriter, even if it remains singularly unremarkable from a cinematic perspective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph
December 31, 2012
Considering Midnight's Children is bound up in notions of identity, it is faintly disastrous that this adaptation should be so lacking in one of its own.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Catherine Shoard
September 9, 2012
Director Deepa Mehta slathers proceedings in a haze of period whimsy - sometimes engaging, sometimes less so.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Brian Orndorf
May 15, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
November 22, 2012
A series of pretty, disconnected scenes. At worst, it becomes D-movie Dickens, devolving into semi-broad, semi-quirky comedy, poorly sketched-out coincidence, and a bad X-Men plot. The book is drained of its allusive, allegorical and dramatic force.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 9, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
December 20, 2012
Everything here needed enriching, amping up, amplifying out. Less isn't always more; sometimes more is more.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Rachel Saltz
New York Times
April 25, 2013
A movie that, if never exactly dull, feels drained of the mythic juice that powers the book, which won the Booker Prize in 1981.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
November 2, 2012
[I]t's almost never a good idea to let novelists adapt their own fiction for the screen. A cold distant appraisal of what works onscreen and what doesn't is required, and it's not fair to expect writers to be so brutal with their babies.
Top Critic
John Anderson
May 2, 2013
Mehta has given us something as pale as it is panoramic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
April 28, 2015
There's nothing to hang onto here. Most scenes last only two or three minutes, and events don't accrue so much as they just pig-pile on top of one another.
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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