Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In the dead of night, a group of men - including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators' own secrets and hypocrisies … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ercan Kesal
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 26, 2012
Box Office: $0.1M
The Cinema Guild - Official Site


as Doctor Cemal

as Commissar Naci

as Prosecutor Nusret

as Driver Arab Ali

as Driver Arab Ali

as Suspect Kenan

as Mukhtar
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (21)

Ceylan's own growing reputation will, I hope, continue to grow. He uses the realistic film as an avenue to what lies around and beyond the realism.

Full Review… | June 19, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

It runs 157 minutes, and I can't say you don't feel them. You do - but in the way you would, reading a very good book in an uncomfortable chair.

Full Review… | May 16, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A movie of such dark, smoldering intensity that it's easy to forget that half of it takes place in near darkness.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

A police procedural as existential inquiry, set in a remote dreamscape of mystery and foreboding.

Full Review… | April 5, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Uma obra encantadora e hipnótica.

Full Review… | May 16, 2013
Cinema em Cena

This is a very slow-moving movie, but it also has its attractions, such as its beautiful cinematography by Gökhan Tiryaki, particularly the wide angle shots showing the vastness of the Turkish landscape.

Full Review… | December 23, 2012
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

An absorbing character study with an engaging dialogue and a peculiar sense of humor, following a group of characters in a crime investigation as they talk about trivial things and reveal a lot about themselves in the process - and it boasts an impressive sound job and an astonishing cinematography.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


This beautifully shot Turkish film puts a lot of responsibility on the viewer - it asks you to be patient and to find a point within seeming pointlessness. A simple (and arguably overlong) tale that seems to take place in rural Turkey but actually takes place solely within the psyches of its characters, audiences are asked to forget what they know about film narrative and find out more about human interactions and how people deal with the truth and accept that the truth may never be knowable.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer


to call this a police procedural or crime drama seems wrong but i don't know how else one would describe it in genre terms. it's gorgeous, mysterious and rewards patience

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Quotes

– Submitted by Ahmad M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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