Tabu Reviews

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Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
January 24, 2013
The audience is left to imagine much of the story, though it is clear it involves love, betrayal, guilt, regret and a recurring crocodile.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
May 17, 2013
It's far-from-enthralling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 26, 2012
Its artfulness seems like an alibi, an excuse for keeping the ugliness of history out of the picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
January 14, 2013
A dreadfully slow screenplay in the second half undercuts the interesting handling of black and white exposition.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Antonia Quirke
Financial Times
September 6, 2012
There are times when you feel the whole thing is better listened to than watched.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 27, 2012
Churlish though it sounds, you'll want to arrive for this b&w Portuguese drama about 45 minutes late.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
September 9, 2012
Naively simplistic in its narrative, opaque in its politics, the movie's appeal is hard to understand.
Nikola Grozdanovic
The Playlist
September 27, 2013
It's one of those rarities when too many compliments are not enough and the recommendation to see it as soon as it's near you cannot be stressed enough.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
June 3, 2012
Tabu begs us not to forget the once beautiful, dramatic, and adventurous wilds of youth that are extinguished in the depressingly inevitable isolation of old age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
December 28, 2012
Portuguese director Miguel Gomes' latest film moves through different styles and eras, and proves that shooting in black and white is as versatile as it ever was.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
John Semley
Slant Magazine
September 17, 2012
The pangs of romance, eroticism, anguish, and longing (both for the stolen moments of private passion and for the sense-making schematics of Empire) transcend any period of cinema Tabu may evoke.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Donald Clarke
Irish Times
September 6, 2012
For all its cleverly shot post- modernity, Tabu inadvertently argues for the power of old-school storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ann Lewinson
Boston Phoenix
January 15, 2013
If in the first half Gomes dares the audience to be bored, the second half is a cinephile's payoff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Simon Miraudo
Quickflix
June 13, 2012
Does the plot make sense? Probably, but that doesn't really matter. Tabu is about memories and fantasies and folklores, and since when have any of them been consistent with truth or logic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Carmen Gray
Total Film
August 28, 2012
This blend of tongue-in-cheek exoticism and desire so strong it makes crocodiles melancholic amply rewards your patience.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Siobhan Synnot
Scotsman
September 3, 2012
Shot in black and white, it's occasionally perverse (a dialogue-free section feels like a gauntlet thrown down to cinephiles) but also lushly romantic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
December 27, 2012
Few films are this smart about subtly couching their allegorical aspirations within more straightforward narratives; fewer still are able to do so with such energetically inventive virtuoso style.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.5/10
Landon Palmer
Film School Rejects
June 2, 2014
'Tabu' is a strange and hypnotizing moving image poem with no comprehensive or unifying point of comparison.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Pamela Jahn
Electric Sheep
September 7, 2012
Elegantly weaving together colonial history, past cinema and personal memories, it unashamedly touches the heart, the most complicated muscle of the human anatomy.
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy
May 16, 2013
While the path through this unconventional film is not always obvious, it is a sensuous, mysterious and intoxicating path worth taking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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