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The Iran Job Reviews

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Louis Proyect

A film that despite its modest means tells a stirring tale about sports and politics. Starring Kevin Sheppard, a completely winning personality and basketball player.

Full Review Source:

March 4, 2014
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

An honest and open portrait of work, friendships and relationships in a troubled and lively nation blessed with a vibrant culture and cursed with an oppressive religious regime.

Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Original Score: 3/4

February 14, 2014
Mark Feeney
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lively, engaging documentary directed by the German filmmaker Till Schauder ...

Full Review Source: Boston Globe

June 19, 2013
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine

If you invest in Kevin Sheppard's story, it will pay off.

Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine

June 7, 2013
Drew Hunt
Chicago Reader
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The film takes a distinctly American approach to Iranian matters of gender relations and religious extremism, shedding little light on subjects that are far more complicated than Schauder makes them out to be.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 28, 2013
Odie Henderson
Chicago Sun-Times
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I confess to being a sucker for sports movies, the ones with the "Big Game" at the end. "The Iran Job" has all the requisite elements of that cinematic subgenre, but strives for something deeper.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 28, 2013
David D'Arcy
Screen International

This lively documentary breaks no new ground cinematically, yet its mix of discovery and befuddlement should bring more than sports fans to a basketball story.

Full Review Source: Screen International

January 22, 2013
Kate Erbland
Film School Rejects

As an entry into the Iranian world, Schauder and Nodjoumi made a wise choice with sports, but they made an even better choice with Sheppard.

Full Review Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: B

January 22, 2013
Brent Simon

The Iran Job locates an absorbing, cross-cultural universality with surprising ease.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: A

January 22, 2013
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

"The Iran Job" has interesting characters, an insight into Iran's culture and the story of one lonely American who, for a year, was his country's cultural ambassador to Iran.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B-

January 17, 2013
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews amusing cultural fish out of water look at how a big, likable, outgoing Black American basketball player fits into life in Shiraz in southwestern Iran. Then it becomes something more around the halfway mark...

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B-

January 15, 2013
Diego Costa
Slant Magazine

Though there's something refreshing, and disturbingly familiar, about Kevin Sheppard's spontaneity, he's certainly not the most interesting thing about the film.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 12, 2012
David DeWitt
New York Times
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This observant documentary avoids pedagogy; it's not always artful, but it has a relaxed, light touch that never topples into pretension.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 11, 2012
Noel Murray
AV Club
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The sports drama gives The Iran Job a strong hook, while the cultural context enriches the movie's real story, which is less about Sheppard's life in Iran than about the people he meets.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

October 11, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
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This is a complicated, accessible and heartfelt human drama, one that Obama, Romney and Americans of all political stripes should see ...

Full Review Source:

October 9, 2012
Sam Adams
Time Out New York
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The doc's technique of cutting between warm exchanges and the bellicose rhetoric of then-presidents Ahmadinejad and Bush wears thin with overuse, but the big-hearted Sheppard makes for an amiable tour guide.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

October 9, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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"The Iran Job" is one of those documentaries that is sad and hopeful in equal measure and exceptional in its storytelling.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

September 27, 2012
Michael Nordine
Village Voice
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An underdog sports story, a fish-out-of-water tale, and an outsider's perspective on Iran's almost-revolution of early 2009.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 25, 2012
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