The Lunchbox Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
April 9, 2014
There's nothing wildly original here, but it's carried off with charm and wit, and a pair of very enjoyable central performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 3, 2014
A lovely little film from a place where the little things linger.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
March 28, 2014
"The Lunchbox" doesn't offer easy solutions, but it is filled with keen observations. All meals should be this satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 27, 2014
A pleasure, from the fascinating intricacies of Mumbai-style interlocking lunch containers to the quietly masterful performance of Khan.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
March 27, 2014
Warm, and warmly predictable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 27, 2014
"The Lunchbox" is a feast of delights, one of the best stories about the connection between food and love the movies have ever seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 21, 2014
"What do we live for?" is the question that pops up in The Lunchbox, a romance set in Mumbai. The film, a first feature from Ritesh Batra, aims to offer a meaningful answer: We live, ideally, for love.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Adam Nayman
Globe and Mail
March 21, 2014
If co-writer and director Ritesh Batra occasionally takes his sweet time getting from point A to point B, it's equally true that he gives the audience a nice, comfortable ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 20, 2014
A humanist fable from India, the film is actually a romance in the classic tradition, a "Brief Encounter" transposed to the rhythms and flavors of modern-day Mumbai.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tony Wong
Toronto Star
March 20, 2014
A romantic comedy based on the most trifling and sentimental of conceits, while deftly avoiding a descent into schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mary Houlihan
Chicago Sun-Times
March 7, 2014
Atouching and credible story that easily draws the viewer into the lives of its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
March 6, 2014
From the start, the movie mingles savory realism with elements of magic.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 6, 2014
As in an old Nora Ephron comedy, each of the prospective lovers is supplied with an irritating comic foil.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 6, 2014
Like a lot of movies, but especially foreign films, "The Lunchbox" has a central idea and winning characters, and it builds a compelling situation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
March 3, 2014
This gentle romantic drama, by the Indian director Ritesh Batra, packs twenty minutes of action into its hour-and-three-quarters running time.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 28, 2014
Batra deftly finesses the will-they-or-won't-they potholes in the plot. If he never quite moves the story into Chekhovian terrain, he does at least manage to make it into something more than an Indian O. Henry knockoff.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 28, 2014
It's a slight idea for a film, but director Ritesh Batra (who also cowrote) nicely expands it ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 27, 2014
This warm and affectionate human comedy from India is charming in a delicate and unforced way.
Top Critic
February 27, 2014
The Lunchbox is a first feature for director Ritesh Batra, but it nicely captures the almost overwhelming crush and noise of contemporary India, and it plays cleverly and delicately with the tension of whether its two correspondents might eventually meet.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 27, 2014
For the acting alone, "The Lunchbox" is a sumptuous treat.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 27, 2014
A widowed Mumbai office worker begins a correspondence with a lonely housewife in this slow but rewarding drama, a cousin to the epistolary near-romance "84 Charing Cross Road."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 27, 2014
The comedy is more wry than uproarious, the melodrama gently poignant rather than operatic, and the sentimentality just sweet enough to be satisfying rather than bothersome.
Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
AV Club
February 27, 2014
The Lunchbox ultimately registers as a too-hesitant portrayal of hesitancy, and its pleasures are largely incidental.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 26, 2014
A clever setup that harkens back to "You've Got Mail" and "The Shop Around the Corner" doesn't quite pay off in India's warm-hearted comedy-drama "The Lunchbox."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jon Frosch
Village Voice
February 25, 2014
A slow-building, pleasingly low-key romantic dramedy set in Mumbai.
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
September 19, 2013
This long-distance love story is comfort food in any language, perfectly agreeable and unlikely to surprise.