Critic Consensus: Led by an outstanding performance from Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat in the title role, Theeb is a startlingly assured first effort from director/co-writer Naji Abu Nowar.
Watch it now
News & Interviews for Theeb
Critic Reviews for Theeb
An inversion of Lawrence of Arabia -- a film told from the perspective of Arab bedouins rather than colonial adventurers, a scrappy coming of age story rather than a grand tale of epic, colonial ambitions.
The effectiveness of the story hinges largely on Al-Hwietat, whose performance is both convincing wide-eyed and complex.
The burden rests on Eid's shoulders, and he more than carries it. He's a natural, showing us Theeb's curiosity, loyalty and ingenuity while still retaining the innocence of a boy who has been sheltered from the world outside the desert.
First-time director Naji Abu Nowar rehearsed his largely nonprofessional cast for almost a year before shooting began, and as the title character, Jacir Eid beautifully conveys a mix of emotions, from wonder to fear to determination.
The further this strikingly assured debut feature by the British-born director Naji Abu Nowar goes along, the more it seems a metaphor for fierce self-determination - an origin story for Middle Eastern discontents.
Audience Reviews for Theeb
A tense and powerful debut feature set against the breathtaking vastness of the Jordanian desert and with a deliberate pacing, an evocative score and assured performances from its non-professional Bedouins that are proof of Naji Abu Nowar's talent to direct actors.
This has its quotas of violence and sentiment, plus landscape shots, but it is nothing special. A film entirely about men, possibly for men, it gives the impression that women did not exist in this world. The boy's cuteness is too trite a device and he does not come of age as suggested in the blurb; rather he is a fortunate and plucky survivor throughout. Mostly well made, it is not though always logical, and is predictable. The camels are interesting.
Theeb is a disappointing movie. It has some truly great scenes and nice scenery, but the character development is so poor, the film is emotionally cold and the script is problematic as there is never anything more meaningful or more inspired in it whatsoever. It did not deserve its Oscar nomination at all.
Discuss Theeb on our Movie forum!