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Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys) (2008)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 13

Exploring the effects of a family's dealings with an underhanded politician, this crime drama avoids showing the violent outcomes of its characters' misdeeds, resulting in a lingeringly potent film.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 2

Exploring the effects of a family's dealings with an underhanded politician, this crime drama avoids showing the violent outcomes of its characters' misdeeds, resulting in a lingeringly potent film.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,607

My Rating

Movie Info

Set in the areas of Istanbul rarely visited by foreigners, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's strange detective story traces the journey of a family that is suddenly dislocated when minor shortcomings explode into exorbitant deceptions. Now their only hope of remaining together is to cover up the truth, but can ignoring the hardships and responsibilities that would be impossible to endure ever really invalidate the existence of the truth? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Nov 24, 2009

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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (13) | DVD (2)

Three Monkeys... is the latest eyeful from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of a handful of international directors deserving of the title artist.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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An elegant exercise with four characters trapped by class, guilt and greed.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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There are enough ponderous moments that you may find yourself resisting the heavy mood.

June 26, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The pace is deliberate, sometimes slow, but the whirlpool pull of this tragic psychological thriller is irresistible.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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This is powerful filmmaking for discerning viewers.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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With Three Monkeys, Nuri Bilge Ceylan trains his cool, detached sensibility on a ripe and pulpy melodrama that might have originated in a James M. Cain novel.

May 1, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The noirish plot doesn't quite jibe with characters this inscrutable; all you really know about them is that they appear incapable of honesty.

July 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The film is photographed in a noirish style, but it is so plodding that no part of it is the least bit thrilling.

July 21, 2009 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

If you like foreign films nearly two hours in length that are one long lingering shot, then "Three Monkeys" is for you.

July 21, 2009 Full Review | Comment (1)
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Three Monkeys proves again that [Nuri Bilge] Ceylan has the eye of an artist, with a soul to match. If only his storytelling skills were equally represented.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Ceylan finds moments of stunning visual composition and his cast truly delivers, so art-house audiences will more than likely be satisfied by Three Monkeys, even if it's not a knockout punch.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Retriever
Movie Retriever

Everything bubbling under the surface mostly stays there, while the soap opera-esque film very slowly becomes a pulp drama without any juice.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source:

Tells an old-fashioned, melodramatic story, but director Nuri Bilge Ceylan does so vividly. . . A moral morass is a bit overwrought, but is revealed through visual poetry.

May 5, 2009 Full Review Source:

Stylish cinematography along with decent performances don't compensate for an often tedious plot that lacks any real tension, imagination or palpable poignancy.

May 2, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Ceylan orchestrates all the elements of his film into a gripping experience of manipulation and retribution, with an ironic final twist.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A dysfunctional Turkish family struggles with the burdens of guilt, denial, and betrayal.

May 1, 2009 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

Director Ceylan uses neo-Antonioni techniques for a plot which calls much more for Billy Wilder or the Coen brothers. Cinematography can only go so far. In the final analysis, you need dialog, plot and character development for a good movie. "Three Monkey

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source:

If you're looking for an adultery- and revenge-fueled family melodrama so subdued that it keeps a hit-and-run fatality, cuckoldry, and murder entirely off screen, Three Monkeys is your movie and Nuri Bilge Ceylan your not-so-genre-inclined auteur.

April 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)

Not as intense as 'Climates' but still filmed with an exquisite painterly eye. The routine plot is shaken alive by two striking scenes which left me gasping and add a star to the score alone - I won't spoil the surprise by saying any more.
July 14, 2009
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Three Monkeys," Servet(Ercan Kesal) is a politician who has just been involved in an apparent hit and run. Fearing the effect this could have on his upcoming election, he persuades his driver Eyup(Yavuz Bingol) to take the heat and a six month sentence. In exchange, he will continue receiving his salary and get a lump sum at the end of his sentence. Meanwhile, Eyup's grown son Ismail(Rifat Sungar) cannot bring himself to move far from the couch. Upon learning that Ismail needs a car for a promising job, his mother Hacer(Hatice Aslan) goes to Servet to ask for an advance on the lump sum.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]While at least intriguing enough to let the audience draw their own conclusions, "Three Monkeys" is also very much dramatically inert in trying to answer the eternal question of how much you can tell about a person from her ring tone. Otherwise, this is a tale of loss, almost unbearably so, since it has been simmering for years and has sucked the life out of a household which is represented by the desaturated color scheme. However, there is the occasional sign of life and the color red makes a welcome appearance in a key scene.[/font]
May 11, 2009
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Found out after wasting my money on a rental that I actually had already seen this film during the Film Festival. It is a wonderful concept and it is well executed. Good on you Turkish film industry!
January 20, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Ceylan creates moments of mesmerizing visual composition in a film that although it does not seem significant, you grow fond of it. Photography and score are excellent and the actors are very expresssive even when they are not talking.
September 4, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Drei Affen (DE)
  • Three Monkeys (Uc maymun) (UK)
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