We've ... got to admit right up front: Part of our interest was simply to see what Stephen Dorff is doing playing an Israeli POW.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's probably best viewed as a fable that tries to strike a hopeful note amid the many woes of the Middle East, but the blunt filmmaking and the near-sentimentality make it hard to buy into.
| Original Score: 2/4
The resolution is a bit Hollywood, but then who says all films about the Middle East have to be relentlessly grim? "Zaytoun" dares to find common ground and hope amidst political confusion.
| Original Score: B-
A trek that is occasionally very unlikely, but moving nonetheless.
| Original Score: 3/4
It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.
| Original Score: 2/5
Given how much Zaytoun follows the playbook, the pic's portentous ending is extraordinarily subtle, and will resonate best with those who know the history of the region.
The film's facile message of cross-cultural unity owes more to fairy tale than reality, but the action is slick and the story gripping.
In grabbing for the heart this one-size-fits-all fable sadly ignores the mind.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Congeniality isn't necessarily honesty ... and Riklis regularly fudges.
Zaytoun wants to milk a historical moment as a plea for tolerance; its only accomplishment is to channel the forgettable foreign-film exotica of decades past.
By the end ... the director's ambivalence is overwhelming, obscuring an important story with undeniable modern parallels.