Amreeka

2009

Amreeka

Critics Consensus

A dramedy that's got a taste for the tragic as well as the poignantly comic, Amreeka adds a new sweetness to the hope and distress of the immigrant experience.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 71

75%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,202

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

75%
Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

"Amreeka" chronicles the adventures of Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. Told with heartfelt humor, "Amreeka" is a universal journey into the lives of a family of immigrants and first-generation teenagers caught between their heritage and the new world in which they now live and the bittersweet search for a place to call home.

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Cast

Nisreen Faour
as Mouna Farah
Melkar Muallem
as Fadi Farah
Hiam Abbass
as Raghda Halaby
Yussuf Abu-Warda
as Nabeel Halaby
Alia Shawkat
as Salma Halaby
Joseph Ziegler
as Mr. Novatsky
Selena Haddad
as Lamis Halaby
Jenna Kawar
as Rana Halaby
Miriam Smith
as Bank Employee
Mike O'Brien
as Bank Manager
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Critic Reviews for Amreeka

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (29)

Audience Reviews for Amreeka

½

By the end, the messaging gets so heavy-handed that the movie loses some credibility with its intended audience. But if you're an American, you know there is truth to all of it, and this film provides an opportunity to put yourself in a Palestinian's shoes and feel a bit of their experience.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

½

A stealth political piece about a Palestinian family's rough immigration to heartland America, effectively put across by a lovable cast. Here is a writer/director to watch.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I was kind of "meh" with this one. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I guess from the cover I expected more of a comedy.. and it is kind of funny.... but not too as it deals with a serious topic. It probably works better in the more serious parts, but I felt like I didn't really connect too well with any of it. The cast are good and you do hope to see them do well, but by the end of the film I was glad to see it finish too. Not really sure what the problem was exactly. And the pipe smoking really put me off at the end as well as it seemed irresponsible with all the kids at the table (just a little pet hate of mine!). Don't know... maybe worth a watch on tv for free, but not one to seek out.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

In Amreeka, we have an Indie film that explores the well trod ground and fish out of water scenario of someone from a foreign land moving to America. In this case the script has some merit as it shows a Palestinian mother and son who put up with the daily travails of getting from the west bank into Jerusalem where they reside with grandma. When the opportunity arises to journey to Illinois, the son, a gifted private school student, jumps at the chance, and while his mother is a bit more reticent, having a well paying job, finally acquiesces after an incident occurs involving her son and a border agent. Of course once they get to Illinois, where mom's sister is living with a successful doctor, reality sets in, and we find, as usual, that things can never live up to our expectations. Adding tension to the mix is the post 911 fallout, where anyone looking "Arab" is shunned. There is a certain empathy to be seen here, though I've seen this type of film before and seen it better (The Kite Runner for example). The filming is very straight forward, and shot with whatever light was available (which gives much of the film a very "home movie" feel to it). The narrative is linear, and on the whole gives you an "ordinary day in the life" attitude, although at times you feel led on a leash as the narrative tries to shoehorn the message and events become just a bit too convenient. The performance of Nisreen Faour as the mother is a good one, as she maintains a certain inner strength that comes through the lens well. Her son, played by Melkar Muallem is also well played, and in all, in spite of some obvious Indie conventions and the fact that the film is really showing us nothing groundbreaking, does manage to mildly entertain through its less than 100 minute run time, although I cringed at the obvious male attraction, savior to the rescue aspect of the school principal - even while applauding his acceptance, not only for her race, but her, shall we say, overly abundant figure.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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