A Separation - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Separation Reviews

Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 19, 2013
You cannot watch the film without feeling kinship with the characters and admitting their decency as well as their mistakes.
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Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
March 7, 2012
Dynamically shot and paced like a thriller, the film has the density and moral prickliness of a good novel.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 23, 2012
These people seem so real they might live next door. And they probably do.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 17, 2012
"A Separation" is a plaintive fable of the human condition that unites us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 10, 2012
Very few movies capture as convincingly as A Separation does the ways in which seemingly honorable decisions can lead to interpersonal conflict -- even disaster.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 9, 2012
To say the piercing Iranian film A Separation is about divorce is a bit like saying The Wizard of Oz is about a pair of slippers.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 2, 2012
"A Separation" moves beyond one couple's sundering marriage to reveal growing rifts between generations, ideologies, religious mind-sets, genders and classes in contemporary Iran.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
February 2, 2012
Partly a courtroom drama, partly a political satire and partly a twisty thriller that gradually draws you in and becomes more engrossing with each new revelation.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 2, 2012
"A Separation" is a great movie, a look inside a world so foreign that it might as well be another planet, yet so universal that its observations are painfully familiar to anyone, anywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 27, 2012
Sometimes, in an attempt to do the best we can for the people we love, we end up wreaking irreparable damage.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
January 27, 2012
Asghar Farhadi's emotionally epic movie is not just a masterpiece dramatically, it is a movie dramatically of its moment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 26, 2012
It's small. It's real. And it's deeply moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
January 26, 2012
This is a trenchant emotional thriller that you watch in dread, awe, and amazing aggravation.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 26, 2012
Some films wear their artistry so lightly they appear simply to be happening, the inner workings of the story guided by an unseen hand.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 26, 2012
The film involves its audience in an unusually direct way, because although we can see the logic of everyone's position, our emotions often disagree.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 26, 2012
This is primarily a human story about a marriage unraveling, the husband torn between love for his daughter and devotion to his father, the daughter torn between one parent and the other.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 24, 2012
It's an indictment of a culture in which religion and tradition poison a legal system. It is an exploration of the power of a lie. It is a mystery and a courtroom drama. Above all, however, it is a tale of love and sacrifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
January 20, 2012
Farhadi is less concerned with the bugs and variations in human perception than cracks in the average moral compass, little fault lines that prompt good people to make bad decisions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 20, 2012
In the guise of a whodunit, Farhadi paints a nuanced portrait of Iranian society that, seen through our Western eyes, looks at once utterly alien and strikingly familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 19, 2012
Rashomon-like in its perceptual complexities, truth vs. belief, Asghar Farhadi's drama forces us to constantly shift our assessments and allegiances.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
William Goss
Film.com
January 13, 2012
Crafts a minefield out of the mundane and may very well be a masterpiece for it.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 9, 2012
What makes it so good is that no one is bad. These humans, desperate to do right, are caught up in a perfect storm of inhumanity. The evil is in the ecosystem.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 4, 2012
The film wraps us, with stunning directness, in the complex folds of its characters' passions.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 4, 2012
A Separation is not the work of a constrained artist. It's a great movie in which the full range of human interaction seems to play itself out before our eyes.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
January 4, 2012
Farhadi's true focus is the flawed capacity for any law -- any form of cold rationality, period -- to address the slippery nature of human affairs. It's a frantic microcosm of life itself.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
January 4, 2012
The miracle of A Separation is that it doesn't spare any of its characters, nor does it seek to indict them. It is a democratic portrait of a theocratic world.
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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
January 4, 2012
Tensely involving Iranian drama with niche potential.
Top Critic
Alissa Simon
Variety
January 4, 2012
Tense and narratively complex, formally dense and morally challenging.
Top Critic
January 4, 2012
A constant surprise, a film that captures the drama and suspense of real life as urgently as any picture released this year.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
January 4, 2012
Simin's and Nader's divorce debate is the first of many complex issues raised and passionately argued in A Separation.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
January 3, 2012
Movies with this kind of moral complexity are rare, so not only is it worth seeking out, it's one you need to see with friends because it invites -- or rather demands -- debate afterward.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
December 31, 2011
Asghar Farhadi's A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it's possible for movies to be.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 30, 2011
A downbeat family drama of no particular distinction gradually turns into a mystery that raises painful moral questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 30, 2011
We can't believe our own eyes. How can we begin to pick one of the many competing narratives before us?
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 30, 2011
It's a deceptive, Hitchcockian mystery whose clues are laid out so carefully you'll probably miss them, and a complex philosophical fable in which every character is morally compromised.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 29, 2011
It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 29, 2011
Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A Separation is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 29, 2011
It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 29, 2011
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film belongs right here... 'A Separation' is a landmark film. No way will you be able to get it out of your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 29, 2011
Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 28, 2011
Together and apart, Hatami and Maadi are magnetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 27, 2011
What's fascinating is how the various issues -- religious or practical -- are played out in these two quite different families, yet always come down to irreconcilable differences between rebellious women and their stiff-necked, controlling men.
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
December 26, 2011
...interesting, and engaging, in both a storytelling and sociological/cultural study fashion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 20, 2011
Getting absorbed in the film's complex layers of procedural negotiation and domestic argument, you'll realize that we often settle for too little from our screenplays.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
September 9, 2011
"A Separation" could hardly be more concrete, or contemporary, or dramatic.
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
June 28, 2011
'A Separation' is lively and suspenseful as both drama and debate.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5