Afghan Star - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Afghan Star Reviews

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Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
November 17, 2011
While its style and structure conform to the well-worn template established by docs like Spellbound, its success lies in creating an accessible, fun way into serious issues.
Emanuel Levy
June 22, 2011
Timely and intriguing docu was the winner of the Directing and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Fest.
Full Review | Original Score: B
June 13, 2010
For all the dramatic pull of the competition and insight into current culture and politics in Afghanistan, it's a bit of a shame that the film itself is such a dry affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Sean Axmaker
April 11, 2010
... more than a popular phenomenon, this documentary shows how a simple, completely apolitical piece of entertainment crosses ethnic, regional and cultural borders...
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
March 18, 2010
For once, the McDonald's-like spreading of American culture abroad seems to have actually been a good thing.
Mark R. Leeper
March 16, 2010
The film is both optimistic and depressing. This film is about a real war with real deaths that is going on in Afghanistan and one of the battlefields of that war is a pop music contest on television.
Full Review| Original Score: 8/10
Matthew Turner
January 14, 2010
Afghan Star is an engaging and important film and what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in cultural impact. Worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Whitney Borup
Film Threat
December 15, 2009
An inspiring, fun documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
October 16, 2009
One of the more surreal docs to come down the pike in some time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jennifer Merin
October 6, 2009
Afghanistan's version of American Idol shines a spotlight on a culture in transition. Fascinating -- especially when it comes to the experiences of the woman who's risking her reputation and social standing in order to sing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
September 30, 2009
It's an upbeat film, though hardly a convincing one, that shows there's more to the popular TV show than entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
September 24, 2009
The filmmaking itself is pretty much by the numbers...But there's some genuine tension as the competition field narrows.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
September 18, 2009
The film's essential fascination and integrity swamp any qualms about its pacing or all-around moviemaking.
| Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
September 18, 2009 the end of the 88 minute journey you'll learn more about contemporary Afghanistan than you will from a month of watching television news in the United States.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 17, 2009
Of all the films to come out of the conflict, Afghan Star is the most provocative, because its message that people are essentially the same is a dubious, double-edge sword.
| Original Score: 3/4
Beth Accomando
September 5, 2009
Marking has a good eye for capturing the contradictions of Afghanistan.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Jonathan Curiel
San Francisco Chronicle
August 21, 2009
Like The Kite Runner novel and movie, the documentary Afghan Star succeeds at dramatizing the lives of Afghans, but those we see on screen are real flesh-and-blood characters -- people who let their true feelings emerge.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
August 21, 2009
An informative documentary revealing how decades of war and years of Taliban repression have fallen to the wayside, however briefly, as Kabul's answer to American Idol seduces a violence-weary Afghanistan.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
August 12, 2009
This documentary about the Afghani version of American Idol is good and worth a look, but I was never swept up by it emotionally.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 30, 2009
One of the most hopeful and heart-rending movies I've seen this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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