Ajami

Critics Consensus

This multi-character drama balances intimate portrayals and broad political implications to paint a bracing and moving portrait of the Middle East conflict.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 68

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,063

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Movie Info

A revenge killing has a ripple effect in a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Tel Aviv.

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News & Interviews for Ajami

Critic Reviews for Ajami

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (2)

  • What comes through is that the troubles besetting Muslims and Jews and their emotional responses are similar in nature. The people involved have so much in common.

    January 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • The actors, every one of them new to their craft, make the everydayness of the picture indelible and real.

    June 24, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The pattern of connections and coincidences is a little overschematic, but the movie has energy, especially in the grippingly real shooting scene at the beginning.

    June 17, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A rare film that will force you to confront your own prejudices.

    June 17, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
  • This is vividly challenging, utterly inclusive and heartfelt cinema. It's not only gripping to watch, but it'll open your eyes to the intractable human conundrums behind the blood-stained headlines.

    June 16, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • By showing how people fail to live together - in a film you could call Israel's City of God, with its sectarian-feuding story lent power and immediacy by improvisation and non-professional casting - Ajami shows how they might or should live together.

    June 16, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ajami

  • Nov 27, 2011
    Directed by a Palestinian and an Israeli, this film tells the stories of several men in Israel/Palestine who struggle in the midst of colonization and ethnic hatred. It wasn't until over an hour into the film that I finally figured out what was going on. The directors use an Tarantino-esque style of fractured narration and points of view, and though it may have been my fault - I might have been slow on the uptake - the story-telling was not as crisp as Tarantino, who is able to introduce all his characters in a short period of time without letting plot lines dangle too long. That said, once <i>Ajami</i> revealed itself, I found it remarkably compelling. Every moment rang with verisimilitude, and it felt like I was watching real people's lives unfold in a tragic, star-crossed land. Compared to other genuine films about Israel/Palestine, like <i>Laila's Birthday</i>, <i>Ajami</i> is much darker, almost hopeless. Its message is a desperate condemnation of the hatred and violence that suffuse everyday life in the directors' homelands. Overall, I think now that you know you can trust the directors' storytelling - that you know that it all makes sense by the end - you might be able to enjoy the hell out of this important film.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2011
    It took a bit of time to figure out the disjointed non-linear plotting with this film. The detailed flashbacks, with increasingly more details, was likely the whole point of the movie. Every time more details were filled in, and more information was available, the assumptions about the motives and actions of the characters became more understandable. By the very end, it all came together in a most shocking way. Well done.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2010
    Powerful film! Also hard to absorb some of the segments in the film at times!
    Linda K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2010
    The best film of its kind since "The Edge of Heaven". It's hard to believe that this masterpiece was concocted by nonprofessionals, since its authenticity transcends conventional filmmaking. This is a complex and convoluted non-linear story that is so brilliantly constructed and connected, it easily trumps films like "Crash" and "Babel".
    Richard F Super Reviewer

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