Ararat (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ararat (2002)



Critic Consensus: Though Ararat radiates intelligence, its impact is diminished by an overly intricate plot and cerebral style.

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A mother who only wants peace, a young woman who wants nothing but retribution, and a young man whose journey to uncover his roots is jeopardizing his future are estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family who face Turkey's denial of their catastrophic past.
R (for violence, sexuality/nudity and language)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


David Alpay
as Raffi
Charles Aznavour
as Edward Saroyan
Eric Bogosian
as Rouben
Brent Carver
as Philip
Bruce Greenwood
as Martin Harcourt
Simon Abkarian
as Arshile Gorky
as Shushan Gorky
Raoul Bhaneja
as The Photographer
Max Morrow
as Tony
Lousnak Abdalian
as Gorky's Mother
Garen Boyajian
as Young Gorky
Setta Keshishian
as Wailing Mother
Shant Srabian
as Doctor 1
Dawn Roach
as Customs Officer
Gina Wilkinson
as Art Teacher
Arshile Egoyan
as Child At Gallery
Kevork Arslanian
as Armenian Fighter
Vic Keshishian
as Armenian Fighter
Arthur Hagopian
as Armenian Fighter
George Kharlakian
as Armenian Fighter
Shant Kabriellan
as Armenian Fighter
Varazh Stephen
as Doctor 2
Samir Alnadi
as Turkish Officer
Carlo Essagian
as Turkish Soldier
Rose Sarkisyan
as Translator
Chris Gillett
as Celia's Father
Jean Yoon
as Third Assistent Director
Shahan Bulat-Matossian
as Wounded Teen Patient
Manuel Ishkhanian
as Teen Patient's Brother
Susan Raymond
as German Woman
Lorna Noura Kevorkian
as Armenian Bride
Mandyf Nissani
as Armenian Bride
Manal Elmasri
as Armenian Bride
Roberta Angelica
as Armenian Bride
Andrea Loren
as Armenian Bride
Araxie Keshishian
as Armenian Bride
Linda Gizirian
as Rape Victim
Nicole Anoush Strang
as Girl Under Cart
Erica Ehm
as Journalist
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Critic Reviews for Ararat

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (24)

Egoyan's movie is too complicated to sustain involvement, and, if you'll excuse a little critical heresy, too intellectually ambitious.

March 14, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

In a strange way, Egoyan has done too much. He's worked too hard on this movie.

Full Review… | November 27, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

It's a deeply serious movie that cares passionately about its subject, but too often becomes ponderous in its teaching of history, or lost in the intricate connections and multiple timelines of its story.

November 27, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Given the convoluted approach -- and tongue-tied delivery -- we're left to conclude that Egoyan's emotions got the better of him this time.

November 27, 2002
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

Has the obsessiveness and audacity of a film that had to be made or its filmmaker would have combusted.

Full Review… | November 27, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Only the most patient, sensitive and sensible of viewers will cut through the film's affectations and indulgences to come to the point.

November 27, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ararat

Atom Egoyan is probably my fav filmmaker in cinema today. He is a man who is a master of telling complex, web weaving stories. His film "Ararat" is an ambitious project that explains a bit about the Armenian genocide of 1915 but some how loses it's focus due to the complex narrative. This is a very confusing film and yet it is very well made. The plot is told in trademark Egoyan fashion (non linear, damaged, alienated charcters) but the flaw is Egoyan's handling of the material. I was hoping that Egoyan would have made the film more emotional and heartbreaking like "Schindler's List" and just tell the story of the genocide, the Armenians sufferings and pain rather then adding different layers, different stories, and different characters to confuse movie goers. Sure that style has worked in previous Egoyan pictures but not in this one. Even the handling of the massacre lacks an emotional punch. Truth be told I didn't really care about the genocide of 1915 or it's recents events. What's worst, it's created in this film within a film making it all the more confusing. With that being said I guess what I admired about the picture was the performance from Elias Koteas who plays a homosexual character and is given a huge part to play in a movie about the genocide. Koteas character is seen very uncomfortable playing a racist, turkish villian (and well who wouldn't be?) but plays him nonetheless although he wonders if he was given the part for the right reasons or the wrong one? The film also deals with a filmmaker making a a picture about the 1915 massacre, a young adult who is trying to buy his way through customs but is accused of smuggling drugs by carrying them in film cans, a woman who is an expert on Arshile Gorky is haunted by her step daughter's debatable questions, and on and on and on. I guess I would still somewhat recommend the film since it is very well made and yet it is Egoyan's least accomplished works he has ever made. If only the film had some kinda resonance, "Ararat" would not only of find it's true audience, the picture could have been seen as a true work of art.

Brian R
Brian R

Super Reviewer

This is a difficult film to follow. There are several stories being told, with the backdrop being the Armenian Genocide. Despite being difficult to follow, I found myself unable to pull away. I believe the film gets better with each viewing. It definitely left me wanting to learn more about the plight of the Armenians.

David Bloom
David Bloom

(** 1/2): [img][/img] I wanted to like this more, but the film just didn't grab and keep my attention. A near-miss.


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