Capernaum (Capharnaüm) Reviews

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September 12, 2019
It's a very harrowing portrait... Zain Al Rafeea is amazing.
March 2, 2019
It's essential viewing for the ways in which it illuminates brutally hard lives many of us could otherwise not imagine, and for the craft of its nonprofessional performers.
February 28, 2019
Jail and courtroom scenes, at the beginning and end, may be a tad implausible, not to mention scrappy. But the middle section, mostly shot on handheld cameras on the streets of Beirut, is breathtaking, topical, hilarious, tender and brutal.
February 22, 2019
It's harsh and abrasive, and sometimes difficult...but Labaki has layered the film with just enough moments of kindness to break your heart.
February 22, 2019
Co-writer and director Nadine Labaki shoots "Capernaum" with a fluent, documentary-like realism.
February 21, 2019
[Director Nadine] Labaki elicits an astonishing performance from her young lead.
February 20, 2019
Capernaum is for fans of Slumdog Millionaire, not Pather Panchali: neorealism with bells on. Some scenes, even so, scar us and stay with us.
February 19, 2019
A decent performance from Zain Al Rafeea, but the film is hectoring, contrived and simplistic.
February 6, 2019
"Capernaum" overcomes its built-in clichés to forcefully tell a story as urgent as the latest breaking-news bulletin.
February 5, 2019
"Capernaum" is a searing, unforgettable work.
January 16, 2019
"Capernaum" is a tough slog, no doubt, even by tough-slog standards. But that's a big part of what makes it so rewarding.
January 11, 2019
A film that explicitly argues against bringing children into the world under difficult circumstances while relying for its narrative hook and dramatic effect on the heroism and resilience of a child brought into the world under difficult circumstances.
January 11, 2019
Labaki shows us, in granular, street-level detail - using mostly non-professional actors, many of whom are refugees themselves - what life looks like for the unprotected.
January 10, 2019
Capernaum is an absolute heartbreaker about children in peril and the plight of undocumented people.
January 10, 2019
Labaki does beautiful work with her nonprofessional cast, most of whom are refugees, and her non-chronological structure builds unhurried suspense into the travails of Zain.
January 9, 2019
Labaki chose the title "Capernaum" because the word was often used to mean "chaos" in French literature. That's precisely what she presents to us, with precious little relief in sight.
December 18, 2018
Real life is "Capernaum's" supposed target, but the filmmakers exhaust most of their energy squeezing plot beats into place.
December 15, 2018
This contrast results in bursts of humor, recalling the likes of Slumdog Millionaire and The Florida Project. But Capernaum is a darker watch than either.
December 14, 2018
Labaki's excellent film is tough sledding - a sucker punch that lands with the emotional force of Dickens relocated to the slums of the modern-day Middle East.
December 14, 2018
These pains somehow don't feel exploitative or gratuitous-there is a nuanced matter-of-factness even in Labaki's empathy that prevents it to ever become pity.
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