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Desert Dancer never finds an agreeable rhythm, resulting in a musical drama that doesn't deliver on the promised spectacle or political commentary. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In the volatile political and social climate of 2009 Tehran, Afshin Ghaffarian (Reece Ritchie) and a group of dancers start a secret dance company in the Iranian desert, far from the prying eyes of the government police. Along with a woman named Elaheh (Freida Pinto) who helps them refine their skills, Afshin and his company use what little Internet they can access to learn moves from banned videos starring legends like Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev.

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Critic Reviews for Desert Dancer

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (30)

  • It is montage heavy and toe-curlingly naive.

    April 21, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It strives to be a rousing tale of rebellion, but the over-earnest result is more slow shuffle than kicky capoeira.

    April 21, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • There would seem to be only one thing that the act of dancing cannot free the characters in Desert Dancer from, and that's the movie they're in.

    April 17, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Desert Dancer strays too frequently into melodrama to have much sticking power.

    April 16, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • In his feature film debut, director Richard Raymond keeps the story moving despite some dramatic cliches.

    April 10, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Its depiction of the internal tensions in Iranian politics and culture is not what you'd call super-nuanced, but it is sympathetic to Iran as an entity.

    April 10, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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