Critics Consensus

Disobedience explores a variety of thought-provoking themes, bolstered by gripping work from leads Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola.



Total Count: 192


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,786
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Movie Info

From Sebastián Lelio, the director of the Academy Award-winning A Fantastic Woman, the film follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz and based on Naomi Alderman's book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

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Rachel Weisz
as Ronit Krushka
Rachel McAdams
as Esti Kuperman
Alessandro Nivola
as Rabbi Dovid Kuperman
Cara Horgan
as Miss. Scheinberg

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Critic Reviews for Disobedience

All Critics (192) | Top Critics (37)

  • It reinforces the old Thomas Wolfe cliché that you can't go home again, but it does so with emotional vivacity and richly compelling context.

    Dec 4, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's pretty dismal all told.

    Nov 30, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A great love story requires high stakes, like any other story, and this one delivers.

    Jun 15, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film gets the exterior structures of religion, and even gets the idea of belief, but fails to grasp its content...Of course, such considerations are easy to overlook when a decade's worth of repressed sexuality is bubbling over.

    May 25, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Ronit is rebellious, Esti is repressed-two points that Disobedience repeats over and over until the dynamic starts to feel caricatured.

    May 21, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A beautifully crafted tale that will make your heart ache, thanks to two standout leading performances and a great supporting one.

    May 17, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Disobedience

  • Mar 12, 2019
    Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star in the indie drama Disobedience. The story follows a young woman who returns to her childhood home to attend the funeral of her estranged father, an orthodox Jewish rabbi who disowned her. Neither Weisz nor McAdams give much of a performance, and the script doesn't help them out. Despite the orthodox Jewish community setting, the issue of faith never comes up or factors into the characters' choices. And the placing is incredibly slow, dragging on and on. Poorly made, Disobedience is a drab and monotonous film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    A delicate balancing act between the confines that hold together the sense of balance in our lives and the desires that sometimes rub up against them forcing the mind to contemplate what is worth following: the rules or our hearts. This is more complex than we might imagine when young and more ambitiously optimistic as we know the rules we set for ourselves, these things that keep order in our lives, are typically for our benefit. With Disobedience, Sebastián Lelio (Gloria, A Fantastic Woman) guides a young woman (played beautifully by Rachel McAdams) through this life she feels a genuine affection for and having to choose between it and the life she knows is true to who she's always been. It's all rather heartbreaking.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2018
    Aside from being the first in line to see the next blockbuster or superhero film, I really enjoy going to see movies that show you a different side of life. Whether that be a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a medieval love story, or an inner city crime drama, movies have a way of shaping the world through different eyes and impacting your viewpoint on things for the better. Disobedience is a nice example of a film that displays a forbidden but passionate love story from a fascinating point of view, the religious angle. I no longer consider myself an overtly religious person, but if done right, the stories that derive from that of faith are certainly interesting to watch. And in Disobedience, religion is at the forefront without being overpowering. Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz play Esti and Ronit respectively, two lovers who find themselves back in the same town after the ladder was essentially exiled for being in love with Esti as a young woman. It's these performances, along with Alessandro Nivola as Dovid that bolster this deep drama with humanity and heart. What each of the trio goes through individually is incredibly powerful, especially when you come to realize the emotional stakes that become involved as the film near its end. I found Disobedience to be an extremely thought provoking and unique take on a romance. 7.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2018
    With this kind of star power, I could foresee Jewish lesbian romance genre film taking off in a big way. We aren't talking Blue is the Warmest Color levels of explicit erotic entertainment, but one could easily expect to see an uptick in Pornhub's search trends for the lead actresses' titillating scenes that lie herein. Yes, you get to see Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams break kosher without a sheet, but just like similar forbidden love stories like Brokeback Mountain, Carol, or Howard the Duck, the movie is much more than the sum of its private parts. Set in a very insular Orthodox Jewish community in London, Ronit (Weisz) returns to mourn the passing of her father, one of the most prominent Rabbis of her childhood home. As in many cases, her traditionalist extended family and the people that surrounded her father are all a bit shocked and perturbed by her arrival after she had made a clean break from her upbringing and culture years before. Her mere presence is insulting to some and welcomed by those who cared the most for her, namely Esti (McAdams), a former love interest who has married straight despite her homosexual leanings. Many awkward pauses and loaded looks ensue. Director Sebastian Lelio is no stranger to the clash between alternate lifestyles and how they play out in conservative family dynamics. After winning Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars last year for A Fantastic Woman, this seems a perfectly serviceable next step. Considering Lelio's Chilean (and presumably Catholic) background, the director does a fantastic job of inhabiting the liturgy and community of a culture and religion he hasn't lived within. Doubly surprising is how in both this and A Fantastic Woman he can help bring to life characters who do not fit into rigid social constructs and portray them in a tasteful, multifaceted way. Conceivably, one could place this story in the context of any other religious group. Aside from the candlesticks and hats, this could be a Mormon, Amish, or Southern Baptist group and they probably wouldn't miss a beat seeing as how most of the prevailing tenets of those faiths are predicated on a tradition that assumes it has what is best for family and culture yet fails to account for the ways of the world and how the moral zeitgeist shifts. You can't really pick up a book and prescribe to everyone a behavior set that goes against their basic biology, but when all you know, see, and have is structured around that book, is there really any free will for HaShem to judge you by?
    K Nife C Super Reviewer

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