Critics Consensus

A raw, provocative drama about star-crossed love and the lives of immigrants caught between the traditional and modern.



Total Count: 88


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,411
User image

Head-On Photos

Movie Info

40-year-old Cahit is brought to German psychiatric clinic after attempting suicide and sets out to start a new life, even as he longs for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel is young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German. She lives a lifestyle that is a bit too wild for her devout, conservative Muslim family and fakes a suicide attempt to try and escape them. But the incident brings shame upon her family, who insist that only marriage can save her. Sibel begs Cahit to marry her and he reluctantly agrees, perhaps in an effort to save her and to find meaning in his own life. Initially the two share an apartment and little else as Sibel sees other men and Cahit continues to have flings with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Gradually, however, Cahit begins to fall in love with Sibel and she, in turn, comes to realize that she loves him - but not before an incident of jealous violence tests this fledgling romance. When Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey, her heart, mind and soul remain with him - but for how long?


News & Interviews for Head-On

Critic Reviews for Head-On

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (8)

  • That this marriage of convenience between two cultural misfits will eventually lead to love may sound like a contrivance, but that's not at all the way it plays. Akin's raw, powerful, multileveled movie takes us places we never expected to go.

    Mar 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Akin makes this a most intriguing, if roundabout, journey from despair to 'do something.'

    Jul 1, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • The power of Akin's film, which is considerably aided by the two lead performances ... comes from the spectacle of people developing feelings for each other even through numbing layers of mutual narcissism, self-loathing and raging terror of intimacy.

    Jun 17, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Violent and sexy and funny and sad.

    Jun 17, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A riveting love story that never flinches from the unsettling reality of a specific social issue or the universal joys that two people can bring to each other's lives, no matter how hard they try to bring agony to their own.

    May 6, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • A portrait of passionate, all-consuming love born out of desperation.

    Apr 15, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Head-On

  • Jun 03, 2011
    Fantastic German drama about two troubled Turkish people who meet in psychiatric out-patients and get married mighty quick to escape their lives. Both leads are magnificent, compelling despite their flaws, and the story packs a punch thats hard to forget. One star deduction as I'm still hoping for a drama with a strong sexually-independant female lead who DOESN'T get raped somewhere along the line.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2011
    Ganhador do Urso de Ouro no Festival de Berlim, o longa nos apresenta a história de dois imigrantes que tentam se entender em um mundo que ninquà (C)m os entende. Uma fuga para farsa, que aos poucos um novo sentido à  vida de ambos.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2010
    essentially a film about an attention seeking depressive and her dopey victim. however it's well shot & has some random turkish music inserted every now & then in an effort to make it a bit different... so at least it's not totally boring!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2010
    Very powerful film. I enjoyed this tremendously.
    John B Super Reviewer

Head-On Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features