Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 88

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,414


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4.2/5

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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?


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Critic Reviews for Head-On

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (33)

  • 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

Sordid but compelling tale of amour fou.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

Some people choose the hardest way to live/change.

"If you want to end your life, end it. You don't have to kill yourself to do that."

Rubia  Carolina
Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer

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 Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

saw it

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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