A Mighty Heart

Critics Consensus

Angelina Jolie conveys the full emotional range of a woman in a desperate situation in A Mighty Heart, an urgent yet tactful film about a difficult subject.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 195

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 106,637
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Movie Info

On Jan. 23, 2002, Mariane Pearl's world changed forever. Her husband Daniel, South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The story drew them to Karachi where a go-between had promised access to an elusive source. As Danny left for the meeting, he told Mariane he might be late for dinner. He never returned. In the face of death, Danny's spirit of defiance and his unflinching belief in the power of journalism led Mariane to write about his disappearance, the intense effort to find him and his eventual murder in her memoir "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl." Six months pregnant when the ordeal began, she was carrying a son that Danny hoped to name Adam. She wrote the book to introduce Adam to the father he would never meet. Transcending religion, race and nationality, Mariane's courageous desire to rise above the bitterness and hatred that continues to plague this post 9/11 world, serves as the purest expression of the joy of life she and Danny shared.

Cast

Angelina Jolie
as Mariane Pearl
Dan Futterman
as Daniel Pearl
Archie Panjabi
as Asra Nomani
Will Patton
as Randall Bennett
Irrfan Khan
as Captain
Denis O'Hare
as John Bussey
Adnan Siddiqui
as Dost Aliani
Gary Wilmes
as Steve LeVine
Jeffry Kaplow
as Judea Pearl
Perrine Moran
as Ruth Pearl
Amy Lynn Rosenthal
as Tamara Pearl
Amy Shindler
as Michelle Pearl
Mushtaq Ahmed
as Danny's Taxi Driver
Daud Khan
as Masud the Fixer
Telal Saeed
as Kaleem Yusuf
Arif Khan
as Mariane's Taxi Driver
Tipu Taheer
as Human Rights Director
Aliya Khan
as Kashva
Sarah Mone
as Female Guest
Bushra Parwani
as Female Guest
Danish Iqbal
as Male Guest
Ali Tejani
as Male Guest
Azfar Ali
as Azfar
Alyy Khan
as Omar/Bashir
Imran Paracha
as Major Major
Imran Patel
as Jamal Paracha
Jean-Jacques Scaerou
as Philippe Scaerou
Jillian Armenante
as Maureen Platt
Veronique Darleguy
as Veronique Laurent
Demetri Goritsas
as John Skelton
Zach Coffin
as Matt MacDowell
Baba Shaikh
as Phone Engineer
William Hoyland
as John Bauman
Sean Chapman
as US Journalist
Holly Goline
as News Producer
Nour Ayad
as Ibrahim the Cook
Lynne Blades
as News Reader
Ikram Bhatti
as Sheikh Gilani
Fahad Hussain
as Farhad Naseem
Taj Khan
as Suleiman
Hasan Ali
as Cell Phone Worker
Sujata Humane
as Omar's Aunt
Abdul Haq Khan
as Omar's Father
Imran Hasny
as Journalist at Sheraton
Mike Rosen
as US Journalist
Jenni Lee
as US Journalist
Elizabeth Danheim
as US Journalist
Tom Spencer
as US Phone Journalist
Qasim Iqbal
as Hotel Manager
Fabienne Khaldi
as Mariane's Mother
Gigi Ledron
as Woman in Orange
Aimee Matimbia
as French Midwife
Nassim Benbrik
as Adam (age 4)
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News & Interviews for A Mighty Heart

Critic Reviews for A Mighty Heart

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (58) | Fresh (154) | Rotten (41)

  • Knowing how this harrowing story played out in real life doesn't diminish its power in the slightest.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello

    NPR.org
    Top Critic
  • Although it is impossible to erase the spectre of Brangelina from your mind altogether while watching Jolie inhabit the role of Mariane Pearl, you can manage it for surprisingly long stretches at a time.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Jolie, dominating nearly every scene, is rather remarkable in this star vehicle, effectively conveying a convincing combination of unwavering dedication and the dire desperation of a woman who insists on remaining at the center of the search for her man.

    Oct 1, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Aside from casting Jolie, the bravest decision was to shoot largely in Karachi. The risk pays dividends with highly evocative location work that allows you almost to the smell that crowded city and feel the chaos.

    Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • For all its kinetic energy and sweep, Michael Winterbottom's hyperactive new film is really nothing more than a very, very classy TV movie.

    Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A breathless and compelling cinematic experience.

    Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Mighty Heart

  • Aug 23, 2012
    A Mighty Heart is a compelling biopic about one of the seminal events in the War on Terror; the abduction of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Based on the memoir of Mariane Pearl, the film follows her struggles as she deals with the abduction of her husband by Islamic terrorists, and the pursuing attempt to rescue him. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane and gives an outstanding performance that's extremely powerful. However, the film gets a little self-serving at times and losses focus. Still, A Mighty Heart tells an intense and emotional story about courage and strength in the face of evil.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2011
    I really liked the fact that they kept it as real to life as possible and I believed that this had happened; although on a downside it made the film rather slow at times. Also I found it difficult to keep up with what was happening when there were several similar looking men pacing around and talking in a foreign language with no subtitles, it was difficult to figure out what was happening. Jolie gave a fantastic performance and I believed her as Mariane. It was heartbreaking to see her pain at finding out about her husbands execution. It did seem a bit strange however that she remained focused and in control of her emotions for the rest of the time after his death. I don't know if that was true of the real Mariane or not, but it is strange.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2011
    More thrilling - and much less weepy - than I expected, and a film in which Angelina Jolie carries out her role incredibly naturally, save for one scene, when the drama's at its highest, where she goes over the top. On the whole, A Mighty Heart was a surprise: an accessible adaptation of a difficult-to-understand true story that was helped along by decent performances from a group of relative unknowns. Worth seeing once.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2011
    A very interesting film, done in a realistic documentary-style fashion. Though the narrative itself becomes somewhat muddled, we are never sure what exactly transpired or the immediate ramifications of it, Jolie's performance anchors the story, making it very much worthwhile.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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