Offside Reviews

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August 4, 2007
Exhilarating, exuberant and drolly funny.
June 15, 2007
The rare Iranian film that is not only thoughtful and thought-provoking but also a lot of fun.
May 18, 2007
Offside is a slow slog through bloated scenes with little happening. Framed and shot like a crude documentary, it proceeds in long, clunky takes, as if an editor couldn't be bothered.
May 18, 2007
Humanizes the Iranians and shows that they're just as crazy about their sports as Westerners, if not more. If anything, it proves that soccer is truly an international language, providing an arena where anyone can communicate.
May 10, 2007
[Director] Panahi has perfected the art of realist filmmaking, here turning his camera on scenes that seem more improvised or captured on the fly than staged.
April 27, 2007
As funny as it is sharp.
April 20, 2007
Jafar Panahi of Iran is one of his country's great filmmakers, and Offside is his best movie to date.
April 20, 2007
The director shoots largely on location -- parts were filmed at Azadi Stadium during an actual match -- and mixes fiction and documentary so deftly we can't tell which is which.
April 20, 2007
Most of this winning drama shows [girls] bantering with their male keepers, boyish soldiers who don't want to miss the game themselves. Over the crowd's roar, they argue about Islamic prohibitions and the statistics of star players.
April 20, 2007
Although its message is deadly serious, Offside is almost lighthearted, filled with wit and winning characters.
April 7, 2007
Offside is shocking in its revelation of the legal oppression of women in Iran. This film is also hugely funny.
March 26, 2007
As the political rhetoric between Washington and Tehran becomes dangerously overheated, Offside offers an intimate antidote: an affectionate glimpse into the cultural schisms that young Tehranis face every day.
March 24, 2007
Offside may be the ultimate Iranian film: It's both an advance for its director, moving away from his slight political didacticism, and a perfect metaphor for a population that's more liberated than its stone-age sexism would imply.
March 24, 2007
It's a sports film unlike any other, and a political film that makes the personal profound.
March 23, 2007
Obviously there's more than soccer at stake here, with the field standing for the world of ideas itself. How do we dare keep any group from entering? How will we ever succeed at keeping them out? We don't, says this film, and we can't.
March 23, 2007
The story is good-natured, but Panahi's message is serious: That ludicrous rules turn Iranian women into third-class citizens. And what better way is there to get that point across than through sports and laughter?
March 23, 2007
Director Jafar Panahi has long been an eloquent and passionate representative for Iranian women. But judging by this deeply poignant comedy, they may not need a mouthpiece much longer.
March 23, 2007
The great virtue of Offside is that it never degenerates into an us-versus-them situation. [Director Pahani] understands that a repressive system victimizes the oppressors as much as the oppressed.
March 23, 2007
The film's rich, pointed comedy arises from the sense that men and women alike are trapped in an absurd, insoluble predicament.
March 22, 2007
The delicately subversive [director] Mr. Panahi makes his subjects perfectly clear -- the stupidity of authority, and the hypocrisy of discrimination. Offside is surprisingly entertaining, and edifying to boot.
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