Once Upon a Time in Anatolia


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

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Reviews Counted: 75

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User Ratings: 6,108


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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

In the dead of night, a group of men - including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators' own secrets and hypocrisies come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin. -- (C) Official Site

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Muhammet Uzuner
as Doctor Cemal
Yilmaz Erdogan
as Commissar Naci
Taner Birsel
as Prosecutor Nusret
Ahmet Memtaz Taylan
as Driver Arab Ali
Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan
as Driver Arab Ali
Firat Tanis
as Suspect Kenan
Ercan Kesal
as Mukhtar
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Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (22)

  • Ceylan's own growing reputation will, I hope, continue to grow. He uses the realistic film as an avenue to what lies around and beyond the realism.

    Jun 19, 2013 | Full Review…
  • It runs 157 minutes, and I can't say you don't feel them. You do - but in the way you would, reading a very good book in an uncomfortable chair.

    May 16, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A movie of such dark, smoldering intensity that it's easy to forget that half of it takes place in near darkness.

    May 11, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A police procedural as existential inquiry, set in a remote dreamscape of mystery and foreboding.

    Apr 5, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Ceylan displays pure, exhilarating mastery in this film: it is made with such confidence and flair.

    Mar 15, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Ceylan's visual style is less heightened, more down-to-earth than the more stylised 'Three Monkeys', but still some of the night-time scenes look like careful paintings, such is the precision of their lighting and composition.

    Mar 14, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia


An absorbing drama that relies on an engaging dialogue and a peculiar sense of humor, following a group of characters in a crime investigation as they talk about trivial things and reveal a lot about themselves in the process - and it boasts an impressive sound design and astonishing cinematography.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


This beautifully shot Turkish film puts a lot of responsibility on the viewer - it asks you to be patient and to find a point within seeming pointlessness. A simple (and arguably overlong) tale that seems to take place in rural Turkey but actually takes place solely within the psyches of its characters, audiences are asked to forget what they know about film narrative and find out more about human interactions and how people deal with the truth and accept that the truth may never be knowable.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer


to call this a police procedural or crime drama seems wrong but i don't know how else one would describe it in genre terms. it's gorgeous, mysterious and rewards patience

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

'Once Upon a Time in Anatolia'. Slow burning, but oh-so-absorbing! A most beautiful look at the mundane that is life. Every frame of that first hour and a bit is a painting waiting to be sold. Exquisite composition and cinematography, with many a long take emphasising the beauty of the rolling hills against the slow-moving people and cars. Every take is a patient one. Life isn't quick cuts and dramatic reveals. We're forced [I mean it in the best possible way, but others will say it's in the worst] to experience the banality these men go through. Clearly this is masterful screen-writing and direction, because I was leaning forward, on the edge of my seat the whole way through, while the sighs and fidgeting echoed around me.


Super Reviewer

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