Once Upon a Time in Anatolia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Reviews

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Martin Tsai
Critic's Notebook
October 7, 2015
While Gökhan Tiryaki's cinematography is phenomenal, the film is, at its best, a wasted opportunity.
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
October 1, 2011
Nuri Bilge Ceylan has to be the least kinetic of working filmmakers--and not simply in the sense of static camerawork or lack of narrative momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Mike Scott
January 27, 2012
A beautiful bore.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 9, 2012
It is colossally, memorably and audaciously boring, but if you stick with it - and I am not advising this - something may happen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
January 4, 2012
Anatolia wanders into an open-ended verbal bout between the laws of nature and the laws of man, yet the sense of actual musing, much less the mythic storytelling jokingly suggested by its title, dissolves from being to nothingness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
May 4, 2012
The pace is sometimes grindingly slow, and at more than two-and-a-half hours, Ceylan's exploration of its characters' shifting views on the truth can become wearying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Donald Clarke
Irish Times
March 19, 2012
The denouement offers a satisfactory conclusion to a drama that, in its scope, rigour and discipline, confirms Ceylan as a contemporary master.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Michael Nordine
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
November 22, 2011
Ceylan is highly attuned to the moments of grace that accent long periods of stillness, and it's in such instances that the story reveals itself as an almost fantastical affair.
Simon Miraudo
July 10, 2012
You can't expect a slow burn drama to payoff spectacularly unless it burns slowly, and this is precisely what Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan orchestrates in this masterful murder-mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rob Hunter
Film School Rejects
February 15, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy
August 13, 2011
A cinematic experience that lingers long in the mind and demands repeat viewings.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Philip Concannon
The Skinny
March 16, 2012
The climactic hour is a deflating slog that fails to build upon what went before.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 8, 2012
Ceylan doesn't slap us with big dramatic moments, but allows us to live along with his characters as things occur to them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
January 4, 2012
Turn the movie this way, and it's a police procedural that's tragicomically heavy on minutiae while slyly suggesting that official evidence always lies. Turn it that way, and it's an existential fairy tale set in a nocturnal netherworld.
Alex Zane
The Sun (UK)
March 16, 2012
Ceylan has planted the murder genre in a new and reflective spot.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nora Lee Mandel
January 6, 2012
[E]verything the participants experience and reveal comes to bear in ... the case [as] matters of life and death are subject to interpretation-and for the thoughtful audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Robert Levin
January 5, 2012
The film offers shifts in perspective that express deep humanist overtones and the conviction that life can't be seen or understood in simple terms of black and white.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews
May 24, 2012
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a film that stays on the mind days after the credits role. While quiet in tone it is rich in character and atmosphere.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Anton Bitel
March 15, 2012
Ceylan dramatises how his characters - and we along with them - are never really seeing the full picture but rather merely glimpsing fragments of narrative through the shifting moonlight, village blackouts and lightning flashes.
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
August 21, 2012
The literal "once upon a time" of a series of disillusioned men who no longer think about the future because they obsess over the past.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
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