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

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Reviews

Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 19, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
May 16, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
May 11, 2012
A movie of such dark, smoldering intensity that it's easy to forget that half of it takes place in near darkness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
April 5, 2012
A police procedural as existential inquiry, set in a remote dreamscape of mystery and foreboding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
March 14, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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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
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 5, 2012
It is epic in its aims and achievements yet modest in its resources: some superb actors, stunning landscapes and a resonant, understated script.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 2, 2012
A gorgeously shot crime story with emotionally layered characters and an indelible atmosphere of unease.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 1, 2012
This painstaking but gorgeously realized police procedural by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish poet of the long take, nods to Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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
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Justin Chang
Variety
January 5, 2012
Ceylan is as calculatedly withholding a storyteller as ever, and as one might expect, Anatolia never comes right out and explains itself, though the men's free-ranging conversations suggest the film has much on its mind.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
January 5, 2012
As a procedural, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia implicates the audience along with its characters and the mental workout continues long after the credits roll.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
January 5, 2012
A long, slow haul but for the willing, a haunting journey into the heart of darkness in Turkish Anatolia.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
January 5, 2012
Gorgeous to look at, intriguing to think about and, at times, hard to sit through.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
January 5, 2012
Ceylan's mesmerizing existential drama takes its time establishing the players and bringing their inner lives into focus. It's cinema as autopsy.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 5, 2012
A subtle, gorgeous and mysterious allegory that may be Ceylan's masterwork to date.
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.
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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
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 4, 2012
There is very little overt drama. The camera waits, and watches, like a vulture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
January 4, 2012
Patient viewers will be rewarded, as long as they pay attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 3, 2012
A metaphysical road movie about life, death and the limits of knowledge, "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" has arrived just in time to cure the adult filmgoer blues.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
January 3, 2012
157-minute police procedural at once sensuous and cerebral, profane and metaphysical, "empty" and abundant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is closer to the Antonioni of L'Avventura, and it elevates the 52-year-old director to a new level of achievement.