The Attack


The Attack

Critics Consensus

Tense and suspenseful while remaining smart and understated, The Attack honors its complex subject with an intelligent script and captivating performances.



Total Count: 59


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,260
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Movie Info

Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman, Paradise Now) is an Israeli Palestinian surgeon, fully assimilated into Tel Aviv society. He has a loving wife, an exemplary career, and many Jewish friends. But his picture perfect life is turned upside down after a suicide bombing in a restaurant leaves nineteen dead, and the Israeli police inform him that his wife, Sihem (Reymonde Amsellem, Lebanon) who also died in the explosion, was responsible. Convinced of her innocence, Amin abandons the relative security of his adopted homeland and enters the Palestinian territories in pursuit of the truth. Once there, he finds himself in ever more dangerous places and situations. Determined, he presses on seeking answers to questions he never thought he would be asking. (c) Cohen Media

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Critic Reviews for The Attack

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (25)

  • Screenwriters Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma pull quite a few punches here, making the doctor improbably naive about Israeli-Palestinian tensions so that his transformation seems profound.

    Aug 29, 2013 | Full Review…
  • "The Attack" doesn't force us to pick a side. But it does force us to question our outsiders' hope in conciliation.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Arouses profound questions about fanaticism, cultural identity, and the essential mystery of other people, even those we think we know best.

    Aug 15, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's set up as a descent into the heart of darkness, but it ends up playing out in pallid shades of grey.

    Aug 9, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Imagine a blissful life taken away: Story of an Arab man who's assimilated into Israeli society but finds out that his wife was a suicide bomber. Nothing new here about the conflict, fair portrayal of the sides, thought provoking without solutions.

    Aug 8, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [Doueiri] does a fine job of presenting us with two worlds in conflict: modern, prosperous and progressive Tel Aviv, and Nablus, a city of shadows, squalor and paranoia.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Attack

  • Apr 09, 2015
    A very very touching story of a husband coming to grips with the secret deadly life of his wife. The couple represents the many sides of the Palestinian people themselves.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2014
    A tragic and sad film that explores the complexity of a never-ending conflict through the impossibility of confronting someone for answers when that person is dead - and even those unnecessary details offered in the last fifteen minutes are not able to dilute its intensity and urgency.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2013
    Just sad. Amin Jaafari, a Palestinian surgeon, seems to have "made it" by being accepted--personally and professionally--by the elite of Israeli society. But not really. The Israeli attitude is paternalistic "we allowed you to become this" but the attitude of his Palestinian relatives--whom he abandoned in his quest for acceptance--is that he is a traitor to his people. And maybe he is. And maybe, as his nephew says, his wife was worth more to the resistance alive (she has money and a veneer of respectability) but she did put her boot on the line. (Quick aside, that is the one flaw of this movie--that she would do this is totally unbelievable, but it does set up some interesting questions.) That's all we're left with at the end of this very subtle and moving movie: questions. If anyone is feeling good about where we are as a species, this will knock some sense into you.
    Bathsheba M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2013
    Just before Dr. Amin Jaafari(Ali Suliman) is set to receive a prestigious lifetime award in Tel Aviv, he gets a brief a phone call from his wife Siham(Reymond Amsalem) who is away visiting relatives. As he points out in the acceptance speech, he is the first Arab to receive such an award. The following day, like many of his colleagues, he tends to the wounds of those injured in a suicide bomb, including one dissatisfied customer. Later, he gets a call in the middle of the night which is never a good sign and in this case involves going to the hospital to identify his wife's remains who is now thought to be the suicide bomber of the previous day, as Moshe(Uri Gavriel) starts in with the intense questioning. "The Attack" is a powerful, heartbreaking and provocative neo-noir that succeeds on both a psychological and a political level. First and foremost, it is a portrait of a man going through the five stages of grief while wondering how much he really knew the love of his life. As such, the nature of identity is explored on both sides of the wall that now separates Israel and the Occupied Territories and which is never as simple as many people there would like to believe. All of which is seen through the eyes of somebody with a unique perspective on the ongoing tragedy and who in the end owes nobody anything.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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