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The Mauritanian takes a frustratingly generic approach to a real-life story that might have been inspirational in other hands, but Tahar Rahim's performance elevates the uneven material. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Directed by Kevin Macdonald and based on the NY Times best-selling memoir "Guantánamo Diary" by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is the inspiring true story of Slahi's fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.

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Critic Reviews for The Mauritanian

All Critics (192) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (51)

  • Filmed largely indoors and in often claustrophobic spaces, the movie isn't always subtle, but its impact is felt particularly in the scenes featuring Rahim. His powerful performance is supported respectfully by Foster, Cumberbatch and Woodley.

    April 16, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The subject is charismatic in a way that the film is not. But he is VERY charismatic, and it's his performance that sees this through.

    April 6, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The real-life story is enraging, and it's fun to see Benedict Cumberbatch's morally conflicted military prosecutor lock horns with Foster's icy human rights lawyer.

    April 4, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Few viewers will find themselves unengaged during The Mauritanian, but there are too many middlebrow beats either side of the jarring chords.

    April 2, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Macdonald and his producers and writers wanted too much... The result? A bland smattering of each that teases us with the possibility of complex roles.

    April 2, 2021 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's power lies in its direct confrontation with the ideology that underpinned it all... The Mauritanian is notable, too, for how much of its perspective is actually granted to Salahi.

    April 1, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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