The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Reviews

Top Critic
Robert Everett-Green
Globe and Mail
May 17, 2013
It's a timely narrative subject, but its treatment in The Reluctant Fundamentalist is fundamentally flawed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
May 16, 2013
Nair has found a real gem in Riz Ahmed, who anchors the film with a charismatically watchable performance. He's in virtually every frame and you hang on his every word.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 10, 2013
Ambiguity is at the heart of the novel, but Nair is never quite sure what to do with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
May 10, 2013
As a culture-clash story the film works well enough, but as a character study it's a bit of a scramble.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
May 9, 2013
It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
May 8, 2013
There's much to enjoy in 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist': fine photography, juicy supporting turns from Kiefer Sutherland and Om Puri, and a powerfully sustained sense of a man adrift in a world going mad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 3, 2013
This sure-handed adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's international best seller shows Nair at her best.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
May 3, 2013
Deliberately ambiguous, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" provides just enough answers while leaving us with more than enough questions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 3, 2013
Despite the charismatic efforts of the British actor Ahmed, The Reluctant Fundamentalist gets bogged down in proselytizing and plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 3, 2013
Takes [the book's] riveting tale and flattens it, blunting much of the nuance that made it a great read.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
May 2, 2013
Handsomely crafted and smartly performed, the film works on its own terms. But in expanding the story's canvas, it dilutes rather than translates the power of the book.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 2, 2013
Fairly insightful as a drama, but barely adequate as a thriller. Ahmed is pitch-perfect as the conflicted hero, but he's in two movies that cancel each other out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 2, 2013
Nair's film draws a clear parallel between violent Islamic fundamentalism and job-destroying capitalist economic fundamentalism, and firmly rejects both. If only good intentions made up for heavy-handed dramatics.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
April 28, 2013
Nair is so busy making sure we never lose sympathy for her handsome and charming protagonist that the film ultimately founders in a tangle of humanist platitudes.
Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
April 26, 2013
It's a dogged, thoughtful and well-acted movie that might have been more effective if it kept a narrower focus.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2013
Timeliness is certainly on the side of Mira Nair's uneven but fascinating The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Richard and Mary Corliss
TIME Magazine
April 26, 2013
A movie imposing in its breadth and depth.
Top Critic
Sara Stewart
New York Post
April 26, 2013
Alas, the film's relevance - and ultimately sane upshot - is buried beneath a meandering and oft-implausible plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 25, 2013
By literalizing the idea of American military aggression and all that it implies Ms. Nair doesn't just invest Mr. Hamid's story with Hollywood-style beats, she also completely drains it of ambiguity.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 25, 2013
The movie's failures are all the more unfortunate because they detract from its central and conspicuous success, the performance of Riz Ahmed in the title role.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2013
If there ever was a time to see "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," that time is here and now.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
April 25, 2013
The Reluctant Fundamentalist collapses in a heap of wool-gathering humanism that feels warm to the touch, yet fatally hedges its political bets.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
April 25, 2013
All the elements are there to tell a sharp, strong story, but director Mira Nair and screenwriter William Wheeler take the events of the day and simplify them into a blunt force object where subtlety and wit are replaced by sermonizing and melodramatics.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 25, 2013
Ahmed keeps bringing the focus back to an intriguingly ambiguous center. His scenes with Schreiber have a crackling tension, and he pushes back against the script's obvious manipulations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Sam Adams
AV Club
April 25, 2013
When Nair tries to take in the larger picture, her focus goes slack, and all that's left is a blur.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Omer Mozaffar
Chicago Sun-Times
April 25, 2013
As the story unfolds, new dimensions change our perceptions of the central characters, sometimes for better, and occasionally for worse. The point is that every character and every setting has at least two sides.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
April 23, 2013
Director Mira Nair chooses to go flabbily macro with the story's riches-to-radicals themes, as opposed to pointedly micro.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Kiefer
Village Voice
April 23, 2013
At times it's dense and sluggish, too much like a novel. But there is some exhilaration to be had ...
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
April 22, 2013
Illuminating but heavy-handed.
Top Critic
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
April 22, 2013
The tense dialogue between East and Post post-9/11 is turned into a tense, often gripping duet between a young Muslim professor and American reporter.