Critics Consensus

Led by an outstanding performance from Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat in the title role, Theeb is a startlingly assured first effort from director/co-writer Naji Abu Nowar.



Total Count: 70
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Movie Info

In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.

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Critic Reviews for Theeb

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (22)

  • An inversion of Lawrence of Arabia -- a film told from the perspective of Arab bedouins rather than colonial adventurers, a scrappy coming of age story rather than a grand tale of epic, colonial ambitions.

    Feb 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The effectiveness of the story hinges largely on Al-Hwietat, whose performance is both convincing wide-eyed and complex.

    Feb 20, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • The burden rests on Eid's shoulders, and he more than carries it. He's a natural, showing us Theeb's curiosity, loyalty and ingenuity while still retaining the innocence of a boy who has been sheltered from the world outside the desert.

    Jan 14, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • First-time director Naji Abu Nowar rehearsed his largely nonprofessional cast for almost a year before shooting began, and as the title character, Jacir Eid beautifully conveys a mix of emotions, from wonder to fear to determination.

    Dec 10, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The further this strikingly assured debut feature by the British-born director Naji Abu Nowar goes along, the more it seems a metaphor for fierce self-determination - an origin story for Middle Eastern discontents.

    Dec 3, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • A disarmingly complex boyhood adventure with no shortage of tension or harsh beauty, "Theeb" marks a winning debut feature for co-writer and director Naji Abu Nowar.

    Nov 26, 2015 | Full Review…

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