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: 71


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,567
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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 (71) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (2)

  • 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…

Audience Reviews for Theeb

  • Feb 16, 2016
    A tense and powerful debut feature set against the breathtaking vastness of the Jordanian desert and with a deliberate pace, an evocative score and assured performances by its non-professional Bedouins that are proof of Naji Abu Nowar's talent in directing actors.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2015
    This has its quotas of violence and sentiment, plus landscape shots, but it is nothing special. A film entirely about men, possibly for men, it gives the impression that women did not exist in this world. The boy's cuteness is too trite a device and he does not come of age as suggested in the blurb; rather he is a fortunate and plucky survivor throughout. Mostly well made, it is not though always logical, and is predictable. The camels are interesting.
    . . Super Reviewer

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